|LYNN — The Danvers location of an international medical device company has launched an internship program to encourage female high school students to pursue engineering and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related careers. Among the six interns is Lynn English student Katelyn Nadeau.
Nadeau, who has always had an interest in science, said interning with the company has given her the opportunity get a better idea of what it’s like to work in the field. “I’m doing a lot of problem solving,” she said. “I want to do stuff like that in college.”
Medtronic, which manufactures heart catheters, is among the world’s largest medical technology, services, and solutions companies.
The firm started the internship program launched after senior quality engineer and receiving inspection supervisor Brittany Melanson saw her younger sister participate in a similar program at her high school.
The program was designed to increase the number of women pursuing careers in engineering. Close to 20 students applied for the program and six were chosen, Melanson said.
Once hired, interns work three hours per week from noon to 3 p.m. on Friday afternoons and are paid $10 per hour.
“One of the main drivers for this program is to introduce females in high school to the field of engineering at an earlier stage in their career decision making process and get them excited about the opportunities in the engineering field,” Melanson said.
The program involves a competitive application process comparable to the application process when applying for a job with the company. Students then go through an intense interview process.
“It was like an online job application,” Nadeau said.
Medtronic worked with selected high schools to market the program. Four schools were chosen based on previous StEM work they have had with Workforce Investment Board programs, including Danvers High School, Gloucester High School, Lynn English High School, and Peabody Learning Academy.
In addition to having an interest in science, Nadeau also plays soccer, softball, and participates in winter track. This semester she is taking Honors Biology II, Physics I, and is a lab aid.
“We are hoping Katelyn will want to come back,” Tucker said.
Sarris said the Medtronic program is inspiring other companies to launch similar opportunities.
“We’re half a year into it and already getting calls from companies interested in replicating it,” Sarris said. “This is a great program.”