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Medical Device Innovation Student Uses Education to Find Her Place in the Industry | Technological Leadership Institute

Posted on
March 28, 2016
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As the daughter of a chemical engineer, Britta Olson says she was always interested in pursuing science and engineering as a career path of her own.

“I knew I wanted to continue my education, but I wanted to start working in the industry to see what I wanted to focus on.”

In December 2013, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and shortly after, began her first job in the Rhythm Management Division at Boston Scientific. One year into her position, she began researching graduate programs.

“I considered a master’s in biochemistry, but I knew that would be difficult to do while working, and I didn’t want to take time off. I also knew an MBA was not going to push me in the way I wanted to be pushed.”

She learned about the M.S. in Medical Device Innovation (MDI) after talking to her boss, Technological Leadership Institute (TLI) alumnus Bill McNaughton, about her plans to go back to school.

“He mentioned that he got his master’s degree from TLI in 2002 and loved it, and that he thought I should check out the new medical device innovation degree program.”

After going online and doing some research, Olson discovered the MDI degree program was exactly what she was looking for. The 14-month format would allow her to continue working full time, and she would gain the skills she needed to enhance her career.

Now, Olson is a member of the 2016 MDI cohort.

“You get the business side – the leadership and management piece, plus the technical piece of the medical industry. It’s the perfect hybrid of a program.”

In addition to the curriculum, Olson says she enjoys the cohort model of the program because it’s allowed her to build relationships with others.

“I absolutely love the people. There are only 18 of us, which is a neat opportunity because we get to know each other so well. We come from all different professional backgrounds, which has given me a bigger picture of the medical industry. And the professors are so smart.”

Olson also says the M.S. in Medical Device Innovation degree program has already benefitted her career.

“Everything I learn in class I use at work. I’m able to try things out in real time, and it’s really valuable,” she explains. “Because it’s such a new program and a niche focus, it’s also a great conversation starter. I’ve been able to form relationships with people at work who I normally wouldn’t.”

Some of the conversations involve how she can help her work colleagues through her capstone project. During the final semester of the MDI program, students tackle a relevant issue or problem within their current organization or community. Olson says these networking opportunities have allowed her to get a feel for where she belongs in her company, as well as the medical technology industry as a whole.

“I hope my degree will show me which path I want to take, I’m still new in my career, and I have no idea what I want to do. This will help me figure out where I can benefit my company the most.”

Olson will graduate in August 2016. She says she can’t believe how much she’s already been able to accomplish in a short amount of time.

“It’s a fantastic program. It’s a lot of work up front, but it goes by fast and you learn a ton. It’s one of the best career decisions I ever made.”

Master of Science in Medical Device Innovation students study technology innovation management, medical-technical specific electives and more. Visit the MDI curriculum page learn more about course offerings.

You get the business side – the leadership and management piece, plus the technical piece of the medical industry. It’s the perfect hybrid of a program.

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