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Heart at work: Junior lands heart transplant internship


By Zara Samdani, Co-T/E Life Editor

Schoolwork, spending time with friends and studying for the SATs describes the typical life of a high school junior. But junior Shruti Satheesh has just one more thing added to her schedule: an internship at a heart transplant company.

Satheesh interns at SynCardia, a company that transplants artificial, temporary hearts for sick patients. She earns $15 per hour for her remote work, which includes sifting through data, conducting cost-benefit analyses of the company’s medical devices and compiling video footage for webinars.

She worked 30 hours per week over the summer, balancing school work and frequent meeting with board members at SynCardia.

Satheesh landed the position through prior interest in the field. Medicine has always been her professional goal, so in 2021 she searched for medical internships. It was ultimately SynCardia’s unique role in the community — transplanting artificial hearts for sick patients — that attracted her.

She contacted a board member, established connections and started her first task: compiling and editing heart transplant videos for 35 hours a week without pay. As she gained prominence and experience, she further pursued her interest in the company.

“The summer after my freshman year, I was done with my internship, and a board member approached me and was like, ‘Hey, I really, really enjoy your work. If you want to get paid, I can offer you an amazing, paid position,’” Satheesh said.

For Satheesh, the promotion came with a new set of challenges. In particular, Satheesh found the work-life balance to be difficult to maintain.

“Working 30 hours during the summer was fine because I didn’t have much to do, but during the school year, that was a completely different story,” Satheesh said. “Between my schoolwork, my SATs and my obligation to friends and family, I was pretty overwhelmed sometimes.”

In the future, Satheesh plans to continue working for the company, as she found the company culture comfortable and flexible.

“The community is really supportive,” Satheesh said. “Everyone is really flexible,and so supportive, and I am so glad to work there.”

Zara Samdani can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Zara Samdani
Zara Samdani, Co-Managing Editor
Zara Samdani is a junior and the Co-T/E Life Editor of The Spoke. She covers school activities, student features and local events. Outside of the newsroom, she supports Girl Up, an organization that advocates for girls' rights, and plays for Conestoga's squash team.