Sharon Callaway – Product Manager at Velocity Medical Solutions

I graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Biomedical Engineering (BME) and I am currently a Product Manager at Velocity Medical Solutions. I knew from the beginning of my college career at Tech that BME was the right major for me. The program fit me really well throughout all four years because it really does pull from other majors into one cohesive program that introduces many concepts. I have always liked being a part of different activities and it has always been hard for me to just pick one. Because of this, I enjoyed getting to see circuits, electronics, coding and biology all at the same time during my time as an undergrad.

I have always liked being a part of different activities and it has always been hard for me to just pick one. Because of this, I enjoyed getting to see circuits, electronics, coding and biology all at the same time during my time as an undergrad.

My Day to Day

As a part of my current job as a Product Manager, I look through the features of our software and determine which aspects should be kept and which can be eliminated. I learned a lot by entering the information systems field. It is very rare for undergraduates to go straight into this field. In fact, most enter this industry with a graduate degree. However, this meant I had to learn a lot from the people around me. When I joined this company, I had a lot of doubts as to whether this was the right fit for me. Now, I can say that I really enjoy the work. It really keeps me engaged because I had to learn so much. Furthermore, being on the product development side, it takes a long time to actually take a product from beginning to end, especially with the added complexity of FDA regulations. This definitely makes it a challenging work environment. Therefore, I would advise students be open to all the possibilities. In my case, it has really worked out well.

Advice for you

        Georgia Tech offers a lot of different experiences and I would definitely recommend to take advantage as many of them as you can. It helps you to have a good idea of what you want to do later.

students in meeting

Georgia Tech offers a lot of different experiences and I would definitely recommend to take advantage as many of them as you can. It helps you to have a good idea of what you want to do later. From the beginning of my college career to its end, my ideas of what I wanted to do with my career changed a lot. This made it much more important to try different I tried doing research on campus. However, I realized that petri dishes and I are not compatible. Having this experience helped me to see that research was not my thing. The elective classes at Tech really helped me sort through what I wanted to do in my future job. During my senior year, I took a medical imaging elective class, which really helped to spark my interest in this area of medical technology. It made me realize that medical imaging is the most advanced class of technology there is and I was fascinated by its ability to take a picture of the inside of a person’s body from the outside itself. Classes such as this one really exposed me to the many aspects of the biomedical industry and allowed me to pinpoint what area I found most interesting.

From a technical aspect, problem solving skills are vital and necessary on a day-to-day basis.  Everyday, problems arise that require me to apply my knowledge and the scientific method to resolve an issue.

I also did a co-op at Kimberly-Clark, which is where I got most of my work experience. My co-op projects gave me a real world taste of what it actually means to be working on medical devices. I spent a lot of time testing various designs, making constant changes and retesting those. This experience was very helpful because it did end up steering me more towards software and healthcare IT. From a technical aspect, problem solving skills are vital and necessary on a day-to-day basis.  Everyday, problems arise that require me to apply my knowledge and the scientific method to resolve an issue. Solving a problem in industry is a lot like the prompt given in BMED 1300, where you get to know all the details before making any decisions about the problem you will be solving. In the real world though, it takes a lot more time to accumulate that knowledge before you are proficient in using it to solve a problem. It took me about two years before I felt confident in what I was doing at Velocity – I was learning the whole two years.

Key Take-Away

To succeed as a biomedical engineer, you should have a passion for math and science. Apart from this, it is also important to have social skills and an aptitude for working with people. Not only do you have to interact with your own team members, but you also have to work with patients and individuals in various medical departments.

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Sharon Callaway – Product Manager at Velocity Medical SolutionsAlexa Siu
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