The Intern Files: 3 Takeaways from a Presentation with the SVP of Supply Chain Management

November 8, 2017 | Express Scripts

Annie worked as an intern in the Retail Channel Management department working with retail pharmacies on their networks.

As I think about my time as an intern in the Retail Channel Management Department at Express Scripts, one word comes to mind: opportunity.

While I was given many opportunities during my internship, the one that stands out most is the Executive Speaker Series. During this series, interns gain exposure to the highest levels of the organization and hear directly from company leaders about their career journey and teachable moments along the way. A handful of interns even had the chance to interview an executive prior to his, or her, presentation and introduce them the day of the session.

I had the honor of interviewing and introducing Express Scripts’ Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Specialty, Everett Neville. This allowed me to get to know him on a personal level, while also learning about his perspective on the future of supply chain, healthcare, and Express Scripts. Here are my favorite takeaways:

He has a favorite project.

During Everett’s many years at Express Scripts, his favorite project has been the SafeguardRx program. This is a specialty drug program that helps patients spend less and find a medication that works for them. When patients try a new specialty medication, there is a 1 in 3 chance it will be unsuccessful. Patients must take the medication for at least three months to see if it’s effective in improving their condition. If the medication is unsuccessful, an immense amount of money is wasted. That’s where Express Scripts is taking action. Assisting patients in receiving money back from the manufacturer allows them to try different medication that may be a better fit. This is one of Everett’s favorite projects because it improves patient care and enables cross-functional collaboration between the clinical and supply chain departments.

Drug advertising has both positive and negative ramifications.

Ethics are always a popular topic in the healthcare and supply chain industries, so it wasn’t a surprise when Everett was asked his opinion on ethical practices of drug advertising. In his opinion, there is both a good and bad side to the issue. On the positive side, advertising a new drug can be helpful in raising awareness for treatments patients could receive. For example, if a patient has a minor condition they previously worked with their doctor to manage but never found a solution for, they might abandon their efforts. With the help of advertising, they become more aware about new medications that could treat their condition. On the negative side, advertising drugs may expose patients to medications that they don’t necessarily need.

Early career guidance is crucial.

When it comes to those just staring their careers, Everett had some very important guidance. He told us to always expect changes throughout our career paths, take smart risks early on, and be cautious when posting on social media. He also shared the value of continuously building a wide range of professional skillsets in this constantly changing world.

As I said before, opportunity is central to the work culture at Express Scripts. I’m grateful for the investment Express Scripts made in developing my skills this summer, and I have confidence that my entire intern class will continue to learn and grow. The opportunities at Express Scripts are present; it is up to you to seize them.

Want to join our intern class of 2018? Check out our career site for more information.

 

 

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3 Takeaways From My First Grace Hopper Experience

October 24, 2017 | Express Scripts

Emily S. is a Senior Manager at Express Scripts, supporting the Technology team.

It’s been about two weeks since the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and my mind is still reeling from the experience. As a first time Grace Hopper attendee, I tried to pack as much into this 3-day experience as I could. From listening to all the fascinating speakers to interacting with my fellow women in technology at the Express Scripts booth, the event was certainly one I will not forget.

As I returned to work and my normal routine, I realized I was more energized and ready to take on the week’s challenges than ever before. The knowledge and opportunities the experience provided me are hard to sum up, but here are 3 takeaways I brought back from Grace Hopper:

We Can Do This!

Increasing the presence of women and their diversity of thought in technology-related careers is more important now than ever before as the need to innovate and use technology to solve problems continues to advance.

We may not see huge wins right out of the gate, but it’s important to set goals. For example, ask yourself, “If we have X women leaders in technology right now, what programs, development opportunities, etc. must we put in place to increase this number by X% next year.”

Teachable Moments

Of all the amazing learnings I took a way from various speakers at the event, a few stood out:

    • tips and tricks on how recognize and reframe hidden assumptions, or the unconscious bias, that women experience in the workplace;
    • different strategies for negotiation, and;
    • how to utilize Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior Therapy techniques and practice mindfulness to manage your moods at work

 

At Express Scripts, I co-lead professional development for our WE LEAD Employee Resource Group, which is centered on empowering, recognizing and connecting women to help them reach their full potential within the company and community. I cannot wait to introduce these topics to the women of WE LEAD to help reframe how they approach professional development.

Product Ownership Activities

In my current role, I focus on end-user experience. During the conference, there were great discussions focused on some fun and different techniques I could bring back to my team, such as brainstorming trees, comic strips to validate ideas, and talk bubbles vs. focus groups. These activities stood out because they stray from the traditional way of approaching a situation, allowing teams to be more creative with their ideas.

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is truly a conference I will never forget. I made so many connections with women, like me, who are working to make a difference for women in technology across the world. The support for the overall event was overwhelming and I’m looking forward to going back next year to share how Express Scripts has moved the needle for women in Technology.

Looking to make your mark on the Technology Department at Express Scripts? Visit our career site for a full list of open positions.

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LaunchCode Partnership Produces Techies for Express Scripts

October 19, 2017 | Express Scripts

Earlier this year, leaders on our technology teams recognized an immediate hiring need at our St. Louis headquarters: Pega developers. But the problem was programmers proficient in that platform were in short supply. Fortunately, St. Louis is the headquarters of LaunchCode, an innovative nonprofit that provides learning resources and job opportunities to students in the technology field at zero charge.

LaunchCode worked quickly to develop a joint program with us and immediately identified 40 of the best Java programmers who had recently graduated from one of their basic coding classes. Leaders on our tech team evaluated all 40 candidates and then selected 24 to begin LaunchCode’s Pega training.

To help with these candidates’ training, LaunchCode pulled in Pegasystems Inc., which sent instructors to St. Louis for an eight-day Pega training session. During this time, LaunchCode also taught the students strategies to help them in the corporate world, providing insights on topics such as email best practices, phone conferences and even how to work on two monitors instead of a laptop screen.

Of the 24 students selected to take the Pega training, twenty-three completed the course, and were hired onto our technology teams as paid apprentices. During this time, each apprentice was paired with a programming partner to help them navigate their day-to-day work life and a buddy to answer basic questions, as simple as how to find the company gym. All but two were offered full-time jobs when their 90-day apprenticeships ended in July.

The success of the St. Louis program has led us to expand our partnership with LaunchCode to our New Jersey office, where 10 candidates recently completed LaunchCode’s Pega training and 17 learned to use COBOL. All 27 of these candidates began their 90-day paid apprenticeships in early August at the Franklin Lakes, NJ office.

To learn more about our partnership with LaunchCode and hear from one of the apprentices we hired on full-time, click here!

 

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A Look Inside my Internship on the Enterprise Data Science Team

October 18, 2017 | Express Scripts

When it comes to job searching, job descriptions don’t always paint a complete picture of what a role entails or a specific department does. And internship job descriptions are no different. That’s why we took the time to catch up with some of our summer interns across the organization to give job seekers a better idea of what it’s like to work here. Recently we sat down with Wendy, a data scientist intern on the Enterprise Data Science team under Clinical Research and New Solutions, to find out more about her role.

Here’s what Wendy had to say:

What university do you attend?

I am currently pursuing my doctoral degree in chemistry at St. Louis University (SLU). I chose to attend SLU because of the advanced programs they offer. Currently, they are expanding to add more faculty, staff and facilities – especially in their science department. Right now I am focused on graduating in May, 2018 and continuing my journey as a data scientist.

Why did you choose to go into the chemistry field if your ultimate goal is to become a data scientist?

After doing some research, I realized that data scientists must have a diverse background in order to be successful. I decided to take an extra class on statistics. With this knowledge, I have improved my skills and can apply them to the business field. Predicting the future is a big part of a data scientist’s job and is quickly becoming the next big thing. I wanted to go into this field because it’s promising and data-driven research interests me.

Why did you choose to intern at Express Scripts?

In the data scientist world, healthcare is a topic that comes up frequently. In the fall, I visited the Express Scripts booth at SLU’s career fair, which gave me the opportunity to speak with employees. I was very excited about the opportunity to combine my passion for pharmaceuticals and chemistry.

What role do you play on your team?

I am an intern on the Enterprise Data Science team. A big part of my job is using cutting edge methods and software to help my team develop data acquisition pipelines and predictive models. My department works to use statistical methods and innovative technologies to solve business problems.

What opportunities have you enjoyed as an Express Scripts intern so far?

I love all of the learning opportunities we are given. I especially enjoy hearing from company leaders about their professional experiences during the Executive Speaker Series. Additionally, I love the opportunity I’m given to apply the concepts I’ve learned in school to my job. Although challenging, I enjoy using my skills to solve real-world problems in the industry. Express Scripts is a very advanced company and I’ve been learning more advanced aspects of predictive model building than I previously learned in school. However, SLU has well prepared me for the programming part of my job. The basic concepts and ideas I’ve learned are universal when applied elsewhere.

Want to find out what opportunities an internship with Express Scripts can offer you? Check out our career site for more information.  

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Bringing Hope and Help to Haiti

October 11, 2017 | Express Scripts

Bryan H. is a senior clinical account executive working to help public sector clients of Express Scripts control drug trend and spend.

During April 2016, I traveled to Haiti on behalf of my church. That’s when I learned about Mission of Hope, an organization that has been providing essential care, such as volunteer-staffed mobile medical clinics, in Haiti for 20 years.  After learning about Mission of Hope and the impact the organization has on those living in Haiti, I knew I had to get involved.

Earlier this year I was fortunate to find three of my Express Scripts coworkers and two client contacts who shared my interest in partnering with Mission of Hope. We created a team and made plans to travel to Haiti in 2017. Proving that this was truly a team effort, Express Scripts donated prescription and over-the-counter medicines and supplies for us to take with us that Mission of Hope needed to replenish their pharmacy. After 6 months of planning, our team of three pharmacists and three professionals set off to help.

When we arrived in Haiti, we received a tour and orientation. Our accommodations were in dormitory-style buildings with bunk beds and we brought mosquito nets so we could sleep free from their bites.

For four consecutive days, we assisted with the mobile clinic. During our first two days, we set up shop in a village church, while the next two days were spent outdoors providing care under mango trees (warning, watch out for falling mangoes!).

Given that the mobile clinic was 100% dependent on volunteers (except for one Haitian physician who serves each week), our days were long and the work was endless. Breakfast and dinner each day were eaten together outdoors at our campsite. We took our lunch with us and ate in shifts so we could run the clinic continuously from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We used our limited resources to administer primary care to everyone from newborn children to elders in their 90s. We noted patients’ height, weight, arm circumference, blood pressure and blood sugar results. After being triaged at the nurses’ table, patients saw a physician and nurse practitioner. They then brought their prescriptions to a “pharmacy,” which consisted of three eight-foot-long tables. Medications were dispensed in small plastic bags with directions written on them and handed to interpreters who explained the medications and directions to patients in their native language.

During those four days, we saw 425 patients and dispensed more than 1,500 prescriptions. Everyone we encountered was incredibly appreciative of the care we provided. Thanks to Express Scripts, we had the antibiotics, other medicines and glucose testing strips to treat everything from intestinal worms to diabetes.

During the entire time we spent in Haiti, we never saw a single drug or grocery store. This was especially disheartening considering many of the prescriptions we provided patients were for over-the-counter products most Americans could buy at a dollar store.

As I reflect on my team’s time in Haiti, I know we were able to break through many barriers in order to help people live better lives. By helping all 425 patients and seeing what good can come from volunteering for those in need, I feel even more emboldened to do more. While the people we served didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Creole, there was an understanding that we were there to help each other. While the help I could give was obvious, the help every patient gave me was profound.

Want to join our team? Check out our career site for a full list of open positions.

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