Kicking Off My Saltire Experience

A Little Bit About Me…

Hi there! My name is Alistair Bacchetti, and I am a third year Biomedical Engineering undergraduate at the University of Glasgow. Throughout the past few weeks, I have been completing a stimulating, virtual channel operations internship with Edwards Lifesciences.

Edwards Lifesciences is a dynamic medical technology company which unites medical professional and engineers alike to achieve a shared, heart-warming goal; helping cardiac patients live longer and healthier lives. The company is at the forefront of technological innovation for life-saving artificial heart valve and critical care development, with each employee striving to maintain patient welfare at the heart of their work.

As an aspiring entrepreneur and biomedical engineer, I was immediately captivated by the resilient, people-oriented work ethic that the company presents as it provides me with the perfect opportunity to collaborate with likeminded, driven individuals at the forefront of inspirational medical device development.

‘So, why are you writing all of this in a blog?’ I hear you ask. As a 2021 Saltire scholar, it is not only a duty but a privilege to harness my unique Saltire experience to inspire future generations of entrepreneurial leaders. Every success and challenge that I encounter throughout the coming months will count as taking one step closer to a resilient, forward-thinking attitude for my future entrepreneurial endeavours. I aim to share every moment of this with you as well as my top advice for excelling within the Saltire Scholar Programme.

What Did I Choose the Saltire Scholar Programme?

I first discovered the Saltire Scholar Programme through a University networking event in my second year. I was immediately drawn to the inspirational Brand Ambassador role through discussion with a 2019 Saltire Scholar. Learning how she harnessed her resilience and forward-thinking mindset to overcome the challenges of her internship opened my eyes to the highly personal skills the Saltire Scholar Programme nurtures in its participants.

As a resident of Clydebank (on the outskirts of Glasgow), I have grown up alongside the town’s rich history in world-leading shipbuilding entrepreneurialism and Singer sewing machine production.

Acting as a Brand Ambassador, through blog writing and future networking will not only drive me to reflect and learn from my scholar experience, but allow me to channel my inspirational, historical knowledge to ‘find, fuel and spark’ personal entrepreneurial development in future generations. It is this act of giving something back to the Programme, whilst continuing my personal drive to progress the Entrepreneurial Scotland vision that presents Saltire as a unique and special opportunity.

From Pen and Paper to Project Progression

On the morning of Monday 14th June, I sat at my desk with three tools for the day; a notepad, employee laptop and a deep passion to initiate my unique Saltire experience. As I write this blog at the end of week two, I reflect on the brilliant progress of my two fast-paced internship projects with a notepad packed with experiences, ideas and inspiring company contacts. One of those contacts is my supervisor, Anna, who supercharges every catch-up meeting we hold through her enthusiastic, fast-paced work ethic. To work alongside the company’s main divisional contact for lifesaving physician training still continues to amaze and deeply inspire me as I eagerly chip away at my logistical projects in medical device sales. It is with this thought that I have set a main goal for this Summer; to take every opportunity I possibly can at Edwards Lifesciences. Whether it is additional administration work, team meeting invitations or company networking, I know that every effort I dedicate my time to will not only contribute to the company’s patient-oriented effort, but continue to shape my resilient, entrepreneurial mindset and drive to innovate.

Blog 1 Top Tip: Never Shy Away from Opportunity

From the above, I present my first top tip of the blogging series; to never shy away from opportunity. Whether you are a current or aspiring Saltire scholar, simply asking your supervisor or named contact for additional experience or advice will be crucial in aligning your work ethic and attitude with that of your host company. This in turn, stands you in good stead to ignite a forward-thinking, adaptive mindset of a successful entrepreneur. Showing eagerness for experience can come in many forms, such as additional company research, scheduling one-on-one meetings and asking as many questions as possible through whatever form of contact you establish. Doing so not only demonstrates the drive and proactive mindset of a strong Saltire candidate but may reap benefits beyond your internship experience such as future employment recommendations from your supervisor.

What Comes Next?

As my commitments deepen with Edwards over the coming weeks, I hope to share the core responsibilities and transferable skills that form the foundation of my internship, alongside some exciting details of project progression and personal development.

Feel free to contact me through LinkedIn or email if you have any questions on my Saltire experience or would like more advice on making the most of a Saltire scholar internship. Stay tuned for Blog 2!

Written by: Alistair Bacchetti, University of Glasgow Channel Operations Trainee, Edwards LifeSciences Switzerland (virtual)
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