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Prescription for Success: 3 Lessons I Learned as an Express Scripts Intern
December 1, 2017 | Express Scripts
Mary Jane R. is an intern on the Home Delivery and Member Services team, working to analyze data and identify problems.
As an undergraduate student majoring in engineering management at Missouri University of Science & Technology, I’m still unsure about what I want to do post-graduation. Thankfully, internships are a great way to help me decide what I want my career path to look like. And this summer I received an internship offer from Express Scripts — the largest pharmacy benefit management organization in the United States.
Throughout the interview process, the University Relations team worked to find a position that matched my education and career goals. Because of my experience with quality and data analytics, I became a home delivery & member services intern.
In early May, each of the 23 interns in my department received a list of potential projects to work on over the course of our internship. We were then asked to pick our top three preferences before being assigned a project and a mentor. I was assigned to the ‘Memorable 1st Experience’ project where I collected and analyzed data on new members who sign up for our home delivery services. Here’s a sneak peek into what I learned:
Diversity & Inclusion aren’t just words on the wall.
During the Intern Summit – a 3-day event in which interns from across the country come together in the St. Louis headquarters – I got the opportunity to hear from members of Express Scripts’ executive team, including Susan Stith, vice president of Diversity, Inclusion and Corporate Giving. Susan stressed that diversity by itself doesn’t always lead to success. The goal is to have a combination of diversity and inclusion and companies should strive to recruit a wide range of talented employees and ensure they are active and engaged.
The Intern Summit was a great example of the engagement and inclusion Susan discussed. Through a series of networking activities, including an intern-wide trip to the City Museum, I befriended other interns of different ages, genders, ethnicities, and religions. This experience helped me learn a great deal about other cultures and understand the backgrounds of my peers that were different, yet also similar, from my own.
Success lies in being a self-starter.
Although Express Scripts calls it an “internship program,” I would argue that you could change the name to a “summer employee program,” as this is not your typical internship. During your time here, no one is going to tell you exactly what to do or give you busy work to fill up your 40 hour work week. Instead, you will be treated like a real employee and given an actual project that needs to be completed in 12 weeks. While your boss will give you direction, he or she will not be there to check on you at every moment. While this can be a little scary at first, the responsibility you are given is actually pretty liberating.
I quickly learned that answers and solutions were not going to be handed to me. I had to become confident and willing to schedule meetings with directors and their teams to ask questions and advance my project. The healthcare industry and the work Express Scripts does to serve clients and patients are very complex. There are no simple problems or solutions, and my project required the collaborative effort of many different teams in order to be successful.
All work and no play makes for a dull internship experience.
Many people, myself included, tend to take life too seriously and forget to laugh sometimes. At Express Scripts, I was reminded by my co-workers every day that work should be fun. My department made certain we were not caged in our cubicles for a full 8-hour work day, under the strict supervision of our bosses. Instead, they encouraged us to try out different workspaces in the building, and our managers worked to ensure they developed strong relationships with us.
From trying to fit through the child-sized tunnels of the City Museum to going to going to lunch together, we were able to make better connections with our mentors and colleagues, resulting in a more comfortable and fun work environment. By the end of my internship, I had formed some strong relationships and friendships that I value.
While my summer internship has come to a close, I already have begun to apply my learnings not only inside the office but outside as well. I am thankful for my experience thus far and I cannot wait for what is yet to come.
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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