Hi! I’m Osama, currently a student in the Duke Master of Engineering Management Program. I graduated from Georgia Tech, where I majored in Electrical Engineering. When I was looking for internships, I wanted something that was at the intersection of electrical engineering, project management and my interests and passions.
I was very lucky to find out about Kinsa. Kinsa has developed the world’s first smart thermometer that allows users to take body temperature readings using their smartphones. Healthcare and engineering are two of my passions, and for my senior design project at Georgia Tech, I worked on Pyrexia; a low-power, wireless body temperature measuring device with an Android smartphone as the user interface. Naturally, when I found out about Kinsa, I was very eager to work here because not only did the technology aspect excite me, I was also motivated by Kinsa’s mission. The data gathered using the smart thermometers will be used to generate “health maps.” These health maps can enable us to fight spread of diseases in not only the US, but more importantly in developing countries, where spread of easily avoidable and much more deadly.
I’ve been working at Kinsa for three weeks now. It’s a small, yet very energetic and high performing team. Every day we meet up for a daily “scrum”, where everyone tells what they accomplished yesterday, and what their goals are for today. What I really like about working at Kinsa till now is the flatness and the amount of interdependence. I’m working with the Engineering Project Management team, and managing a couple of high priority projects. The amount of responsibility that I have been assigned is immense, and the level of faith my supervisors have put in me, has motivated to work extra hard to exceed expectations. In the three weeks here, I’ve been working on Quality Control projects, Testing, software and hardware engineering, and management projects.
What I’ve learnt till now is how to own projects, or sub projects, while working with others. Anticipating what will be coming up next, and preparing for it, is a quality that all good project managers need, this includes laying the ground work for others, engineers, testers, and even other program managers to succeed. As a project manager, you need to make detailed plans, but be very flexible in their execution. Knowing the bigger picture is very important. I’ve learnt that in a highly interdependent company, personal success is highly correlated to overall success of the company, and company failure, in any aspect, is considered a personal failure by everyone on the team. Kinsa really has a very collaborative culture that helps everyone learn something new all the time.
Kinsa is also a very high paced work environment, where in order to meet tight deadlines, you need to have a very clear idea of what your priorities are and then make sure you meet your top needs. The subsequent needs/priorities can be met in later iterations of the project. My supervisors at Kinsa have also given me honest feedback, that has helped me improve my inter-office communication and self-management skills.
My goals for the summer are to:
- Successfully own and manage the projects that I am assigned to completion
- Develop my project management skills that I can leverage later
- Learn how to work and succeed in a fast paced environment