Learn from the top

As an intern at HealthSpring you are able to spend one hour, every other week with the President of the company. This week myself and the other interns were able to sit down with the President and CEO of the Alabama market to ask questions, give feedback on areas of improvement for the internship program, and provide updates on the projects we are working on. Taking advantage of this opportunity can give you the ability to showcase what you’re doing to add value to the company, display your interest in and understanding of the business, and just pick the brain of a man who runs a successful company in a very complex industry. As HealthSpring approaches their most crucial time of the year in terms of planning for the next year, it has been easier to see what each department is worried about, but I was curious as to what someone who runs the entire company is concerned about on a nightly basis, so I asked. His response was interesting to me, because it wasn’t political or revenue-centered; his concerns were very specific, yet significant issues in each department (there are over 10 in our office). It showed how much he is in the know about every area of the business and realizes how little problems in one department can trigger multiple problems in others, and ultimately really impact the company.

I have been very appreciative of the access we have to top executives as interns which allows us to see (and ask) how they got where they are in their careers. It is a very inviting environment to ask questions, and actually I will be sitting at my desk some days and the President will just walk by to say, “How’s it going?” One thing I’ve learned is that if you truly know how the business operates, identify their problems and come up with ways to fix them (and communicate these solutions, of course), and have vision about where innovation is going to be necessary, then you will be noticed.

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