A Few Practical Insights on that First Corporate Biomedical Engineering Job

The first and foremost piece of knowledge you need to remember after the euphoria of being hired subsides is that healthcare related businesses are focused on making a profit first and always. Creating a product that makes people healthier is the means that they use do meet that objective. The bigger the profit the better. You will quickly find that the profit margins of the products being sold by your company are much higher than most consumer products. It is not unusual for products that sell for $100 dollars typically cost between 15 cents to two dollars to make in large quantities. But although there are members of the corporation who are obsessed with profit there are also many who genuinely focus on developing the best product they can to improve a patient’s health. Some people actually address both goals very successfully. The second piece of knowledge is that each corporation has a culture and you have been hired because the hiring manager feels you can fit into that culture. So your career mobility depends on contributing to profit in any way you ethically can and fitting into the corporate culture. The third thing that you need to know is that luck plays a considerable role on just how far you go up the corporate ladder.

Contributing to the profit of the corporation basically comes down to ensuring that your manager meets their goals. Why? These goals typically align with the goals of the department which in turn align with the goals of the corporation. By definition they are designed to improve or maintain a profitable outlook. There are usually several stretch goals included on the list. A stretch goal is one that is very challenging to meet and therefore can be the determining factor whether your manager gets a bonus or not. You want your manager to get their bonus because, in general, your fate is tied up with theirs. Once again, in general, the more successful the projects you work on are the better for your career and resume. It also works the other way. If your project tanks no matter what the reason you are associated with that failure. That is just the way it is in many corporations where the appearance of success is as important as substance. Even though they typically have no preparation for business in their curriculum a significant percentage of engineers make it to the CEO level.

See Engineers Make Up Substantial Number of S&P 500 CEO’s”

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