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by Cathy Vandewater | January 23, 2013


Ever wonder how people find their career paths? We certainly do. Finding a job fit for your education, talents, and interests can be tough, but it's definitely possible. Today we're talking to Rodolfo "Rudy" Chavez, who combined a family background in healthcare with a knack for technology in his role as a software engineer at GE Healthcare. Here's his take on what he does and how he got started:

Q: How did you become involved with the GE Edison Engineering program?

I became involved in the program after working at GE as an intern--GE does a lot of recruiting through its internship programs. The rotational program gives you a chance to try a little bit of everything, depending on your interests.

Q: What was your perception of GE before you started? Was it accurate?

I don’t think I really had any negative or positive perceptions of GE; I just knew that it was a company that made appliances and light bulbs. I have come to realize that it’s much more than that. They have history and strength as a global company, but they’re not resting on that – they’re constantly growing and innovating, and they can tackle a lot of the hard problems like health care and energy.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

Since I work on software that’s customer-facing, I receive immediate feedback and I can see right away whether or not the product is going to be right for the customer. I value being able to actually produce – even though GE isn’t traditionally known as a software company, we’re creating the kind of software keeping airplanes in the air and helping heal patients. The work we do makes a real impact, and I take a lot of pride in that.

Q: Do you have any favorite products or technologies that you’ve worked on?

One of my favorite technologies that I worked on for a short time was the Centricity Perinatal product, which is used to track a mother and child through labor. It’s a successful product and continues to innovate: Over 35 million babies have been born using that software. I was also able to work on a technology that will improve how we send and receive medical images and make them available to different systems around the world. Since integrating information is one of the biggest challenges in health care today, it was exciting to work on something that would make a real difference.

Q: What competencies are in demand?

GE has always been a big engineering company, but in the last year or so, GE has made a big commitment to software across all the different businesses. If you’re in computer science or computer engineering, that’s going to be exactly what we’re looking for.

Rodolfo "Rudy" Chavez received his Computer Engineering in 2009 from Marquette University. He has always felt a strong tie to the health care industry, having grown up in a family of medical professionals, but ultimately knew he wanted to work with technology. When the opportunity presented itself to do an internship with GE Healthcare, it seemed like the perfect way to synthesize his familiarity with health care and his interest in computer science. As a software engineer in the two-year GE Edison Engineering Development Program, Rudy is able to program technology and create products that make an impact.