Alumni Spotlight - Eileen Ly '15

November 5, 2019
Sahani Wijesinghe

1) Tell us about your background. When did you graduate from Brown?

I graduated from Brown University in 2015 with a ScB in Biomedical Engineering. Currently, I work at Medtronic as a Systems Engineer.

2) Why did you choose Brown and BME?

Brown in general is a very happy place, and with the open curriculum students can explore multiple areas of study. That flexibility allowed me to start as a Chemical Engineering major and later change to Biomedical Engineering as that struck a chord with me.

3) How did your experience at Brown help you to get to this point in your career?

I participated in a study abroad program in my Junior year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which gave me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of students and it was a very enriching experience to say the least. While I was studying at the CUHK, I worked as a stem cell research assistant, this experience helped me to realize that my area of interest does not lie in the stem cell arena. Consequently, it encouraged me to explore other areas that Biomedical Engineering has to offer. After which, I started working as an undergraduate research assistant at the Mathiowitz lab at Brown. This experience along with the Instrumentation Design class exposed me to MATLAB, electrical circuits, and LabVIEW extensively, which eventually steered me towards the world of electrical and computer engineering.

I did a co-op at I-robot for 6-months and after my graduation, and I continued working there as a mechanical engineering intern. This is where I first got exposed extensively to the world of electronics and coding, and I really enjoyed it. This experience helped me to land my first job at Medtronic as a test engineer after which I transitioned into the role of a systems engineer.

4) Are there any courses at Brown you would recommend taking?

Instrumentation Design exposed me to circuits and LabVIEW, which definitely helped me in my first job. I would suggest taking a Python class if interested in software side of the device industry as that might come in handy once you enter industry.

5) What advice do you have for Brown students who are about to enter the industry?

Networking is extremely important, reach out to alumni and make use of LinkedIn. That’s how I got my first co-op/internship! Also, make use of Brown’s open curriculum to strengthen your skill set.