A common question I often heard during internship Q&A sessions was -- do you need healthcare experience to land a healthcare internship? My personal answer -- no, but it sure helps. If you do have healthcare experience, I feel that you have a leg up. The healthcare industry is amazingly complex (and to add the insurance aspect on top of it, as with Blue Shield -- whew!), so if you have hands-on experience with it, you are ahead of most. It is also often taken as tangible proof that you are interested in the industry.
But if you don't have healthcare experience, don't fret. Most people don't have healthcare experience, so if you don't have the background, it's not all lost. You may be missing that healthcare experience on your resume, but that doesn't mean that you can't prove that you're interested. Remember -- talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words. Prove to healthcare companies that you are interested in healthcare! Here are some ways to do so:
* Join a healthcare club (UC Davis has the BioBusiness club that you might find interesting)
* Volunteer at a nonprofit focused on health issues
* Specialize in public health for your MBA
* Take public health classes at UC Davis
Healthcare is a great industry to go into -- not only are you impacting the livelihood and health of people, but it's one of the few sectors that is anticipated to grow in the upcoming future (and may need leaders to usher in the proposed healthcare reform changes). It's an astoundingly complex and interesting field where you will have constant intellectual challenge.
So, in sum -- healthcare is a great field to look into. And don't worry if you don't have experience it it. When you are getting your MBA, employers often expect that you're looking to change careers, so you're actually in a good spot! What often tips the scales in your favor is showing enthusiasm -- regardless of whether you have healthcare experience or not, show employers that you're interested in healthcare!