Landing Your First Medical Device Job: 5 Tips on How to Succeed

The Medical Device industry is fast-paced, encompasses innovating technology, and is continuously growing. We interviewed two team members, Guy and Alexa, to share how they got into medical device, what their expectations were, and their best tips on how to succeed when you’re first starting out.

Q: What was your major in college and did you know what industry you always wanted to go into post-graduation?


  • Guy, Development Engineer, in industry for 1 year: Major, Mechanical Engineering. I didn’t know I wanted to go into a specific industry, but I always had some interest in sports science and the defense industries. When I got older, I naturally gravitated toward biotech because my dad has been in this industry.
  • Alexa, Buyer, in industry for 1 year: My major was business administration with a focus in global supply chain. I knew I wanted to do something medical because San Diego is big on medical. I didn’t know medical device would be something I was interested in until I got my summer internship with NuVasive.

Q: What is it about the medical device industry that makes your job more exciting?


  • Guy: I’m interested in things that challenge me. What I do here, the specific projects I’m on, they keep me engaged because of the unique combination of medical device coupled with technology.
  • Alexa: The projects that I work on here result in products that improve the lives of people. There are always buyers in every industry, however I think that I’m making more of an impact here than I would be in different industries.

Q: Before starting at NuVasive, what were your expectations as an entry-level employee?


  • Guy: Coming from the internship program at NuVasive the summer before, I expected to have an expanded role and a bigger voice on the team when I became a full-time Shareowner.
  • Alexa: As an incoming intern, I was expecting to do a lot of menial, smaller tasks, like they wouldn’t put me on anything too huge or important. But transitioning to a full-time employee, my expectations were to be put on higher visibility projects, my work load would increase, and I’d experience a much busier schedule.

Q: How important is it to network once you’re in the company you want to work for?


  • Guy: Networking inside of the company is always good because you never know who you will need to get input from. My team works with the first floor and the second floor teams for multiple projects. It’s also important to establish a go-to person with the vendors and the contractors you work with.
  • Alexa: Very important. NuVasive is very fast paced, so to get up to speed and to learn, you need to reach out to not only your immediate team, but cross-functionally as well. It’s always important to stay connected because you never know what opportunities may arise within your company.

Q: What is something you’ve learned that has helped you succeed in your role?


  • Guy: I learned that if you work hard and show the willingness to shoulder a bigger load, then the people who are at the top are very willing to let you sit in on the more high-level stuff. There’s always an opportunity for increased involvement in everything you do as long as you show the ambition.
  • Alexa: Being more assertive and asking questions. I tend to be kind of shy, but to get the answers I need, and to fulfill my responsibilities, I’ve learned to find my voice in meetings and make sure I understand what is being asked of me.

Q: Do you have any final advice for people looking to get into this industry?


  • Guy: Be smart. Set your expectations early on, make sure you’re not spending a lot of time figuring out what you’re going to be working on, but instead contribute as early as possible. Take the initiative to reach out to people and learn about what they’re doing.
  • Alexa: You want to make sure you network with people that are where you want to be. Second, know that this industry tends to be fairly fast-paced, so try and expose yourself to that type of environment and see if that’s the right fit for you!

If you’re interested in starting your career in Medical Device at NuVasive, visit our careers page here.

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