Alumna profile: A career-tailored degree
Vaishnavi Ramesh ’15 is an electrical engineer for Livanova in Clear Lake, Texas. The company makes implantable medical devices that are pulse generators for epilepsy therapy. Ramesh’s job is to analyze the devices, and assist in product development.
For her, having a professional master’s degree in bioengineering strengthens her undergraduate education and allows her to incorporate valuable best practices in her career.
“I knew that I wanted to work in industry,” she said. “And many master’s programs are geared toward academia. I wanted something that was more tailored to the career I wanted.”
She said enrolling in Rice’s program also gave her an opportunity to better understand American industry. She completed her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at the Manipal Institute of Technology in India, and notes that work and educational cultures are very different in India and the United States.
“There’s an emphasis on leadership and working in teams here,” she said. “With the master of bioengineering, I was able to refine my skills. I’ve always been a leader, but this program helped me with looking at different viewpoints, and figuring out what was best for the team or the company.”
She realizes that part of leadership is motivating others, and finding ways to develop talent, all things she said were part of the fabric of the professional master’s degree.
“The professional development aspect of the program really attracted me,” she said. “It gave me stronger soft skills, and helped me think about how not to close myself off to ideas just because they weren’t mine.”
Her coursework gave her the skills and confidence to develop into an industry leader. She uses those skills today in her position with Livanova, working with other members of the product development team.
“We don’t just look at how something is built, or how to create it. We examine what users want and need, and try to determine what designs might work. That kind of collaborative process is what we did with case studies in the professional master’s program, so it really resonates.”