Hey! Thanks for the questions. I’ll try to answer them individually to the best to my ability.
What is it really like to be a BME?
Do you mean in industry or in college? I’ll try to address both haha.
In college: Being a BME in college is definitely challenging. We have a lot of different disciplines to cover (Mechanical, Chemical, Materials, Electrical Engineerings, Medicine, etc.). It’s a lot of group based classes and an overview of these other majors. If you don’t come in with credit, it could take over 4 years to graduate, though I plan on graduating on time.
In industry: It probably depends on what you do. BME’s have many different job opportunities such as Field Clinical Engineers which go around hospitals and observe how the device is being implementing into patients, Research and Development/Product Development Engineers work on prototyping and making products into what we see today, Consultants will go into companies and make suggestions, Clinical and regulatory affairs deal with performance and safety testing of new products, Technical sales determine how products could be designed or modified to meet customers’ needs and advise customers on how best to use the products, along with BMEs who go to get their MD/PA/DO/Pharm and grad school for academia. Those are the most realistic jobs in BME. I know some people who also go into law and programming! There are a lot of opportunities.
What do you have to do and how difficult is it?
To get where you want to be, you really have to be cognizant of your end goal. If you want to go to med school, you should complete the pre-health requirements. If you want to go into industry, you should focus on gaining experiences that would be relavant to industry so you can get a good job. Things that would help include research, internships, leadership positions, etc. If you want to go to grad school, getting involved in comprehensive research would be really helpful. But most of all, it’s really important to get good grades. Balancing all of this can be difficult, but time management is key, and knowing yourself as a student. The classes can get hard, but I think they’re really interesting, so I do better in the classes that are related to my major.
What are you planning on doing after you get your degree?
I plan on going straight into industry as soon as I graduate! I never was interested in pure medicine/MD, and I’m not exactly sure what I want to do, so I thought going to grad school would be a waste of time and money since I’m not 100% sure. So I figured I would get a job, and maybe pursue an advanced degree later in life if I wanted it! Some degrees that I have thought about are: Masters in Electrical Engineering, Masters in Biomedical Engineering and Masters in Public Health! I’ve also thought about going to DO school and working for Planned Parenthood one day. But for now, I plan on going straight into industry. As for how I’m preparing/have prepared to do this in my undergraduate career, I have taken a full load each semester I’ve been here. I plan on minoring in industrial design because I think that will help in the medical device industry. Last summer I did a research internship and took calc 3. This summer I’ve taken 6 credit hours and I have a part time job. I’ve been involved in many organizations in undergrad, I’ve been involved in undergraduate research since I was a freshman, and I’ve always had an on-campus job. I’m also in a social sorority so I get some connections from that about job opportunities, and other BMEs to study with. It’s SUPER helpful and I love it.
Some advice for prospective BME students:
- Do well in your classes because it’s really important. This means go to tutoring, office hours, study groups, etc.
- Meet with your advisors frequently
- Get involved in the BME community/research
- Don’t EVER waste a summer. This means right after freshman year either take classes, work, research, volunteer or study abroad! Always keep building your resume and be competitive.
- Make connections and network
And I think that’s it. Sorry this was long but I hope it helps!