Climbing the career ladder takes skill - here's some tips

Who said Biomedical Engineering isn't cool?  Try telling that to Andrew Botros, Sakeena De Souza or Peter Spencer - all biomedical engineers making a splash in business. More than a splash, actually. 

Andrew's career started before he left uni.  He had an audacious and creative idea. 

Sakeena got into ResMed's Graduate Rotational program.  She had to be immediately adaptable and ready for change as she worked through 4 rotations in short shrift.

Peter worked with Johnson and Johnson for 15 years developing inventions with clinicians and hospitals.  He now trains start ups to get their technology into the market.  Peter says there's some key things to remember:

  • If you’ve got a start-up you have to understand clinicians and how hospitals work. 
  • You need to align yourself with someone who works in the market place.
  • Inventors typically invent around a problem they have.
  • Typically start-ups spend all their energy on the technology rather than customers and business building when it really needs to be the other way around.
  • Get out of the office!
  • Document and test your business assumptions before you’ve made your product.  BEFORE
  • The hidden stuff:
    • They don’t teach customer delivery skills
    • It’s a process
    • Your opinion is irrelevant
    • It’s about information gathering
    • Failing is learning
    • YouTube how to build a successful medtech business – there's heaps of stuff around.

    Sakeena says:

    • ResMed design iterations from user needs – engineers create a system especially for that user – build the product – user testing – software – every three months there’s another iteration.
    • Skills you need: you need to think about the broader picture; be decisive and confident; and be adaptable and ready for change.

    Andrew says:

    • I learnt to explain things very clearly
    • Creativity is a big part of what makes a good engineer
    • I didn't accept the boundaries put around me
    • Why would you toe the line when there’s nothing to lose?
    • Always think, “How can I apply what’s in here to what’s out there.”
    • Read “Never eat alone” New York Times Best-selling author Keith Ferrazzi
    • He happened to be working with musical instruments and that helped him get the Cochlear job.
    • Big break: I refreshed the whole software offering at Cochlear by make the interface patient-friendly!
    • Message: not everything you do in technology is always welcome!
    • As of last week I have a new role at IBM's “Watson” project in artificial intelligence.  We are looking at developing a program that you can feed scientific papers into and ask it to come up with a cure for diseases. 

    Who say's biomedical engineering isn't cool indeed!

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