Intern to Preceptor in Five Years
August 19, 2013 | Harold Carter
It’s hard to believe, but five years ago, I was a pharmacy student applying for an internship at Express Scripts. Today, I’m a Senior Clinical Consultant and the preceptor for the newest crop of pharmacist externs to come through the doors at the company headquarters in St. Louis.
After my internships, I kept in touch with contacts I made within the company, checking periodically for any open full-time positions after graduation.
A few years later, I interviewed for a position as a clinical product manager. My interview must have gone well because I was called back for a second interview. I got the offer later that day. I was elated!
The reason I was so excited about the opportunity was because I could see the difference in talent development between Express Scripts and other pharmacy practice settings.
At Express Scripts, the opportunities for pharmacists are endless. Your day could entail talking to patients, filling prescriptions, working with clients, developing solutions to new problems…the list goes on.
Working here gives you a chance to think outside of the box when solving complex problems. I also like how the company helps its employees develop as professionals, allowing you to become a better employee and a better person, really.
It was slightly surreal when I entered my current position as a senior clinical consultant, because, almost simultaneously, I became a preceptor for Express Scripts’ newest pharmacist externs. Five years after I first walked through the door, I’m overseeing students in the same position I first occupied.
This new development was exciting, but to be honest, I was a little nervous when my first students arrived on June 21. The reason for my nerves was the same one that drives me to succeed as a preceptor today: I want to give the incoming students my best and show them what our company has to offer.
-Guest Blogger Harold Carter is a Senior Clinical Consultantat Express Scripts, with expertise in Specialty Utilization Management. A full time employee for two years, Harold enjoys running, spending time with family and watching football.« Our Duty to Hire Veterans| How to Become a Social Media Brand Ambassador »
Our Duty to Hire Veterans
June 6, 2013 | Aaron Jones
I am not a veteran, but have several friends and family members who have served in the military. I feel grateful to those who serve in our armed forces and are willing to make the greatest sacrifices to protect our freedom. At Express Scripts, we consider it part of our mission to help veterans find successful civilian careers. I personally believe strongly in what Michelle Obama has called the challenge to companies to be ’Bold in Finding Ways to Hire Veterans.’
As part of our commitment to veterans, Express Scripts has implemented a national military talent attraction program to help connect more service members to jobs at Express Scripts. The Talent Acquisition department reaches out nationwide through various recruitment channels, including military specific job fairs, strategic partnerships, and targeted advertising.
The unemployment rate for veterans continues to remain high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Veterans who left the military post September 11, 2011 face an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, higher than the national average. With the economy still in recovery mode, many military heroes are struggling to find work, let alone a career.
This is unfortunate because so many veterans have great skill sets to offer the civilian workforce. They are often highly educated, have a very strong work ethic, are disciplined, have proven leadership, and thrive as team-players. However, one of the common issues I notice when attending military events such as job fairs or networking events is that veterans have trouble translating their military experience to a civilian role. Civilian recruiters can find it difficult to decipher what some of the acronyms and military terms mean for the job function for which they are interviewing candidates. If there is one suggestion I would make to veterans looking for civilian positions, it is to get help creating a resume. There are many tools available to veterans for this purpose, including the Show-Me Heroes program, an initiative led by Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon. Some veterans have never interviewed for a civilian job. There are many websites out there that can help to prepare, such as CareerRealism.com. They recently published an article, “How to Answer 7 of the Most Commonly Asked Interview Questions.”
One thing to keep in mind is that almost every recruiter will ask you behavior-based interview questions. At Express Scripts, for example, we look for our core values of integrity, mutual respect, collaboration, alignment, service and passion. A simple Google search should give you plenty of examples that you can use to practice–and it is imperative that you practice! It will help you portray confidence. There is no way to predict what can happen in an interview, but by following these suggestions you will feel less anxious and best present yourself to a civilian recruiter, just as you have done in the military.« Welcome| Intern to Preceptor in Five Years »
April 30, 2013 | Jennifer Shappley
I joined Express Scripts five years ago. It was January 2008, I was living in Dallas, and preparing to move to Memphis after having accepted a new position with my current employer.
A few weeks before I my planned move, I received a call about an opportunity on the Talent Acquisition team at Express Scripts. I wasn’t job hunting and I had never considered a move to St Louis, but the company immediately interested me. And to be honest, I was having second thoughts about moving out of the recruiting field.
Within a month, I had accepted the position with Express Scripts and was on my way to St Louis. I was excited about the journey ahead of me. I also had lots of questions. Would I be able to make an impact in my new role? Would I like living in St Louis? Perhaps most importantly, given my southern upbringing, what was the Midwest equivalent of “y’all?” If someone had asked me then what the next five years would hold, I could never have predicted the exciting road in front of me. During that time, Express Scripts has grown from a company of 10,000+ employees to 30,000+ employees. We’ve climbed from 135 on the Fortune 500 to our current ranking of 24. I have grown in so many ways. The work has been challenging and rewarding and I am incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished.
I love my job. How could I not? I lead the Talent Acquisition team for a company that values innovation, rewards high performance and champions collaboration. If you are looking for a company that offers great opportunities for professional development and a chance to help patients make better decisions resulting in healthier outcomes, this is the place for you.
Today we launch our updated career site with a variety of new features, including a recruiter blog. We hope that through this blog, you will get to know our recruiters and benefit from their personal experiences and expertise. We also plan to invite other Express Scripts employees to give you a peek into their work and why they – like us – love working here.
While you’re here I invite you to explore our website, search and apply for jobs, join our Talent Community and learn more about why You Belong Here.« Achieving Balance: Working from Home at Express Scripts| Our Duty to Hire Veterans »
Achieving Balance: Working from Home at Express Scripts
April 29, 2013 | Allison Dietz
Many of the positions I recruit for at Express Scripts are virtual or work from home. This is a fantastic benefit that Express Scripts and many companies offer. Job seekers may be surprised to find out that we offer opportunities to work from home for a variety of positions, including nurses and pharmacists. At Express Scripts, we see our ability to offer work from home options for a variety of positions as a competitive advantage when seeking talent.
It is important to point out that working from home presents its challenges and is not for everyone. It requires you to find a balance between work and home life. You feel the same pressures as someone who gets up and goes into the office every morning. Employers put a lot of trust in their employees’ work ethic and sense of responsibility when they offer this option. It is important that you understand and live up to the expectations of your job. Make the most of the opportunity – for yourself and your employer.
So, when looking for a virtual job or considering a move to work-from-home, take your personal situation into account and assess if you have the right environment to make this work for you and your employer. Here are some things to keep in mind about working from home:
- It really is work. The biggest myth is that virtual employees do less work. My internal clients that work from home tell me that they put in extra time because they value this benefit so much. Our employees are held to the same productivity measures whether they are in the typical work setting or at home. Many companies that offer a virtual work environment have a policy in place; you should make sure you are familiar with your company’s policy.
- Be available. Make sure you utilize communications tools – such as instant messaging – and are available to colleagues who may be trying to reach you. It is the equivalent of someone being able to walk up to your desk at work. Express Scripts, like many other companies moves at a fast pace and you do not want to be out-of-mind because you are out-of-sight.
- Be professional. You would not have your dog barking in the background or your child clamoring for attention when you are at the office, and it is equally inappropriate at home. You home office is an extension of your office at work. Plain and simple.
- Be focused. E-mails and phone calls when you are at the office can be distracting. But truthfully, there are probably many more distractions at home. Be “present.” One way to do this is to follow the same routine you would if you were going into your work setting. This will help you develop a “work” mindset and make sure you are performing at your best.
- Be realistic. The at home setting may not be the best fit for you. Often when I recruit for virtual jobs, I ask candidates about prior experiences working from home to understand how this has worked out for them in the past.
In summary, there are a lot of things to take into consideration when assessing a work from home opportunity. It’s a good idea to think about these things the next time you embark on a job search.
As Jenny Foss, a recruiter, career coach and founder of the career blog JobJenny.com, points out, successfully working from home depends almost entirely on the individual. If you are one of those people and are looking for career options that allow you to work from home, check out our current openings.« Bust a Move| Welcome »
Bust a Move
April 23, 2013 | Hazel Cormier
Ten years ago, Shawn, then my boyfriend of four years – now husband – asked me to move from sunny Los Angeles, California to St. Louis, Missouri. I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic in my response if he had asked me to marry him, which he later did.
I knew a thing or two about moving. I had moved myself from San Francisco to Santa Cruz and from there, to Los Angeles with all my worldly belongings packed in my trusty Honda Civic coupe. I had conquered 400 miles so 1,800 miles is like making five trips, right?
Not quite. A move across the country is a lot more complicated – and expensive – than city hopping. I did not qualify for the spousal benefits Shawn’s company offered. And I was too excited and naive to ask my new employer if they provided moving assistance. In retrospect, I should have at least inquired about relocation benefits; they could have referred me to local resources for transplants.
Express Scripts, for instance, offers a range of relocation benefits determined by the level of the role. For eligible positions, the company provides what relocation consultants dub as a “buck and a truck” – miscellaneous allowance to cover expenses and a household goods move. This alone, can be a stress reliever as the average cost of shipping household goods for domestic transfers is $12,652 according to Worldwide ERC.
As manager of domestic relocation for Express Scripts, I realize what a difference these benefits make to new hires, employee transfers and their families. The process of relocating can include selling a home or transporting large amounts of belongings and goods – which surveys show can be a major challenge for most home owners. You may need to break a lease, find news schools for your children, figure out how to transport a pet…the list is seemingly endless. Being organized can help.
Here are a few other things to consider when planning a move:
- Do your research: The internet serves up a goldmine of free lists covering logistics such as conversations to have with children, placing a home on the market and scheduling movers
- Comparison shop: As with everything else, you get the best deal this way. Get quotes from a couple different companies and remember to check their ratings
- Make lists and take inventory: This applies both to things that you need to do and things that you own and need to move. One missed detail could derail the whole plan
- Things take time: Remember to give yourself ample time to plan and execute your move and some wiggle room in case things don’t go exactly as planned.
And remember that for a cross-country move like mine, good friends and a soundtrack to accompany your travels are indispensible.
As for me, I upgraded my tiny car to a small SUV, and with two of my best friends in tow, followed Route 66 to my new life in St. Louis. We even made a detour to Memphis to visit the King.
In case you are curious, here is the soundtrack that best captures my relocation experience:
- The Long and Winding Road; The Beatles
- Under Pressure; Queen & David Bowie
- Where the Streets Have No Name; U2
- Life is a Highway;Tom Cochrane
- Route 66; Chuck Berry