About the company:
Cryosa is a small medical device company, developing unique solutions for sleep apnea. This June, Cryosa’s President Mark Christopherson decided to bring on a mechanical engineering intern to help them troubleshoot an innovative new testing method for their device.

Hiring new talent can be expensive for startups. That’s partially why Christopherson turned to the SciTech Internship Program when he started looking to fill this new position. “Having interns adds some energy to the team. A team that has a range of age and experience is good and balanced,” Christopherson said. “And, from a cost perspective, it’s more affordable.”  

As a state-funded program, SciTech acts as resource for Minnesota small businesses and startups, helping them connect with top STEM talent and reimbursing employers for half of what they pay their students (up to $2,500 per intern hired through the program).

SciTech also helps college students find unique internship opportunities with companies like Cryosa that they might otherwise be unaware of. That’s how Erik Vaage, a graduate student studying mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota, came to work with Christopherson.

“SciTech has a big connection with small companies, so take advantage of that,” Vaage advised to his fellow engineering students. “You’ll learn a lot more at a small company.”

About the intern:
There was definitely a learning curve during Vaage’s time at Cryosa. He started by learning about their development process and then moved on to data compilation from their animal trials. From there he moved up to device verification as he helped Christopherson and his team test Cryosa’s new system.

According to Christopherson, the two most important things for a good internship are to demonstrate your aptitude and enjoy what you’re doing. “From there, we’re willing to give them as much responsibility and work as they want to take on,” he said, “And Erik is doing a great job with that.”

Throughout his internship, Vaage’s confidence in his tasks became more evident. Overtime he asked fewer questions and worked more independently on the projects he was assigned.

“I appreciate the responsibility they’ve given me,” Vaage said. “The work I’m doing will hopefully allow for FDA approval so we can start trials in the U.S. That’s a pretty big deal.”

Get involved
Make an impact on a future STEM professional’s life and strengthen your talent pipeline. Start planning your internship today at scitechmn.org. At least 200 wage matches are available on a first come, first hire basis between now and August 2021.

Are you a returning student? The new program year is underway! Reactivate your account and start applying for internships today.