While I was fortunate enough to secure a summer internship during the fall semester, this does not mean that I’ve closed myself off from the many corporate events that are still happening on and off campus. When I found out that Edwards Lifesciences, a well-known medical device company, wanted to welcome a small group of USC students to tour its facilities, I eagerly seized the opportunity along with some of my fellow biomedical engineering classmates and friends.
We arranged carpools and on the day of the visit, we jumped on the freeway, and in less than an hour, arrived at the doorsteps of Edwards Lifesciences, in Irvine, California. From the outside, it looked like an average corporate building, but once the sliding glass doors opened, a grand and marvelous lounging space filled with comfortable couches, tables, and chairs was unveiled.
We had two kind employees tour us through the various different buildings of the company’s campus. One was a recent USC biomedical engineering graduate who was a former intern at the company and is now working for Edwards full-time. The other was an HR representative. We were taken to the massive assembly line room where medical devices such as transcatheter heart valves, annuloplasty rings, and catheters are put together. The USC alum explained the history of heart valves and how they’ve evolved into the devices they are currently.
It was clear that Edwards truly cared about the well-being of their workers. We learned that employees are encouraged to form their own teams and compete against one another in various sports such as basketball, soccer, and beach volleyball. In addition to their green field, basketball court, and beach volleyball area, Edwards also has a gym facility that many utilize during their breaks or after work to stay active and fit. The overall vibe of the campus was calm, yet focused – there was a certain natural peace in a blend with the people who walked by with purpose.
Even though the tour lasted no longer than two hours, we absorbed such a large amount of information. I believe that we all got a good sense of the culture at Edwards and the employees’ desire to create innovative technologies to help people with cardiovascular diseases. This is certainly a company I will keep on my radar as I steadily make my way closer and closer to graduation.
It’s important to avoid complacency and seek to uncover more information about the career field you’re interested in pursuing after college. We are privileged that USC puts us in a spot filled with resources to enable those who are eager to explore their chosen career path before graduating.