Week 1. Teams and assignments

Pheew!! I made it. I still can't believe I got through those interviews. For me, it's all really exciting. This is the first time I've ever had to go through an interview to join a team. Oh, nearly forgot. Let's start with introductions. I'm Emmanuel Ngwala, a fourth-year engineering student at Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS), and I’m one of the interns in the Lemelson Rice360 Biomedical internship. I'm studying Electronics and Computer Engineering.

Now that the mandatory introduction is done, allow me to tell you about my week.

On 7th June, 2022, the internship's first day had finally arrived. I was pleased to see some old faces, some of whom were classmates, as well as some new faces, but these were the folks with whom I would be spending the next 12 weeks. All interns including our teaching assistants (TAs), Chikumb

usto walani and Blenold Dzonzi, who will be assisting us throughout the internship, and Will Moyo, the design studio's manager, all introduced themselves. It was time to get down to business. We were asked why we were participating in the internship, as well as some questions to assess our communication and problem-solving abilities, to which the majority of us provided persuasive and highly motivating responses. The TAs then established four groups and I was lucky to be in a team with Madalisto, Innocent and Dalisto. Our team was given the name Tarveinea, which is an abbreviation for the three projects we are supposed to complete. A medical training kit, a vein finder, and a neonatal monitor are all expected to be built by our team. Wow!! These are large projects, and I believe they will provide me with a significant amount of skills and experience. Finally, we wrapped out the day by creating a team contract that will regulate how our team operates.

Learning began on the second day of the internship. Before we can fully immerse ourselves in our projects, we must first learn about the Engineering Design Process. We began with the topic of clarifying team assignments , after which we were supposed to clarify the assignments of our various teams. We accomplished this by conducting preliminary research on our projects and formulating interview questions for our teaching assistants and any other potential clients. The following day, we went over the full clarifying team assignments process in further detail, including the interview questions we should ask clients and users to clarify the team assignment. We then completed a few activities to reinforce what we had learned earlier in the day. At the conclusion of the day, we realized our errors in trying to clarify team assignments from our projects earlier. On Friday, we rehashed the questions we wanted to ask our teaching assistants to round off the week. The interviews took place as a round table interaction, with different teams taking turns asking the teaching assistants questions. Later, we gave a presentation on how to clarify the team assignment.

Overall, the week was an amazing and eye-opening experience. We learned a lot of new things and gained some project presenting experience. I'm looking forward to next week.


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