As I prepared for my first day at JHTV, dressed in my carefully curated business casual attire, I felt a rush of mixed emotions. For the most part, I was excited. After all, I was going to work with some of the coolest innovations and knowledgeable inventors in the world. But still, I was nervous; this was my first day working a real job, in a real office, with real professionals. The whole bus ride over, I anxiously rehearsed what I would say and how I would act, but as I entered through those glass doors, all my concerns melted away. I was greeted by smiling faces, kind words, and of course, the endless supply of coffee and hot chocolate in the kitchen. It sounds cliché, but I felt at home in the office, and I would soon realize that this was because the people who filled the office would quickly become my family.
Like a family, JHTV pushed me to explore my interests. When my manager learned I needed to pick my biomedical engineering focus area, he put me on projects based in different areas of biomedical engineering so I could get the exposure I needed to make my decision. When I off-handedly mentioned an interest in practicing law during a meeting, I was immediately assigned to help curate due diligence for a multi-million-dollar patent infringement lawsuit.
As a family, JHTV was always there for me. When I needed to prepare for interviews, my colleagues would use their lunch breaks to help me rehearse answers to questions. When I decided to take the LSAT, they helped me brainstorm my study schedule and plan work around it. And when the startup I founded, PediaCORE, started to think about commercialization, it was a no-brainer to work with JHTV. JHTV walked my team through the whole process thoughtfully and patiently, giving us strategic ideas of how to best market and launch our product. Having JHTV in my corner while I embarked on my pursuits gave me the confidence I needed to dive in wholeheartedly and take my business to the next level.
JHTV prepared me for life after the Blue Jays nest. The skills, both technical and interpersonal, that I learned molded me into the person I am today. I learned to have no shame in seeking help: every earnest inquiry I made was enthusiastically answered, and I used those answers to work more mindfully on my projects. I barely knew what a patent was when I started as an intern, but through lunch-and-learns and one-on-one meetings, I was brought up to speed on the commercialization process. I learned to ask for what I want: I would never have had the experiences that shaped my career ambitions if I had not requested relevant work. Getting to explore different aspects of commercialization helped me to find the work that I enjoyed the most. But most importantly, I have learned to know my value and believe in myself: my manager and team never allowed me to doubt myself, and that has grown into the self-confidence that I approach all of my endeavors with.
It is with this confidence that I enter into this weird world we live in now. Though my post-graduation plans were disrupted by the pandemic, I find comfort in knowing that I have the resilience and strength to find my place in this world, and I have JHTV’s priceless contributions over the past three years to thank for this.