September 13, 2022 A day in the life of a Product Security Intern

By Amber Schneider

Amber Scheider

My name is Amber Schneider and I’m an intern with the Product Security Office within Global Quality. I just finished my sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where I study biomedical engineering with a minor in computer science. I bet a lot of you are wondering what a day in the life looks like for an intern at Medtronic, so I took the time to record all that I did in a day to share! I hope you enjoy a Day in the Life of a Product Security Intern:

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Mounds View office

I wake up at 7:30am to get ready for work. Today is a Tuesday, which means I am in the office. My team operates out of the Mounds View, MN location, and I have about a 30-minute drive to work every day. After rolling out of bed, I grab a quick breakfast, pick out my most business casual outfit, which typically includes nice pants and a short sleeve shirt, and head off to work.

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Desk with monitors

Once I get to work, I walk upstairs to my desk. I get all my things out of my backpack and set up my workstation for the day. Right when I log on to my computer, I read any new emails and reply to them as needed. I also check for Microsoft Teams messages, which can range from product security communications to general intern conversations. Then I check my calendar for the day. I like to write my meetings and to-dos of the day on the whiteboard by my computer. This helps me stay organized and motivates me to cross things off my list. Today I have more meetings scheduled than usual, so I get settled in and start preparing for them.

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM

After a small break, I am off to a meeting that is part of the Mission Immersion Series. The Mission Immersion Series is an opportunity for interns to dive deeper and learn more about each of Medtronic's six tenets - the guiding principles that lay the foundation for the work we do every single day. This week we focused on Tenet 3 which emphasizes reliability and quality in our products. Since the Product Security Office is within Global Quality, I found this tenet very easy to relate to my work. During this meeting I was also able to eat lunch at my desk. Afterwards, we are asked to reflect on a question related to the tenet and answer in a Team’s channel.

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

coffee shop

Now it is my favorite part of the week—the coffee break with my team. One perk of working in the Mounds View location is the Caribou coffee shop on the main floor. We walk down as a team and order our drinks (I have been working towards trying something new every week). Then we sit down to chat and catch up with each other. The conversations vary a lot, from weekend plans to gardening to Wi-Fi routers. I really appreciate this time because it allows me to get to know my team on a more personal level in a relaxed environment.

12:00 PM – 12:50 PM

After coffee, I hop on a Zoom meeting with a member of my team in Colorado to discuss one of my projects. We are creating a Penetration Testing tracking system to track previous pen test data and future needs. This is one of my repeating weekly meetings where we have a chance to discuss the work we have completed and our next steps. This week we finished the first draft of the system and are going to send it out to the rest of the team for review and suggested improvements. 

1:00 PM – 1:50 PM

meeting room

Next is the weekly Product Security Office (PSO) meeting with the whole team. This meeting is in-person for all the members of the team located in MN, while the other team members are virtually present on a TV in the front of the room. It is amazing to see how Medtronic has invested in the hybrid work model. The meeting technology in the office allows our team to have seamless communication with each other. In this meeting we go over the PSO calendar and any special events. Then we review any team action items that are coming up and get quick updates and barriers to completion. Lastly, there is usually a loose agenda that tracks who is participating and various topics that the team has added and wants to discuss.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Shortly after, I have another meeting with a project manager on my team to discuss a threat modeling project I am working on. We reviewed and discussed my previous assignment. This assignment was to complete a threat asset matrix of a monitoring device that is currently being developed. Afterwards, I was assigned to review the security plan for the device. I have about a week to complete this new task.

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Now I have another informational interview. At first, these meetings were nerve-racking but now they have gotten easier. I continue to get real, honest insight into what people like about their jobs and Medtronic company culture.

3:00 PM – 5:30 PM

I am done with all my meetings for the day! Now I have time to work on my Product Security projects, which include updating the pen testing spreadsheet and reading the PSO Security Plan requirements. I also spend some time recording milestones and updating progress on my goals. I end the day working on the layout of my upcoming final internship presentation.

After I am done working,

I enjoy my drive back home. The nice thing about internships is that there is no work to complete at home (unlike school). The rest of the night I have to myself, which includes eating dinner with my family, working out, then watching TV before heading to bed. That is the end of my Product Security Intern Day in the Life!