Talent Accelerator
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Student Testimonials

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“At school, you spend all of your time learning, you don’t get to explore the technical parts of industry. However, with the MedTech program, you can experience both.” - Farah Nassif, 2020 Experience MedTech Cohort
2022
2021
2020
2022
Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Illia Yankovyi | MSc in Biomedical Engineering​

Illia Yankovyi is an international student from Ukraine that completed a four-month internship at AiFred Health with the MedTech Talent Accelerator program. Illia had an excellent program experience and felt the AiFred Health team treated him exceptionally well. He shared that at every internship stage, he received support from colleagues and supervisors and thought he was doing good work while working with the company to improve. Illia felt that the MedTech courses on networking were beneficial and provided valuable tips he could apply during his internship, which made collaboration more efficient. He was also able to transfer these networking skills during informal events held by the company, which made it easier to communicate with new people.


Illia's workload varied during the internship and depended greatly on the team member completing the work, but overall the workload was manageable. His position involved working remotely, and the main task as a team was data processing to produce data sets. This involved pre-processing in several smaller steps, then writing a literature review on different algorithms related to the pre-processing. The learning experience was overall positive, and Illia felt that after the initial stages of the internship, he could get into a more stable work environment. Illia improved his data processing skills, which he could apply to machine learning, data engineering, and artificial intelligence. He also acquired skills in presenting information, condensing knowledge, simplifying communication, being responsible, and time management.


The MedTech internship opportunity allowed Illia to work in a neurotechnology company that introduced him to several concepts that might be useful for his career in the future. He felt that the MedTech program provided him with the ideal combination of his current field and a future career. The MedTech program also allowed Illia to understand Canadian culture and industry better while experiencing Canada's diversity. Illia shared that he would recommend the program to other students as it will enable them to transition from academia into the industry much more accessible through the MedTech program.

Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Varinder Sidhu | PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Varinder Sidhu was recently an intern at Spectra Plasmonics and is now continuing his work with the company after completing an eight-month internship. Varinder found the experience with the MedTech Talent Accelerator program to be very good and was a different experience than the work he did during his Ph.D., as well as the research and school work he completed while at Toronto Metropolitan University. Varinder shared that the program helped with managing stress levels associated with workload and improved his skills of productivity and multitasking when completing multiple projects at once. Overall, Varinder felt that the program provided him with industry experience that he did not have previously, which also exposed him to the requirements of the industry that are not present with studying. 


When starting with Spectra Plasmonics, Varinder found his other team members to be amicable and helpful. As an intern, Varinder’s workload was generally consistent. He was involved in weekly team meetings and felt that team members had constant communication. He enjoyed the internship overall and would highly recommend the MedTech Intern program to other Ph.D. and graduate students because it provides a different experience than academia.




2021
Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Brenda Guzman-Juarez | PhD Candidate in Chemistry​

Brenda Guzman, a Chemistry PhD candidate from McGill University, started her internship at HOP Technologies in the summer of 2021. She had a well-rounded internship experience and enjoyed expanding her professional and personal skills while working on various projects.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brenda completed most of her internship remotely. However, Brenda was allowed to work with a diverse team of people with different professional backgrounds, such as medical doctors, nurses, data scientists, and engineers. As an Intern Instrumentation Scientist, Brenda broadened her understanding of how everyone plays a role when completing a project in the industry. 


Brenda notes that the MedTech preliminary training modules helped her overcome the learning curve at the beginning of the internship. Since the MedTech courses cover important topics used in industry such as legal affairs and ethics, digital health, and project management, Brenda was prepared to face the challenges not covered in academia at the beginning of the internship.  Since Brenda’s thesis was not directly related to the work at HOP Technologies, Brenda learned how to use her transferable skills to solve complex problems in industry.


Overall, Brenda believes that the MedTech program was a great transition from academia to industry and highly recommends it to other graduate students. She says “It is a great opportunity to really explore how research is conducted outside university while also improving essential skills like time management and teamwork.”




Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Kiamehr Rahemipour | MSc in Physiology

Kiamehr, a recent Master’s graduate from McGill University, began his internship in September of 2021 at a Montreal-based start up called Remote Optical. Kiamehr had a great experience with the MedTech Program since the program allowed him to easily find an internship that was directly correlated to his studies without spending a lot of time searching. Since Remote Optical is a startup, Kiamehr enjoyed contributing his skill set to an interdisciplinary team while being given the opportunity to learn about startups in the MedTech industry.


Among the many important skills that Kiamehr developed throughout his time at Remote Optical, he believes flexibility and teamwork were the most important ones. Since the company was a startup, Kiamehr was required to do a lot of tasks that he would not have been doing if he were to work in a large company. For instance, Kiamehr also contributed to various areas such as legal affairs, funding, and web development. As a result, Kiamehr was able to explore many different areas in the MedTech industry while also adding to his academic background in physiology. 


Kiamehr was surprised by the professional and personal connections that he could make during his time in the company during the Covid-19 pandemic. When asked about any unexpected benefits he received from this experience, Kiamehr said, “On top of making professional connections, also made great new friendships.”


As a final remark, Kiamehr shares advice for people considering applying to the MedTech Talent Accelerator, “It's free, simple, and can lead to something extremely beneficial. There is no downside.”




Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Sareh Taheri | PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering

Sareh Taheri, a PhD student at McGill University was hired as an intern at eSight in October of 2021. Sareh emphasizes that the MedTech Talent Accelerator program was extremely beneficial since the connections that MedTech made between the student and the industry was a task that many new grads have difficulty with. 


In the duration of her internship, Sareh was able to form connections with fellow graduate students, industry professionals, and her team at eSight. Sareh notes that connecting with students in a similar part of their academic journey was very helpful throughout the whole process. Sareh was also able to attend a few interviews which allowed her to become more familiar with the various companies within the MedTech industry while also providing interview experience. 


Sareh also mentioned that the required MedTech courses were incredibly helpful and informative as they prepared her for different areas in the industry such as product development, the steps behind developing a start-up and submitting a patent application. Since Sareh’s PhD research was not directly related to her work at eSight, Sareh’s biggest challenge included getting familiar with new concepts and aligning with the team. However, everyone at eSight was very helpful and eased Sareh’s transition from academia to industry.


As a Mechanical Engineering PhD Candidate, Sareh was able to bring her transferable skills from academia into the MedTech industry. With graduate-level experience in conducting literature reviews, knowledge application, and time management, Sareh was able to apply these skills in the workplace in order to successfully complete her tasks. With an eagerness to learn and an open mind, Sareh has been able to learn new software skills during her time at eSight, which she didn’t think that she would have learned on her own. 


Sareh has already recommended the MedTech program to many of her friends and would definitely continue working for eSight if given the opportunity. Overall, Sareh really enjoyed her time at eSight as she was able to contribute to a friendly team environment in the MedTech industry while expanding her own knowledge of software and medical technology.


Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Ryan McPhedrain | PhD in Neurology and Neurosurgery

Ryan McPhedrain, a Ph.D. student at McGill University, began his internship in February of 2022 at a consulting firm based out of Montreal. Ryan had a great experience working at The Decision Lab and stated to have “nothing but good things to say.” Ryan told us that the MedTech initial modules were beneficial as they gave him a solid background in the different aspects of the MedTech space, which he was unfamiliar with beforehand. For example, Ryan has always had questions regarding clinical trials and procedures, and as a result of the modules, he was able to gain knowledge regarding the topics. In addition, the people he talked to throughout the process were super helpful and made the entire process smooth and easy. 

As Ryan was working at a consulting firm,  he could gain experience in that field for the first time. Ryan was able to have a stronger desire for consulting roles, and hence the connections he made with his colleagues during the internship will be extremely valuable when in need of assistance or advice later down the road. During the internship, Ryan learned and improved on many interpersonal skills like communication, attention to detail, and working at a fast pace. Also, Ryan was allowed to learn about data science and machine learning which he enjoyed. Additionally, many of the projects that Ryan worked on were portfolio-based and can be used in the future to showcase some of the work he did during the internship and can use it to back up his claims of having a specific skill. 

Lastly, Ryan mentioned how MedTech Talent Accelerator was an excellent fit for him as it gave him broad exposure to the different companies in the Medical Technology industry and also opened his eyes to what kinds of projects these companies work. He had an excellent experience throughout all stages and would highly recommend the program to anyone considering applying. 



Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Jak Loree-Spacek | MSc in Biomedical Engineering

Jak Loree-Spacek, a recent graduate from the University of Calgary, began working at HelpWear Inc. as an intern in January of 2022 and plans on returning to the company for another four-month internship. Overall, Jak had a positive experience with the MedTech Talent Accelerator program as the application was pretty painless and went very smoothly. The companies that interviewed him were all exciting. He would have loved to work with any of them, and the modules were extremely valuable for his transition from academia to industry. Jak also appreciated how the modules introduced him to many things about the Medical Technology field that he had never encountered before. For example, being someone who had been in school his entire life, he had never experienced things like purchasing systems and quality management. Both of which were useful to him during his internship. The internship was stellar for Jak, and he had an extremely positive experience. 

During his internship, Jak could build solid relationships with the people he worked with. He believes this allowed him to expand his professional network drastically, even more than his academic career. Jak was also able to make many more well-rounded connections from the internship. Additionally, the workload overall was manageable compared to his educational experience; Jak believes that the work assigned to him during the internship was always very doable. During his first two weeks, the company expected Jak to familiarize himself with the field and do some light literature review, which he accomplished quickly. Jak also appreciated how at the end of every day, he felt proud of his work for the company. 

“Yes! Yes, yes, yes, oh my gosh, yes!” was Ryan’s response when asked if he would recommend this program to other students. He believes the program allows students to know the different paths available to them while they are doing their graduate studies. He, himself, is more confident about the fact that he has the industry path to take rather than just academia. Lastly, regarding going from academia to industry, Ryan mentioned, “The MedTech Talent Accelerator makes the transition so effortless.”

Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Utsav Sharma | MSc in Biomedical Physics

Utsav Sharma recently completed his MSc in Biomedical Physics and his 4-month internship at FujiFilm VisualSonics through the MedTech Talent Accelerator’s VCIT Program. By applying to the program, Utsav was able to gain industry experience during his graduate studies without the stress of finding opportunities on his own. Utsav mentions that the preliminary medical training provided by the MedTech Talent Accelerator was beneficial. As he gained intimate knowledge of the clinical setting, Utsav felt prepared to join Canada’s MedTech sector. 

Through multiple opportunities to explore different departments within the company, such as Clinical Trials, Quality Assurance, and R&D, Utsav notes that “every day at work was a new learning opportunity.” Utsav spent most of his time analyzing data, building phantoms, working on thermal testing, and working with microbubbles. By joining the company’s volleyball team and attending conferences and events, Utsav expanded his professional network while forming friendships along the way.

Utsav notes that since his thesis wasn’t directly related to ultrasound technology, it was challenging to become familiar with the company’s equipment and products. However, since he had previous experience performing data analysis in academia, Utsav could focus on learning about the machinery, which allowed him to complete his tasks. 

This experience allowed Utsav to gain transferable skills such as teamwork and time management while also expanding his knowledge of ultrasound technology. By the end of his experience, Utsav was happy to understand how individuals with different backgrounds and specializations successfully collaborate to complete a project in the workplace. 

Based on his positive experience, Utsav encourages all students to apply to the MedTech Talent Accelerator.  He is grateful to have gained invaluable experience in the MedTech industry while completing his graduate studies.



2020
Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate

Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate 
​Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

     Ali Mehrkish is an international student completing an 8 months internship at Precare while finishing his Ph.D. at Ryerson University. Precare is a medical technology company in Montreal that delivers evidence-based medical information through animated surgical guides, to assist patients during their care journey.  Ali felt like a valuable member of the Precare’s team and was able to easily experience the successes in the workplace. Moreover, Precare’s international team allowed Ali to form global connections with colleagues in Canada, United States, and Brazil. 

     Most of Ali’s days were spent writing grant proposals, attending zoom meetings, writing technical reports, self-training in the field of AI and data science, and developing user interface of an online portal . All of these tasks assisted in sharpening his communication, critical thinking, time management, and technical skills. To balance his studies and work simultaneously, Ali prioritized his tasks and set weekly goals for both his research and internship. Then, Ali would create weekly schedules to ensure his goals were accomplished. 

     Ali mentioned that the online courses provided by the MedTech Talent Accelerator increased his confidence in the workplace. At work, Ali was able to refer to his notes whenever he needed a quick reminder. The MedTech Talent Accelerator thoroughly prepared Ali for the workplace and encouraged him to recommend the program to other graduate students.


Arianna Soave | MSc


Arianna Soave | MSc
​Biomedical Engineering

     Arianna Soave, a MSc biomedical engineering graduate from Ryerson University started her summer internship at Saccade Analytics in 2020 through the MedTech Talent Accelerator program. Her internship experience has been extremely positive since she has been able to learn about different areas in the MedTech industry. Although Arianna’s position was for technical writing, she was exposed to expanding her knowledge of anatomy, physiology, new technology, experiments, and regulatory affairs. Arianna enjoyed working for this small company since it was easy to ask for help and form relationships. 

     At Saccade Analytics, Arianna found the workload manageable. Her typical day would consist of reading over literature, attending zoom meetings, supporting the implementation of SOP, and accomplishing other assigned tasks. Her position was extremely different from the content in her thesis. However, the skills she obtained throughout academia (eg. conducting an efficient research analysis using statistical analysis) were essential in this workplace as well.

     When starting her internship, Arianna’s only challenge was having to accept the learning process. Although the process was not overwhelming, it took a lot of patience, courage, and motivation to begin something new.  Arianna realized that learning new things takes time and individuals should take pride in having the motivation and dedication to understand new concepts.

     Arianna thoroughly enjoyed the MedTech Talent Accelerator and she believes that the processes were much easier and helped make her path more defined. She also added that she already recommended the program to a few of her friends in graduate school.

     At the end of the internship, Arianna was offered and accepted a full-time position at Saccade Analytics. Arianna is excited to further her involvement in clinical trials along with learning more about the industry.



Farah Nassif | MSc


Farah Nassif | MSc
​Electrical Engineering

     Farah Nassif, a MSc electrical engineering graduate from Ryerson University has enjoyed her MedTech Talent Accelerator Experience. Farah had a four-month internship at Myant in 2020 and is currently working part-time at the company.

     At Myant, Farah was able to work on several projects in different areas such as quality assurance, hardware, and software, which helped her decide which stream she liked best. Farah was always busy with a consistent workload. Although her internship was during the pandemic, Myant gave her an equal amount of tasks to do virtually and in the office. A typical day at Myant consisted of testing products at the office, conducting data analysis, proposing new ways to improve, and validating. 

     “I was always worried that I would graduate and wouldn’t be able to find a job in my field,” Farah stated. The MedTech Talent Accelerator helped her discover a multitude of local Medical Technology companies that she was not aware of before her internship.

     Farah’s experience at Myant has helped her expand her knowledge of Python, time management, and organizational skills. Her work experience related more to her undergrad rather than her thesis research. However, her learning skills and perseverance that she obtained through her master's degree were constantly used in the workplace. 

     Farah ends off by encouraging graduate students to join the MedTech program and saying “At school, you spend all of your time learning, you don’t get to explore the technical parts of industry. However, with the MedTech program, you can experience both.”



Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Filip Bodera | M.Sc Biomedical Physics

     Filip Bodera graduated from Ryerson University with a Masters of Science in Biomedical Physics. In Filip’s final year of his Masters, he applied for the MedTech Talent Accelerator program to gain industry experience and reveal his interests in the industry. In 2021, Filip was hired as an Engineering Ultrasound System Assistant Intern at FUJIFILM VisualSonics, a biomedical technology company specializing in ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging equipment.

     During his internship, Filip was able to form connections with colleagues and always felt incredibly supported. Within minutes, a VisualSonics team member responded to Filip’s question and offered the support he needed. Throughout the work term, Filip always reminded himself that he is not expected to have all of the knowledge required to succeed, instead, he is working there to gain insight into the industry, form connections, make contributions, and mainly decide if industry is the right fit for him. 

     Most of Filip’s projects were directly related to his thesis research which allowed him to improve his technical skills in coding using a variety of software that were rarely used in academia. Since the industry was unlike his expectations, Filip also learned that he enjoys flexible working hours rather than a strict 9-5 schedule. 

     Through the exclusive MedTech Talent Accelerator courses and his 4-month internship, Filip was able to confirm that he is interested in an entrepreneurial role in medical device development. To reach his goal, Filip is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Physics at Ryerson University.





Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Justin DiGregorio | M.A.Sc Biomedical Engineering

     Justin DiGregorio is currently working full-time at Retispec after completing his 8-month internship through the MedTech Talent Accelerator. Justin enjoyed his experience with the MedTech Talent Accelerator while completing his Masters of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering at Ryerson University.

     At Retispec, Justin was exposed to plenty of mentors and was able to form connections with many colleagues. Since Retispec is a start-up, Justin was able to complete a variety of tasks, allowing him to gain insight into other areas of the industry. Since Retispec’s work was directly related to Justin’s thesis research work, he learned how to apply his knowledge from academia and utilize it efficiently in industry. Most of Justin’s time was spent analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data. 

     Justin is grateful for his MedTech Talent Accelerator experience as it truly eased the transition from academia to the industry. Justin notes that it is difficult to prioritize time for job searching and applications while pursuing a graduate dissertation. However, the MedTech Talent Accelerator “plays a central role in providing a streamlined and easy way to get into a company without [completing] that extensive application process.” 

                    By joining the MedTech Talent Accelerator, Justin was able to finish his graduate degree and immediately start his career in industry as a full-time Data Scientist.





Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Nona Hashemi | Ryerson University

     As Nona was completing her final year of graduate school at Ryerson University, she began her internship at ForaHealthy Me Inc. Nona first became interested in the MedTech Talent Accelerator after competing and winning third place in the annual Hack-A-Thon.  After meeting so many experts in this multidisciplinary medical technology industry, Nona was curious to discover more as she was unsure of where she would fit in the Medical Technology Industry.     

     Once Nona was accepted into the Accelerator Program, she finally felt as if she belonged.  Nona enjoyed all of the resources available to her such as the interactive courses in regulation and the easily accessible team. 

     At ForaHealthyMe Inc., Nona was able to see her project transform from concept to implementation. Since she loves to learn new things, Nona was excited to take on new challenges. At work, Nona was expected to create a timeline that indicated when tasks will be completed. Since some tasks required collaborating with other colleagues, Nona was able to meet many experts in the field. Due to sticking to her timeline, Nona’s workload was consistent and manageable. With a new task everyday, Nona was always interested in taking on a new challenge. Nona discovered similarities between the skills used in the workplace and her studies. At work, she was able to improve her interpersonal skills in addition to time management and data skills. 

     Nona recommends that all students should be involved with the MedTech Talent Accelerator, whether it be the annual Hack-A-Thon or a member of the Accelerator program. The program is ideal for anyone who is deciding between academia and industry. However, the Hack-A-Thon is another great opportunity to meet experts in the field and learn more about such a multidisciplinary industry.  In the end, Nona is grateful for being a part of the MedTech Talent Accelerator and thoroughly enjoyed the “family” feel of the program.



Ali Mehrkish | PhD Candidate


Siba Moussa | Ph.D Candidate in Analytical Chemistry & Electrochemistry

     Siba Moussa, an Analytical Chemistry & Electrochemistry Ph.D candidate from McGill University, is thoroughly enjoying her MedTech Talent Accelerator experience. Siba is completing an 8-month internship as an R&D Scientist at Eli Health and has been asked to continue working as a full-time Research Scientist after graduation.

     Siba enjoys working for a start-up company as she is able to work on both research and commercialization. At Eli Health, Siba is mainly responsible for assisting in the development of at-home hormone testing kits. This includes using her expertise from her thesis work on biosensing to help develop the technology and communicating with both internal scientists and external partners to improve the product.

     When Siba first joined the MedTech Talent Accelerator while writing her thesis, she was unsure of whether she wanted to stay in academia or work in the industry. She is grateful for the opportunity to work for a start-up since it is a fast-paced environment that still uses many skills from academia in their work. Due to the fast-paced environment, Siba learned to adapt quickly and improve her time management skills. Siba shares that this experience was the ideal way to transition from academia to industry and it has helped reveal her interest in product development.

     Siba definitely recommends the program to other graduate students and concludes by saying, “The MedTech Program provides you with unique opportunities to gain experience and valuable skills that you will carry throughout your lifetime.”






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We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).