Flexing Her Entrepreneurial Spirit: What’s UpNext with Emily K.
January 16, 2019 | Express Scripts
Emily K. is a Human Resource Business Partner and founder of Employee Resource Group UpNext at Express Scripts. She is also an experienced and avid baker, alongside her cousins and sister-in-law. Her baking even inspired their very own blog. (She’s pictured here with her husband.)
During my nine years at Express Scripts, I’ve learned it’s a place where you can have an idea today and start working to implement it tomorrow. And that’s exactly how UpNext, an employee resource group focused on empowering today’s professionals to take on tomorrow’s challenges, was formed.
After interning in Express Scripts’ Competitive Intelligence department for two summers, I officially started my career as a testing operations analyst. During this time, I partnered with other former Express Scripts interns who became full-time employees to revive GenNext, a United Way Chapter in St. Louis that creates a community for young professionals by pairing members with meaningful community service activities. Community service has always been a passion of mine, and I saw my involvement with GenNext as an opportunity to not only do something I love but also develop and hone my leadership skills. Shortly after becoming a member, I became the President of the Express Scripts Chapter.
As I was finishing my MBA, I had the opportunity to bring my improved leadership skills and passion for volunteerism together as I morphed GenNext into an official Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Express Scripts. UpNext became an ERG focused on helping employees develop themselves, grow their network, and serve the community. This has been a major highlight in my career at Express Scripts, as I found that if you have a dream you can make it happen here!
Through UpNext’s launch, I was able to flex my entrepreneurial spirit as we created a brand and executed a strategy that led UpNext to reach employees of all levels across the company. Additionally, UpNext was the first ERG to establish chapters at Express Scripts sites beyond our headquarters, as well as have a dedication to reaching our employees who work virtually.
My experience with UpNext has allowed me to not only grow my network but also uncover my passion for helping employees find their right fit within Express Scripts, which ultimately led me to a new career path within Human Resources. About six months ago, I chose to accept a role as a Human Resource Business Partner where I’m asked to work with the Business on all things talent-related, whether it is strategizing on engaging and retaining talent, evolving organizational designs to advance with the dynamic market, advising and partnering with the Business to develop their employees or strategizing and delivering on talent plans. Every group is different as is every day, so I make sure I am nimble to pivot where needed to help them meet their objectives and goals.
Before employee resource groups existed, I found that it was truly up to me to raise my hand to work on my development, whether that was working with my leader, finding a mentor, or developing an ERG. My goal for UpNext is to be a place where employees have resources at their fingertips to help them grow at Express Scripts, whether it is taking advantage of our Development Dash, our Virtual Book Club, using UpNext meetings to expand their network, or volunteering in their community.
What I have gotten out of my time with UpNext is invaluable. By founding the group with my GenNext leadership team, I worked on thinking bigger and bolder as we created a strategy and a brand for UpNext. As the President, I learned about building relationships at all levels of the company and across various departments. UpNext taught me that authenticity and hard work will take you where you need to go. It also taught me that not every person thinks or acts the same, and I need to be able to adapt to those different than I.
Interested in working for a company that encourages employees to bring their whole selves to work every day? View our career site for a full list of open positions.« My Career at Express Scripts: Growth, Advancement, and a New Initiative|
My Career at Express Scripts: Growth, Advancement, and a New Initiative
January 3, 2019 | Express Scripts
Hazel C. is a Director, Talent Acquisition at Express Scripts. She emigrated from the Philippines to San Francisco, CA at the age of four and relocated to St. Louis in 2003. Hazel enjoys family time and travel with her husband, Shawn, twins Giada and Elisa (11) and loves to spoil basset hound puppy, Barry Manilow.
I joined Express Scripts in 2008 as a recruiter supporting the Sales & Account Management organization. Before Express Scripts, I held roles in sales, account management, and finance at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and companies in the aerospace and entertainment industries. Serendipitously, I visited with a staffing agency on a job search, and as they say, the rest is history: Instead of finding my next finance role, I was hired into a recruiting manager role with Express Scripts!
During my time here, I have hired for positions ranging from career entry to the executive level across the organization. I’ve worked on a variety of talent acquisition projects and initiatives, including the recent implementation of a new applicant tracking software. Additionally, I’ve held a lead role in facilitating training for large groups. In my current position, I lead the teams aligned to Corporate, Technology and University recruitment, and oversee Express Scripts’ relocation and immigration programs. I am also a Certified Diversity Recruiter.
One of the things I’ve come to love about Express Scripts is the tremendous growth opportunities it provides. One opportunity that crossed my path recently was a nomination from a coworker to the Initiative Fellows Program within the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative’s leadership program (STL BDI), who Express Scripts partners with as one avenue to maintain our commitment to diversity and inclusion. This Initiative was launched in 2001 and helps local companies and organizations attract and retain diverse talent. In particular, the Initiative Fellows Program for which I was nominated is a leadership program for professionals of color and is offered to mid to senior-level professionals. The program’s mission focuses on three main categories: professional development, relationship building, and civic engagement.
This program deepened my understanding and perspective of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Through the program, I had a safe place to test strategies and develop solutions to create impactful partnerships that address the challenges of a dynamic work environment.
The most unique session I attended through STL BDI was the Ethics and Leadership workshop. In this session, led by a business ethics professor, we dissected case studies that challenged our views and approach on leading by knowing and doing what’s right.
My participation in STL BDI has allowed me to take my learnings and apply them directly to multiple projects within Express Scripts and expand my leadership initiatives. My favorite project with Express Scripts is a recent one – I led our talent acquisition model assessment with Deloitte earlier this year. Through that work, I learned a lot about their recommended leading practice for talent acquisition and how it compares to our organization. We took Deloitte’s findings and recommendations and used them to drive our own Talent Acquisition team’s strategic initiatives in 2018.
For one of those initiatives, I led the transformation of our teams’ roles from recruiter to talent advisor. This included redefining our capabilities to function as advisors, refreshing job descriptions, and completing leader-advisor 180 assessments – an evaluation and rating system where both the leader and employee are involved. All of these activities culminated in the rollout of team-wide talent advisor training. As a result, our teams are now equipped to lead as advisors in working with hiring leaders and various cross-functional partners. STL BDI was especially helpful throughout the launching of these projects and taught me that the key to success in tough conversations is effective collaboration and communication.
Express Scripts’ culture is agile, passionate, and results-driven. Employees are supported in pursuing opportunities to grow as leaders, just as I was encouraged to take part in STL BDI, which further fueled my passion for talent acquisition, training, and mobility. The people and work we do to drive better patient outcomes keep me coming back day after day. I could recruit or lead teams anywhere, but I believe we have the most driven, passionate and innovative people in the industry.
Interested in working for a company that is continuously building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive workplace and workforce? View our career site for a full list of open positions.« Advancing Diversity in the Workplace: 3 Takeaways with Carlton A.| Flexing Her Entrepreneurial Spirit: What’s UpNext with Emily K. »
Advancing Diversity in the Workplace: 3 Takeaways with Carlton A.
November 29, 2018 | Express Scripts
Carlton Adams is the Vice President of Pharma Revenue and Invoicing at Express Scripts. Involved with the community through several nonprofits, he is a fitness enthusiast, a proud father and husband, and has recently rekindled his “love affair” with the bass guitar after a long hiatus.
My career has led me to some incredible opportunities at some of the best brands in the country: Caterpillar, Peabody Energy, MasterCard, and now Express Scripts.
Here, I manage all aspects of our pharma invoicing program which includes strategic planning, operations, and auditing. As a skilled leader, I work closely with associates to improve engagement and optimize performance.
But no matter which company I’m at, one important item remains at the top of my list, near and dear to my heart: Equality in the workplace.
What is your opinion of Express Scripts’ focus on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)?
The culture at Express Scripts is fast-paced, results-oriented, collaborative and collegial. Given that mindset, we are more than fortunate to have a D&I team that I’m continually impressed with. Their articulate commitment to building an inclusive culture values people and their authenticity. This is a destination, of course, and there are many signposts of success already. One great example is our Employee Resource Group (ERG) network.
Our culture is so moving: Every time we value someone that brings their authentic self to work, it’s an inspiration, and the D&I team has helped develop that for our company.
What initiatives/events that the D&I team have implemented have you been involved with?
I’ve been honored to be involved with Experience Diversity Summit (a day of enlightening speakers, music, thought leadership and networking), Check Your Blind Spots (a mobile museum whose goal is to identify diversity-related “blind spots”), Cultural Connections Power Brunch (an opportunity to network with one another and celebrate the different cultures that make up our ERGs, recruit at the Consortium Orientation Program, and ERG meetings as well as their Development Dash (an event geared towards career development).
How do you work to advance D&I in your department/team?
Honestly? I feel I need to do more. We’ve been good about getting the best candidates to fill vacancies and we do see diversity in those hires.
I’m also having an all hands meeting to discuss the value of ERGs, as I believe our leaders have the message, but I want to make sure we continue to live the values.
One piece of advice I would give future leaders trying to advance diversity in their company is this: You already know it’s the “right thing to do”, so reject fear and do the right thing! If you don’t have any ideas, use your network and the D&I team. No excuses. It’s 2018. I have learnings I have passed along to my own children about diversity: Value your humanity over your ego, pedigree, or other transient measures. That’s always the best comparator.
Interested in furthering your career with an opportunity at Express Scripts? Check out our career site for a full list of open positions.« Going the Extra Mile (in Mere Minutes)| My Career at Express Scripts: Growth, Advancement, and a New Initiative »
Going the Extra Mile (in Mere Minutes)
October 30, 2018 | Express Scripts
Jonathan O. started at Express Scripts in Oct. 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts as a shipping technician, He is currently a production supervisor providing workflow solutions in daily operations.
In my role at Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, an Express Scripts subsidiary, time and reliability are essential. For those who may be unfamiliar, Freedom Fertility is America’s leading fertility pharmacy, responsible for providing medication compounding, expedited delivery, and patient support. For the patients we serve, missing even one dose of their medication can have heartbreaking consequences, so we do everything in our power to ensure they have the medicine they need when they need it.
Earlier this year, my team and I were in the pharmacy doing our routine inventory count when one of our on-duty pharmacists received an urgent call from a patient. She was in a panic because her doctor had just told her she was at the end of her fertility cycle. Based on her test results, she needed an injection of medication by 12:30 p.m.
Did I mention it was 11:15 a.m.?
Our pharmacy is located in Byfield, Massachusetts, near Boston. The patient lived 53 miles away, on the other side of the city. There is a lot of traffic in the area; and on a regular day, the trip to her home would take well over an hour. And because of it being a holiday weekend, courier services were unable to help us on such a short notice.
By now it was 11:35 a.m. After a quick discussion to determine our plan of action, I was asked if I’d drive the medicine to the patient’s home. Of course I would do it. At 11:40 a.m., I had the medicine and was in my car driving down Interstate 95.
I’m not sure how it happened, but by some miracle I didn’t encounter any traffic during the trip. I pulled up to her house at 12:26 p.m. As I parked, I realized that if I wasn’t at the right address, I’d be too late to help the patient. There was no time for errors.
Even before I opened the car door, a woman ran out of her house and started banging on my window.
“Yep, this is the right place,” I thought.
After a quick thank you, she ran back inside with the medicine and I was on my way home.
Our pharmacist reached out to the patient on Monday to ask how she was doing. To our relief, the injection had worked.
It was a crazy day, but I enjoyed being part of it. Even when the task seems almost impossible, going the extra mile for our patients is literally what it’s all about.
Are you interested in a career that allows you to go the extra mile? Check out our career site for a full list of open positions.« Using Data to Solve Problems – and Save Lives| Advancing Diversity in the Workplace: 3 Takeaways with Carlton A. »
Using Data to Solve Problems – and Save Lives
October 25, 2018 | Express Scripts
Sam A. is a data scientist on the Enterprise Data Science team at Express Scripts, using data to help save lives.
Believe it or not, I found my way to Express Scripts through a Google search. I looked up the list of current Fortune 500 companies and found Express Scripts at number 25. I had never heard of Express Scripts before, but my curiosity led me to read more about the company and the critical services it provides to patients.
After learning more about Express Scripts’ mission to put medication within reach of patients and make healthcare more affordable and accessible, I knew it was the right place for me. I had always wanted a way to help serve my community, and Express Scripts offered the opportunity to help others on a daily basis. I was also impressed by the numerous ways Express Scripts uses technology in the healthcare space. I wanted to be part of the process and application of technology to change the healthcare industry.
Before making the switch to healthcare, I worked in the utility sector, first as a management information systems officer at the Electricity Company of Ghana and then as a Geospatial Analyst at Petrogulf, an oil and gas company in West Virginia. However, my love for data has always been a common thread no matter where I worked. I enjoy using data to help answer difficult questions, so the Enterprise Data Science team at Express Scripts is a great fit.
I have been in my role at Express Scripts for about three years now. I focus primarily on geospatial analysis, the practice of applying location information – such as zip codes, states, etc. – to inform decision-making. For example, I use geospatial analysis to help identify areas of low medication adherence in order to design programs to help improve patients’ ability to take their medication on time and avoid medical complications and costs.
Another large part of my job is assisting with pilot project analysis. Of the many interesting and unique projects that I’ve worked on during my time here, I think my favorite has been visualizing the opioid abuse risk model scores – which helps to identity areas with high risk of opioid abuse. The opioid epidemic is a serious issue and I feel this is one of the ways I’m able to help solve it.
Express Scripts is a fast-paced but fun environment where everybody is truly collaborative. On my team, we are always looking for new algorithms and technology that can help improve healthcare. Teamwork is very valued and every member of my team is always happy and willing to help. Mutual respect is outstanding and the dedication of each employee is infectious.
Outside of the work I do on my team, I drum in a band (look out for a concert soon!), play soccer, swim, and participate in Cultural Connection, one Express Scripts’ six Employee Resource Groups (ERG). Cultural Connection works to foster a culturally competent workforce and create cultural awareness through educational and networking opportunities. I have had the opportunity to develop my professional network thanks to many of the ERG’s informative and exciting programs. I have also become more open-minded and learned more about cultures other than my own.
I’m really lucky in that my desk is right by a huge 103” screen monitor that gets a lot of foot traffic. This allows me to network with countless people who come through the office and I have made a lot of friends that way. The incredible employees I’ve met here, the collaborative atmosphere and the innovative approach we take to each project are what keep me coming back to work day after day.
Interested in finding out what a career at Express Scripts could look like for you? Check out our career site for a full list of our open positions.
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