Learning on the Job – My Summer at a Fortune 20 Company

August 11, 2014 | Express Scripts

Wow, what a summer this has been! The summer may be over, but the skills, knowledge, and connections that I gained from my Express Scripts internship over the past 12 weeks will stay with me throughout my career.

As an intern, I worked in the Supply Chain Department as a part of the analytics and forecasting team. My team analyzes and forecasts future performance of prescription benefit plans. We serve our members by making sure people aren’t paying too much for their prescription drugs, aligning with the corporate mission of improving health outcomes at a lower cost.

Being able to have an impact on not only my team, but the company as a whole made my internship very fulfilling. As an intern I was assigned projects to build my skills and help the team. For one of my core projects, I gathered feedback from senior managers regarding which key performance indicators they were interested in seeing on a dashboard that would allow managers to access numbers at the click of a button. Another one of my projects allowed me to use advanced business software to analyze and investigate whether pharmacies give patients more expensive drugs when there are less expensive options available. At the end of the program, I gave a capstone presentation of my research and experience to peers and senior managers.

I am grateful I had the opportunity to use my education at a Fortune 20 company while gaining practical experience with cutting edge analytical tools vital to my field. I would recommend this experience to students who are hard working and want to work beside people who share their passion and drive.

My advice to future interns? Take advantage of this chance to meet interesting people. Reach out to your team members and those outside your own team to make connections and expand your career network. If you’re stumped, ask questions; your manager and your buddy are good resources, but you might also see how others at Express Scripts depend upon each other to get things done. Be receptive to suggestions and say “yes” to opportunities. And if your car’s battery dies in the parking lot, as mine did at the end of one day, look for the nice man from the parking services team, who will helpfully get you back on the road.

This summer I made valuable connections, learned about working in a professional corporate environment, and gained practical experience in my field. As I return to college, I am more confident about transitioning my education into a career and the opportunities that await me after graduation.

Learn more about opportunities at Express Scripts for college students here: careers.express-scripts.com/students.

Guest blogger Hannah Bailey is entering her senior year at Saint Louis University where she majors in Business and Economics.


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How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

July 30, 2014 | Chris Reed

The days of the “tell me your three greatest strengths” style interview are long gone. Interviews have evolved to become more effective at evaluating a candidate’s fit and potential. A method preferred by many top organizations is behavioral interviewing.

Behavioral interviewing is based on the belief that past behavior will predict future performance. This technique allows interviewers to ask situational questions that pertain to specific competencies of the position. These questions should elicit stories. They start with lead-ins similar to, “tell me about a time when”. Over the years this interview style has helped Express Scripts identify the best talent in our industry.

Express Scripts uses this method because the questions are structured to extract examples of real experiences that relate specifically to key elements needed to be successful in the role. By asking behavioral questions, the interviewer can learn about the process by which you approached a situation. They will be looking for:

1. What was the reasoning behind your actions?
2. Why did you behave the way you did?
3. What skills did you use?

Anticipating these types of questions will help prepare you for a successful interview. You should be familiar with your resume and your significant accomplishments for each role listed and be prepared to share specific examples. Interviewers may probe deeper into your answers to find out more about your thought process and execution. The interview is a sales pitch for yourself, so be prepared by knowing details of your background.

When speaking about your previous experience, you can thoroughly respond to the interviewer’s question by using the STAR method. This will allow you to frame your answer by giving the Situation you were in, the Task at hand, the Action you took to complete it and the Result. Be specific in your response, but don’t get lost in the details. You should also be honest about the outcome, even if it was something that didn’t go as anticipated. This gives you the opportunity to articulate what you learned and how you would do things differently in the future.

Behavioral interviewing asks you to think back to a real experience you had and explain how you handled it. Recruiters are looking for real examples, not what you think should happen in a similar scenario.

It’s never too early to start preparing. Take note of your achievements regularly and focus on turning your real-life experiences into interesting stories that showcase your competencies and highlight your skills for the position.

Think you’re ready to try out your new interviewing skills? Search and apply for a job at Express Scripts: http://bit.ly/13hXIB4.

« Translating Leadership Skills to the Military| Learning on the Job – My Summer at a Fortune 20 Company »

Translating Leadership Skills to the Military

July 16, 2014 | Express Scripts

You often hear how leadership skills developed in the military can benefit a civilian career. What you do not hear is how civilian career experience can enhance a military member’s combat service. My experience is with the latter.

As a senior implementation manager at Express Scripts, I manage our clients’ implementation of new products and processes. I nudge them toward their own solutions by sharing examples, recommendations and past experiences. I also reduce their anxiety by running drills in a test environment, to ensure they understand the product and process fully, while jointly creating a backup plan. My position at Express Scripts taught me skills I needed to effectively mentor Afghan National Army officers.

In Afghanistan I was able to use my rapport building techniques from Express Scripts to create real friendships with the Afghans, just as I do with clients. I consistently scheduled non-work activities such as dinners, lunches and soccer matches. I focused on their personal lives such as their background, family, motivators, and goals. When it was time to solve a problem, we had a mutual trusting relationship, which cut negotiations down to conversations in which both sides demonstrated a wider range of flexibility.

When I meet with a client’s IT and eligibility teams, I need an analyst to accompany me to help navigate their jargon and company climate. Similarly, in Afghanistan, I needed an interpreter to help me communicate with Afghan officers and navigate their culture. This helped me plan for possible scenarios and prepare appropriately.

Unlike implementing a Medicare plan for an Express Scripts client, we did not have existing government guidance to follow when enhancing Afghani communications. We created the guidance ourselves. We implemented Afghan Ministry of Defense Net (Internet) for the first time on the Afghan Army camps in Helmand, set up an Afghan internal help desk for each camp, and trained 40 Afghan instructors on Microsoft Office, computer networking, computer maintenance and satellite radio. These leaders, in turn, trained hundreds of other Afghan soldiers. This increased the situational awareness and coordination of all the Afghan Army units, police and border patrol. Previously, their entire combat communication plan was based on Soviet-era radios and personal cell phones. We accomplished our goal of implementing a sustainable communication network.

So, thanks to my Express Scripts experience, I can say with pride and satisfaction: mission accomplished.

Hugh Tychsen, senior project manager, Implementation, serves as a gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserves. He is currently returning from deployment to Afghanistan. Hugh Tychsen is also one of Fortune magazine’s “Heroes of the 500.” Fortune magazine spotlighted Hugh as one of 50 heroes from various companies on this year’s Fortune 500 list. Learn more: http://ow.ly/xCsA7

« How to Dress for Success at an Interview| How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview »

How to Dress for Success at an Interview

July 2, 2014 | Allison Dietz

You’ve landed an interview at a company you would love to work for; Congratulations! It’s your chance to wow the interviewers and get the job. You know how important your actual interview responses are, but don’t forget the importance of dressing the part.

First impressions count, especially during an interview. What you wear and how you present yourself speak volumes. Your appearance plays a large part in how you are perceived. Candidates who are dressed appropriately for the position they are seeking make a strong impression and show their potential fit for the role.

My advice is to prepare your clothing the night before the interview. Make sure your choice is neat and ready to go. While it is okay for you to show your personality through your clothing, I recommend erring on the conservative side with your wardrobe choices. Ideally you should have a ‘power outfit’. This is something that you feel confident in and also projects a professional image.

Wearing a suit might be right for your interview, but it is no longer the expected uniform at every organization. When choosing your interview outfit you need to contemplate the company culture and the level of the position you are interviewing for. Are you going to be interviewing in a casual office where jeans are the norm, or will you be in a more corporate environment? Consider this and dress accordingly. Your outfit should be similar to or slightly dressier than the typical workday attire of a current employee. Still unsure of what to wear? Ask your recruiter.

Now that you’ve considered the company culture; here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Pay attention to outfit details like the fit, fabric patterns, and wrinkles.
2. Keep accessories simple.
3. Make sure you appear polished.
4. Avoid wearing strong fragrances.
5. Be aware of your posture and body language.

Ultimately, you should wear something that you feel confident in and makes you look great, so your personality and skills will shine through during the interview.

Good luck!

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Memphis: Barbecue, Blues and Specialty Care

June 18, 2014 | Express Scripts

Memphis, Tennessee is well-known for barbecue and blues, but when it comes to specialty pharmacy, the city is known for Accredo.

Accredo provides specialty pharmacy and related services for patients with complex and chronic health conditions. More than 1,200 employees work at the headquarters in Memphis in areas ranging from Prescription Processing and Patient Access to the Contact Center and Fulfillment.

What started in the basement of a children’s hospital in Memphis has grown into a leader in the specialty pharmacy industry. While Accredo has expanded to dozens of locations with thousands of employees nationwide, its local ties to Memphis remain strong.

Employees take pride in the company’s history in Memphis and, regardless of their department, focus on patients first. “Our employees realize we’re making a difference in patients’ lives,” said Arlisa Hayes, senior supervisor, Core Specialty. “We help people celebrate another birthday. We help them spend more time with their grandkids. We help them live more active lives. And this inspires employees to make sure they resolve a patient’s issues or give the patient what they need.”

As a result, Accredo employees don’t just provide services for patients. They go to great lengths to understand the patients and their complex conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis. For example, Memphis teams take part in an MS Walk in the spring or the MS 150 bike ride each fall. They volunteer at MS Society events to support patients and better understand their struggles with the disease.

This genuine concern for the patient extends from the moment a prescription enters the system until it leaves Fulfillment, which completes approximately 27,500 orders each week. Every employee is working toward a common goal.

Whether in its hometown of Memphis or at another site across the nation, Accredo employees’ dedication to their patients is a calling card as sweet as any food or music found in The River City.

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