Biomedical engineering merges student’s interests

Rachel Rosteck will graduate with two degrees and a job offer this spring

Rachel Rosteck will graduate this spring from the University of Cincinnati with both a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering through the ACCEND program. Rosteck, who was named Undergraduate Engineer of the Month by the College of Engineering and Applied Science, shares her UC story through co-op, classes, student activities and more.

Why did you select UC?

The co-op program was a huge draw for me, and I knew that with real-world experience tied in so closely with my education, I would be a great engineer. What really made my decision easy was visiting campus. I love that the football field is the center of campus and I love how you get a small campus feel with the four roads enclosing the area, but you also get big school advantages, like networking and so many student organizations.

Why did you choose biomedical engineering?

My parents are both in the medical field, so I was halfway between medicine and engineering. I chose biomedical engineering somewhat on a whim because it happened to combine both of those things. Now I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I love the idea that these products are used every single day to save and change lives.  

What was your first co-op job like?

Rachel Rosteck headshot

Rachel Rosteck. Photo provided.

My first two co-ops were at Cook Medical. Cook was a great place to ease into the workplace because they have a longstanding relationship with hiring UC co-ops and graduates. I felt like a meaningful member on each of my teams while still being coached by some great mentors. As a member of the women’s health R&D team, I worked on feasibility testing to compare our prototype devices with competitors on the market. I got to practice a lot of creativity in this role in my test and fixture designs. On the supplier team, I loved the cross-functional relationships I made. I got to balance seven projects at a time and move them each through approval processes, which was extremely satisfying. At Cook, it was a small co-op group of around 10 students, so I really liked how close we got and our traditions (including weekly trivia and dinners together).  

How did your remaining co-op jobs differ from that first experience?

My third co-op was very different. I was at a larger corporate company called Boston Scientific and we had a group of 100 interns. I loved being in Minneapolis in the summer and was actually provided with housing in a very nice facility with 30 of the interns. I was working as a process development engineer, half at my desk and half on the manufacturing floor, attempting to qualify new machines and processes. Some of the verification testing was on devices that are supporting an active clinical trial which was really neat!

I was planning to go back to Boston Scientific for my final co-op in the summer of 2020, but they cut their program due to the pandemic. I scrambled and managed to find a new role as a business development intern at iBio Inc. in Texas, where I did market research for our biomaterials launch and worked to bring in new clients. I’ve stayed on part-time at iBio throughout my senior year. It’s really been a fantastic experience and my responsibilities have shifted so much over that time (from manufacturing dashboards, to project scheduling, to commercial launch lead, to supply chain analyst).  

Through co-op, I’ve learned to be very adaptable in all situations. I’ve worked in four very different roles at three very different companies and I learned something new from each one. For the future, I’ve decided to try manufacturing engineering, which is something I didn’t try on co-op. I think co-op has given me a ton of confidence in the workplace that I wouldn’t have otherwise.  

I think co-op has given me a ton of confidence in the workplace that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Rachel Rosteck, UC College of Engineering and Applied Science student

What are some of your favorite student groups that you joined?

I’ve enjoyed getting involved with outreach events for younger kids who are interested in learning about STEM through various avenues (Society of Women Engineers, Phi Sigma Rho and my co-op companies). I remember going to STEM camps when I was in middle school and it was always so fun and exciting. I like to see that spark and creative energy in younger kids and help them foster their curiosity.

Similarly, I’ve found a passion in Engineering Ambassadors sharing my experience and advice with high schoolers who are considering engineering or UC. Since I’ve had so many great mentors along the way I love giving back in any way I can.

Why did you decide to do ACCEND to earn your mechanical engineering master’s alongside your bachelor's?

Due to AP credits, I realized I was a bit ahead in my academic schedule and I wanted to dive deeper into the technical side of engineering beyond what I was experiencing in my undergraduate career. I’ve been able to focus my degree on some data science topics that I find extremely interesting and applicable to so many problems (both business and manufacturing). The professors have been great and extremely helpful. Specifically, I enjoyed classes on Big Data Analytics and Soft Computing Based AI.  

What are your plans after graduation this spring?

I plan to join Millipore Sigma as a part of their Operations Leadership Development Program. I'll move around the country to four different locations within the supply chain, manufacturing and procurement departments. I’m most looking forward to the opportunity to act as a production supervisor and to all the new experiences that come with travelling and getting to network with people around the country!

Interested in becoming an engineering Bearcat?

Discover more about co-op, student groups and majors through the College of Engineering and Applied Science Viewbook