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Medical Device Innovation Alumnus Hired Thanks to Connections Made Through the Program | Technological Leadership Institute

Posted on
April 20, 2016
Oscar Brooks

“My transition into the workforce from TLI was pretty direct.”

Oscar Brooks was hired at Worrell Design, a Minneapolis-based product development company, after graduating from the University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute in August 2015.

He landed the job through his capstone project for the Master of Science in Medical Device Innovation (MDI) degree program.

“For my MDI capstone project, I was an intern at Medtronic. They hired Worrell to do work for them, so I met some key people there,” Brooks explains.

As a research analyst at Worrell, Brooks creates insights for his clients based on research to identify the need for and marketing of new healthcare products. He is originally from Plymouth, Minn., but pursued a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Stanford University with a product design focus. After graduating, he worked for nearly a decade in California for three med tech startups while also doing consulting on the side.

“I was looking for a change and thought going back to school could give me an advantage.”.

Brooks considered a few different business schools, but after reading the program description for TLI’s M.S. in Medical Device Innovation, Brooks thought it seemed like a better fit.

“MDI made sense because you’re able to learn business through a specific lens of medical technology,” he explains. “You can focus on what you want to learn, so it’s more efficient and applicable to your field. You get the business experience tailored to the medical industry. The elective component of the program also allows you to narrow in on what specifically you want to get out of it.”

Brooks says the format and 14-month length of the MDI program was especially beneficial for him.

“The timeline was crucial. I wasn’t working while in the program, which is an anomaly, so every day, week and month was an opportunity cost for me.”

The MDI curriculum covers a wide variety of topics which Brooks says gave him a bigger picture of the industry as a whole.

“The amount of content we were able to learn in the short amount of time was surprising. It was fast-paced, but because the program was so efficient, I was able to learn a lot without losing any information. MDI gave me exposure to all aspects of medical technology and devices, and provided me with more in-depth knowledge of everything from quality to regulatory. It allowed me to dip my toes in and see what best matches me.”

That exposure was enhanced by the fact that attending TLI meant Brooks was studying in a state home to more than half of the approximately 14,000 global medical device companies in the world.

“I moved to Minnesota and started from a blank slate, so I enjoyed meeting influential people in the medical device industry. I also liked that the program brought in guest speakers, and the advisors for my capstone helped beyond just classroom learning.”

It was the connections Brooks made through the Technological Leadership Institute that helped secure his current job, and he hopes his degree will also take him to the next phase of his career.

“I’m entrepreneurial focused, so with a few more years of experience, I hope I can start my own company,” he says.

Visit the Alumni page to learn more about the impact Technological Leadership Institute graduates are making in tech-intensive companies across the globe.

MDI made sense because you’re able to learn business through a specific lens of medical technology. You get the business experience tailored to the medical industry.

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