My Most Asked Question in an Interview as a BME Student
The question that I am most often asked in an interview, aside from the usual “tell me about yourself”, is something to this affect: “Why do you want this position when it has nothing to do with the biomedical field?”
In all fairness to the interviewers who have asked me this question, it is a completely valid concern since it is expected that I’d want a career in biomedicine and thus may not be as dedicated to the position I’m interviewing for. As such, I wanted to preface this piece by saying that this question doesn’t bother me in the slightest; in fact, it’s a question that I’ve grown rather fond of over the past few years.
My answer is typically the amalgamation of the following set of facts:
- I picked my degree when I was 17 years old based on the fact that I was good at problem solving and I enjoyed attending my biology classes.
- I knew next to nothing about hardware or software before entering university, so I had no idea that one of the hardware-related engineering disciplines, like mechatronics, could’ve been more interesting to me.
- Despite popular belief, BME has many core courses that require us to learn many of the hardware fundamentals, such as Analog Systems, Digital Systems, and Control Systems. The same applies for software fundamentals like Data Structures & Algorithms.
- Lastly and most importantly: after being exposed to electrical design in my earlier co-op placements and courses, I have developed a passion for it that is stronger than my desire to be in the biomedical field.
Now, this response typically leads people to believe that I regret choosing to study BME and/or that I wish I were in a different program. I’d like to clarify that neither of these assumptions are true in my case. After about 3 years of being in BME, I am very content with the opportunities, experiences, friendships, and connections that I have been exposed to thanks to this program. Here’s a short list of some things that I believe I would have missed out on had I picked differently:
- Wrote and directed a play
- Participated in a cadaver lab
- Met with several tetraplegics and heard their stories
- Gained the ability to understand what my sister is saying when she talks about her job (in healthcare)
As a final remark, it was THIS program that lead me down the hardware engineering path; for all I know, perhaps one of the other programs would have steered me down a completely different one. I am very content with and confident in where I am headed as a young professional and I do not regret the decisions I made that lead me here. I also look forward to my upcoming senior year in BME and all that it holds for me.
Have a lovely day (or night), everyone. Jess.