This past Intersession Break during the winter of 2014, I had the pleasure to complete a Princeternship at Epic in Verona, Wisconsin, shadowing Todd Dale, a 2009 Princeton CBE alum serving as a Technical Services Engineer and organized by Gina Davis, a 2010 Princeton alumni. During the two days that I spent at Epic, I had the chance to learn firsthand the different ways that I could apply my engineering knowledge to the healthcare sector by shadowing Mr. Dale, Ms. Davis and several other Princeton alumni including David Schmidt, a 2002 ELE alumnus working in EDI, Doug Wolf, a 2009 alumnus working as an Implementation Specialist, and Esther Kim, a 2013 alumnus also working as a Technical Services Engineer.
While all of the alumni that I shadowed had different titles, Epic’s culture allows employees to adapt their responsibilities according to their strengths, experiences and goals. For example, Technical Services Engineers provide technical advice to Epic’s clients, typically hospitals or large healthcare systems, as they install and maintain Epic software. In addition to helping clients with Epic’s software system, Mr. Dale also manages staffing of other Technical Services Engineers to various assignments. We had the chance to observe Mr. Dale meeting with his team to troubleshoot technical issues that clients were running into. Mr. Schmidt, meanwhile, is an EDI Engineer and works to integrate Epic’s software system with other systems used by healthcare systems. For example, in cases in which a healthcare system utilizes two different types of software for different applications, Epic’s software system will need to be compatible with the other software. We observed Mr. Schmidt meeting with several developers and other EDI engineers to fix some of these consistency issues between the two systems. Finally, we also had the chance to observe Doug Wolfe, MAE’09, in his role as a Project Manager Implementation Specialist, helping clients prepare for the installation of Epic software at their location. It was really cool to observe Mr. Wolfe speak with clients over the phone and prepare his team to prepare for the installation process. I could really sense the excitement in the room as everyone was finalizing their preparations!
While observing Mr. Dale and his colleagues at work gave us an appreciation for the kind of challenges that Epic employees tackle, we also gained an appreciation for Epic’s fun and enthusiastic work culture. Ms. Davis took us on several tours of the Epic campus, which is essentially a mini-city filled with individually themed buildings. There were simply too many fascinating things to recount, but some of my favorite buildings included Juno, a Wild-West themed building, and Kohoutek, an Asian-themed building. I also enjoyed riding down a slide linking two floors of Heaven, another themed building. During our last day at Epic, Esther arranged a lunch for us with a group of employees from the Princeton Class of 2013. Talking to them gave me a new perspective on working at Epic and what it might be like to join the company right after graduation.
As an Electrical Engineering major interested in public health, I found my Princeternship experience to be extremely enjoyable and insightful. Epic combines the innovative and creative culture of a technology company with the social impact of the healthcare sector. Completing this Princeternship definitely gave me a much clearer perspective on the healthcare information technology industry, and how I could effectively apply my Electrical Engineering knowledge. More importantly, the program allowed me to meet with a variety of alumni who had a range of backgrounds at Princeton and who provided me with useful advice on pursuing a career as an engineer, grad school, and even making the most of my time at Princeton. I would definitely recommend this opportunity to any Princeton student that might be interested in healthcare or technology!