Persistence pays off when applying for summer internships

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Posted by Nick Koch on

The internship hunt can be a scary and time-consuming process. Through my first two years, I had applied and interviewed for many different internship positions. Though I was not successful at first in my search for an internship, I was able to use the interview experiences to develop a new set of professional skills and confidence. These experiences also allowed me to get a closer look into what different company cultures look like and where I may fit best. 

When looking at different design firms, you’re able to see that each design firm really is unique. From company culture to the project process they lead, each location requires its designers to have specific attributes that they carry along with them. Through my interviewing experiences, Stryker always stood out above all others due to their high-end medical work and my sense of belonging in their company culture. 

I first interviewed at Stryker in the spring of 2019. Their interviewing process started with numerous online and phone personality interviews. After passing the first few levels of interviewing, it was onto the final round of in-person interviews. 

After interviewing at Stryker my sophomore year, I was later turned down because the work I had shown was not quite at the level Stryker needed their interns to be performing at. Instead of taking this rejection to heart and giving up, I decided to make it my goal to better my skills, come back next year and get that internship. 

I was fortunate enough to get into contact with Jeff Kennedy, my mentor, who is a Senior Principal Industrial Designer at Stryker medical. Over the past year, Jeff has been an extreme help in my process of becoming an industrial designer. By having the opportunity to know someone who is a leader in the industry, I have been able to grow and develop strengths in places I was previously weak. 

After another year of hard work and dedication to the Product Design program, I was informed the Summer 2020 Stryker internship had been posted. I immediately sent in my application and awaited a response. Since I had previously interviewed at Stryker and knew most of the design team at this point, all that needed to be done was another round of in-person interviews. 

In the interview, I had the opportunity to show the Stryker team how far I was able to come in one year. They appreciated my great growth in my design skills and decided to choose me for their Summer 2020 Internship position. 

About a week later I received a call from HR at Stryker. He called and let me know that I was being offered the internship because the design team recognized and appreciated my growth as a designer over the past year. The feeling of being offered an opportunity like this from a corporation like Stryker is unmatched to anything I have experienced so far in my career as a designer. I am greatly looking forward to testing my knowledge in design and spending the Summer working alongside some of the best professionals designing products that have the potential to save lives.