#EngineeringAtNUVA: How Shadowing an Orthopedic Surgeon Helped Shape Her Career Path

#EngineeringAtNUVA is a series that highlights talented engineers who make up NuVasive Engineering. Every feature will have a unique set of questions to give you the most diverse knowledge into Engineering at NUVA including roles within Manufacturing, Development, Software, and Electrical Engineering. The series is for students interested in the field, for prospective engineers who want to understand our culture, and for those intrigued to meet some of our incredibly intelligent Shareowners!

Our next feature for #EngineeringAtNUVA is Pranali, Quality Engineer, located at our San Diego headquarters!

Pranali, why did you choose to work as an Engineer in the Medical Device industry versus other industries?

I have always been motivated to help people lead a better life. This role offered me the opportunity to use my engineering knowledge toward helping society.

How long have you been at NUVA?

I’ve been working with NUVA as a quality engineer supporting posterior fixation projects for a little over a year now.

Is there a specific class or skill that you wish you took or learned prior to graduating college that would positively impact your work today?

Coming from a biomedical engineering background, I wish I had taken some mechanical engineering classes like Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing.

What was your path from realizing you wanted to be an Engineer to working at NuVasive today?

Since the time I realized that I wanted to become a biomedical engineer, I have taken courses and projects that will help me excel at my job. One such course was where I shadowed an orthopedic surgeon for around 40 hours when I was at Duke University to observe some of the challenges faced in the operating room. During this time, I was able to ask questions about how we as engineers can help fix some of those problems. I would highly recommend anyone with interests in the medical device industry to seek out and explore opportunities like this!

Can you share what inspired you to pursue Engineering?

I have always been intrigued by biology, specifically the human body. The first instance was how a hip replacement surgery had helped my aunt get back to her normal working lifestyle. This is when I decided that I wanted to be in the medical device industry and biomedical engineering was a great way to start a career in that.

For those deciding on which type of engineering path to pursue, what would be your advice?

Definitely choose what interests you. Imagine yourself in that role five to ten years in the future and see if that sort of career path would motivate you in your daily job. Another piece of advice I learned was to look up relevant job profiles and understand what it takes (skills, courses, classes, certifications, etc.) to get there and start working towards it! LinkedIn is another great resource to guide you in your career path.

Connect with relevant industry people in your field and ask them questions on their career path and how they got into the position they are today.


Finally, what makes Engineering at NuVasive unique in your opinion?

Engineering at NuVasive is a combination of applying technical skills with project management. Having the ability to juggle between projects of different priorities is key. That said, being an engineer here keeps you on your toes at all times, so there is never a dull moment.

Interested in the engineering field at NuVasive? Learn about open roles and what it takes to be an engineer with NUVA by clicking here.

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