Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting my internship

Hello! My name is Jackie, and I'm a 2nd-year MBA student at UC Davis, specializing in public health and strategic management. I'm excited to blog about my summer internship at Blue Shield of California, and hope that it may be helpful for anyone looking for a healthcare internship -- or even just an internship in general!

I'll start off by describing myself briefly and how I came about my internship at Blue Shield. First, about me -- before coming to UC Davis, I worked for the federal government in healthcare research. My job included the typical responsibilities you would expect for a research assistant: literature review and synthesis, assisting with grants and ethic review boards, and so forth. But my main duty was that of project manager. I coordinated the development and implementation of mental health projects for underserved populations. It was a fantastic learning experience, and it really solidified my interest in a healthcare career.

I decided that I wanted to stay in healthcare, but wanted to move towards the administration aspect of it. So as soon as I began orientation for b-school, I was focused on finding a summer internship that would allow me to explore the business side of the industry.

Part of what you learn about landing a good position is that it's part luck -- and I was no different. During one lunch event during orientation (before school even started!), a 2007 alum sat in a chair next to me; by the end of the lunch, he handed me his card and said that he'd be free if I ever wanted to learn more about Blue Shield. And thus, the ball began rolling for Blue Shield.

Five informational interviews with Blue Shield employees later, I knew I wanted to work at Blue Shield. I'll talk more about Blue Shield in later posts, but suffice to say for now, I knew that was the place for me. With my eyes set on the goal, I kept in touch throughout the year with the Blue Shield recruiter, scheduled informational interviews, and applied for an internship as soon as positions opened up. And by late March, I was accepted for a summer internship there!

In my upcoming posts, I'll talk more about my specific internship and Blue Shield. It's been a great experience, and I'm excited to talk more about it!

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