How Internships Helped This Recent Grad Find the Right Career Path Cheyenne K.’s career is proof of the power of internships. She recognized early on that real-life work experience would provide valuable learning opportunities. Before she graduated from college, she says, “I’d had various internships and jobs that provided insights into different industries, including tech, advertising, and manufacturing. I even held a part-time side hustle as a group fitness instructor.” As her role at the manufacturing company was winding down, Cheyenne learned about an internship in communications at the medical technology company Stryker. “A communications role was something I had a growing interest in,” she says. “It was particularly exciting as it would be my last chance at trying on a new role before graduation.” Cheyenne got a taste of Stryker’s company culture from the get-go. She had ankle surgery shortly before starting the internship, and had fully expected to “hobble around the office on crutches,” she says. “But Stryker’s work flexibility allowed me to work from home while I recuperated and better juggle my school commitments at the same time.” Cheyenne excelled during her stint at Stryker, and today she’s a full-time communications specialist for the APAC region at the company’s Singapore office. Here, Cheyenne shares why Stryker was the right place to start her career, the biggest challenge she’s faced in her role, and the company’s flexible approach to work. What was your internship experience like, and how did it help you realize you wanted to work at Stryker full time? What was your internship experience like, and how did it help you realize you wanted to work at Stryker full time? During my internship, my manager was supportive and encouraging as she taught me the ropes of communications, a function that I had no experience in. We did weekly catch-ups, and she was patient with all of my questions and really forgiving when I made mistakes. She was also supportive when I became more involved with our employee resource groups. Apart from the flexible work hours and the fun employee engagement programs, Stryker’s relatively flat organizational structure allows me to easily have conversations with leaders with loads of experience and knowledge, which is incredibly useful especially early in one’s career. What are you responsible for as the APAC communications specialist? What are you responsible for as the APAC communications specialist? I am responsible for the internal communications within the region, including quarterly newsletters, leader’s messages, leadership forums, and supporting communications needs for our employee resource groups. Currently, I am part of the planning team for the 2024 APAC sales meeting, which is Stryker’s biggest event in the region. I am handling all communications and the look and feel of the collateral being used. It’s a huge but exciting undertaking. I also recently started working on certain aspects of external communications such as social media and a leadership video-podcast from the desk of the APAC president called The Executive Exchange. This video-podcast is incredibly exciting as it allows me to grow my understanding of the business as I work with various leaders and communications team to produce this series. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since joining Stryker? What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since joining Stryker? One of the biggest challenges is understanding the medtech industry, which is going to take time. I’m learning more about it with every project that I handle. I’ve already learned a lot by reaching out to various stakeholders at Stryker and asking questions. The Executive Exchange project has also helped me gain a better understanding of the industry. When putting together these video-podcasts, I have to reach out to employees and partners globally to ask questions and gain knowledge about the industry and Stryker as a business in order to produce a well-rounded and meaningful piece. What is your favorite part about working in Stryker’s Singapore office? What is your favorite part about working in Stryker’s Singapore office? One part is the people. I’m quite talkative, and it helps when you’re in an office with people who are always up for a chat! Stryker folks are easy to connect with. I also love the activities that the social committee plans. Whether it’s an in-office yoga session or a simple lunch together, it’s a fun way to destress and get to know colleagues outside of work. How do you maintain work-life balance? Are there any company perks that help you with this? How do you maintain work-life balance? Are there any company perks that help you with this? Being able to work from home lets me save the time I would spend traveling to the office. As someone who could always use a few extra minutes of sleep, this is a game changer. It also allows me to spend more time with my dog at home. Stryker also offers days that I can take off if I just need to slow down to rest or reset without feeling anxiety about work. What is something most people would be surprised to learn about you? What is something most people would be surprised to learn about you? I have climbed a mountain pass on the Annapurna circuit, which is one of the highest mountain passes in the world and even higher than Everest base camp. The surprising thing is I am deathly afraid of heights. Where are your favorite places to travel within Asia and why? Where are your favorite places to travel within Asia and why? Asia is a wonderful place to travel, if not for the culture, then for the food! Bali is currently one of my favorite places. Even though it is so commercialized, you can go diving and surfing in the ocean and hiking in the mountains. It’s only a three-hour flight from Singapore, so for me it’s a perfect weekend trip.
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