My first day at Touch Surgery, I was exchanging nerf gun volleys with the marketing team before I even quite fully knew their names. Having just completed my junior year studying Digital Media Design at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering, I was nervous about starting my first technical internship, having never coded on a project outside an academic or hackathon environment. On top of that, I had never lived abroad before, and I was anxious that I didn’t know anybody here.
After I got pelted by that first nerf dart, I began to relax a little bit. And by the end of my first day at TouchSurgery I knew all my fears were unfounded. I knew I had made the right choice coming to work here.
When looking for and evaluating an internship, there are three criteria that I always keep in mind:
1) Is this is a company whose mission I feel strongly about?
2) Will I have learning opportunities if I work here?
3) Will I be happy here?
The first criteria is what initially drew me to TouchSurgery. Growing up, my father, an orthopedic surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, would sometimes take me on rounds with him to visit his patients. From a very young age I had a window of insight into what it meant to live with physical and/or mental disabilities, and while I realized early on that I did not want to become a doctor myself, I knew that I someday wanted a career where I could help these people. I could see the gratitude the families had for my father’s hard work. And I will never forget the look of sheer elation on my father’s face when he watched one of his patients, a little blond girl in leg braces, take a short walk down a hallway. She wasn’t supposed to be able to walk, he told me.
As I entered university, my driving goal became to find a way to use my interests computer graphics to help people, and I realized that while I did not want to be a doctor, I very much wanted to be part of the effort to build better doctors. And that is what TouchSurgery is all about, creating a free app that can be used to train doctors around the world.
As for the second criteria, TouchSurgery’s focus on education does not end with its user base. The company is equally as focused on the personal growth and development of its employees and their interests. On my second day of work, I had the opportunity to attend the Virtual Reality in Health Breakfast presented by HealthTech Women and learn about the work of other female traiblazers with interests like mine. Moreover, every Friday after lunch, we get the chance to work on fun personal projects.
As for being happy, I couldn’t ask for a better first week. The TouchSurgery family has been incredibly welcoming, inviting me out to lunch each day, or for drinks after work. Slack is always abuzz with funny memes and jokes. A real sense of camaraderie permeates the office, along with a palpable feeling that we are all in this together, working on something important. I’m excited to be a part of this, and I can’t wait for what is to come!
I will keep you posted!
PS: They are hiring
By Chloe Snyder