10 12 / 2013
Bio Medical Engineering
My co-op was through the EEP (Experiential Exploration Program) which allowed me to complete community service and count it as a co-op. This was an incredible way to spend a co-op and I would highly encourage it. My experience was one of few independent international co-ops. I volunteered with Vine International, a missions organization that ships and distributes donated medical supplies from the United States to Guatemala. While in Guatemala I repaired dysfunctional medical equipment and researched ways to improve the availability of quality medical equipment repair in third world settings.
I led a project to research methods of recharging the substrate in medical oxygen concentrators using only household supplies common to the third world. I also assisted in the repair of a surgical microscope which was then used to perform dozens of procedures by a traveling surgical team from the US the next week.
This co-op has probably been the single biggest career formative experience of my life. It showed me a way to combine my faith and passions for helping people and ministry with the engineering education I’m gaining here at UC. I know that I will be involved in medical mission work in my future in one way or another.
Co-op, if you take it seriously and put the thought and effort into it, can offer an invaluable way to experiment with combining passions and skills that can guide you towards a successful, meaningful career.