Each day, as I make my way down to the R&D lab, I run into at least one coworker who greets me with a smile on their face. We talk about our weekends, cool things to do in the area, their kids, the latest World Cup match, - really anything! And all of this happens before I even step foot into the lab. As I open the lab door, I see our engineers and technicians, hard at work testing new ideas to create products that truly do change lives. From the casual conversations in the hallways to the innovative work being discussed in the lab, it is clear that Stryker employees care. They care about their coworkers, their jobs, the world around them and, most importantly, our customers.
As a whole, Stryker cares. What I’ve learned from this internship is that Stryker cares not only about its people, patients, or products - which is evident in our mission statement of making healthcare better - but also the community which it is a part of.
At Stryker, interns have a unique opportunity to join one of three intern committees - social, recognition, and philanthropy. These committees serve to help us grow and develop skills, such as teamwork and leadership, in areas outside of our department. This summer, I am lucky enough to be a part of the philanthropy committee, organizing both on-site and off-site activities to help Stryker serve its community.
My team has hosted two events this summer - a company toy/book drive benefiting the UCSF Children’s Hospitals, and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) outreach event with local middle school students. With each meeting, we brought the classic Stryker drive and dedication to life while planning these events. We met several times a week and also talked to many Stryker employees who were very helpful and eager to share their love of service with us. They allowed us to decorate the halls with flyers, gave us products to demo at our events, and reviewed our outreach presentations. With their support, we were able to pull off the two extremely rewarding and successful events.
For our STEM outreach event, we partnered with a math summer program at various middle schools in the area (see picture below!). Nearly all the interns took half a day off to visit schools and engage the students with a morning of fun activities, interesting questions, and inspiring stories. We started off the morning talking about Stryker, Stryker Neurovascular, and stroke care. We continued our visit with a cool “pull the clot out of the blood vessel” activity! We then shared about ourselves, our journeys to college, and our experiences with math in day-to-day life and work which encouraged the students to keep doing well and putting forth their best effort in school. We ended with the most popular activity of the day, a “tower” building competition using marshmallows. Pretending to be civil engineers, the students competed against both the clock and each other to build the highest tower. Of course, everyone left as a winner, excited (possibly from eating all the marshmallows used in building), and hopefully inspired to learn more about the fascinating fields of STEM.
Our company-wide toy/book drive is still continuing, and so far we have multiple boxes of donations - enough to fill an entire cubicle! Employees have even been making bookmarks for the children, and we are excited to deliver the personalized bookmarks along with the donations to the patients in the next few weeks!
Serving our community through these events has been one of the most memorable experiences of my summer. As an intern, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to Stryker’s mission by not only making healthcare, but also the world, better.
And now, every time I run into a coworker and they ask me about something I’m proud to have accomplished this summer, I mention our philanthropy committee events. I’m proud to have been able to share Stryker’s culture of caring with the world.
Kathy Hu- R&D Process and Technology Development Intern
Fremont, CA; Stryker Neurovascular
John Hopkins University