Engineering her way to a bigger purpose

Oct 02, 2019
Engineering her way to a bigger purpose
Florida Polytechnic University alumna Kelci Wilson ’19 works as a quality engineer for Arthrex, a global medical device company based in Naples, Florida, dedicated to the development of products that surgeons use in arthroscopic procedures.

Kelci Wilson ’19 feels lucky to be in a scenario she never expected: living by the beach, enjoying magnificent sunsets, and loving a job that enables her to help others. Only a day after walking at the Florida Polytechnic University Spring Commencement, Wilson began her high-tech career as a quality engineer for Arthrex, a global medical device company based in Naples, Florida.

“Everything I’m working on here has a bigger purpose,” said Wilson, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. “You could be giving someone a second chance at a better quality of life, or saving their football or baseball career. We have all kinds of stories like that.”

Arthrex develops more than 2,000 products and procedures each year, providing surgeons tools to help improve their patients’ lives. Wilson’s role is to ensure that the quality system of each of those products follows the policies and regulations set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) before they can go into market.

“I’m also going through every instrument that we have in the company based on each surgical technique for – let’s just say the knee or the shoulder, and classifying it to Arthrex standards, which are even higher than the FDA standards, and cataloging everything in a new database,” Wilson said.

The 22-year-old from Oviedo, Florida, said the company was looking to hire someone trained to solve problems. She immediately knew she was a perfect fit.

“Problem-solving skills are exactly what I got from my degree at Florida Poly,” Wilson said. “We were constantly given projects without many specifics so we had to figure those out as we worked in teams.”

Wilson envisions her career continuing to allow her to help people in some degree, while guiding others to do the same. She said the best way to achieve that goal is from a leading position, which she said she will work hard to attain.

“I would like to progress on the ladder into a project manager role,” Wilson said. “I want to get an MBA to help me with managerial skills and eventually lead a team.”

According to Wilson, that awareness of who she is and where she wants to go in her profession is a result of her journey at Florida Poly. She said she’s grateful for the unique one-on-one experience she had with faculty, the confidence she built as a Presidential Ambassador, and the close relationships she still maintains with her peers.

“My education and my career now would not be even close to what they are had I studied somewhere else,” she said. “It was great to have professors readily available to help you and encourage you, and being able to rely on your fellow students in your degree from day one until we were seniors.

“It made all the difference for me.”

Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications