"I truly believe that taking courses while you work is the ideal experience because you can test out what you learn immediately and see all kinds of applications."

"I'm passionate about what I do and my goal is to make a significant, positive impact on the health care industry," says Evan Anderson, Senior Research and Development Engineer for Boston Scientific.

Anderson, who has a master's in biomedical engineering, firmly believes that he must continue to learn and take classes in order to improve the design and development of surgical devices. "I've supplemented my biomedical background with mechanical engineering, design, and project management courses from Stanford and now have a knowledge base that is unique from that of most engineers," says Anderson.

His enthusiastic drive to discover and grow is evident in the breadth and depth of courses he has taken through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. Anderson is proof of the importance of career-long education and encourages his peers to take courses. "There's a growing awareness, based on the quality of the work I've done, that taking courses that apply to your career has real results," says Anderson. "I use the processes and techniques that I've learned from courses at Stanford in my work every single day."

Anderson's most recent Stanford endeavor is the Design for Manufacturability (dfM) two-quarter course sequence, where over 150 students from around the world acquire the tools to define, develop, and produce competitive products. Anderson's team worked on a project for Toyota to develop a communication system where cars "talk" to each other; allowing one to follow the other. The dfM program has direct application to Anderson's work. "The program taught me about the product lifecycle and how to define the project needs. This has helped me in the early stages of developing cardiovascular surgical devices," says Anderson.

He began his education path with the Stanford Center for Professional Development when he enrolled in The Cardiovascular System in Health and Disease: Fundamental Concepts for the Medical Device Industry course. "I took the cardio course after only two weeks of employment and it was an amazing start and introduction to the work I was going to be doing, "Anderson explains. "Professor Yock, who teaches in the program, has become a real mentor for me and someone to whom I turn for advice and inspiration."

When asked about why he chose Stanford, Anderson explains, "The professors here are excited about teaching their students, whereas at other universities they can be more involved in their research and less focused on the teaching. There's a spirit of openness and innovation at Stanford that's very inspirational -- this general belief that if you want something, you can go after it and get it."