Having the opportunity to intern at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) was one of the best learning experiences I have ever had. To begin with, the internship program gives you a really good base understanding of Healthcare. The mentors of the internship program provide a learning series to assist interns in understanding the terminology and technicalities of healthcare and to encourage interns to ask questions and learn more. This base understanding prepared me to understand my assignment.
My managers at BCBSMA were thorough and extremely helpful. They provided me with the tools to understand the ultimate goals of my current project, but they didn’t hold my hand or micromanage me. This made me feel independent and gave me a sense of ownership over my work, but my managers were also available whenever I had questions or concerns and were easy to approach.
My technical skills also increased drastically through learning more advanced excel functions and even learning a bit about pulling data through programs like SAS. The internship program also had many other aspects that increased my knowledge of healthcare and BCBSMA. For example, the human resources department had many learning series that were focused on different areas of the company including finance and operations, among others to assist interns in understanding departments they may not be familiar with. The actuary department also presented a learning series throughout the summer that focused on new innovations in healthcare like wellness incentives and hospital contracting. These, along with the meetings with senior managers (including the chief actuary herself), assisted me in getting a robust and thorough understanding of my department along with the company.
Lastly, what I gained the most was presentation skills. Although I was asked to work on very technical and numbers-based projects, I was also asked to present these projects on a more high level to senior managers. This not only improved my presentation skills, but I learned how to extract the information from a technical project that would be important to high-level business decisions. The internship program at BCBSMA (although small) gives you the opportunity to own your own work and to feel like you are more than just an intern. You will learn about healthcare, improve technical skills, build a strong network and more, all things that have and will continue to assist me in obtaining a full time job.