Name: Annie Bishop
Type of Project: Internship
For my STEP Signature Project, I decided to accept an internship with Anthem Inc, a Forbes Fortune 50 company. I worked at Anthem in Virginia Beach within their Corporate Clinical Quality Management Department on their Strategic Initiatives Team. With this internship I worked on launching an analytics tool for internal employee use, completing deliverables and communications, and took part in many different projects over the course of the summer. The opportunity to work within a large-scale health insurance empire was an incredible test of my abilities and knowledge which would not have been possible without the funding from STEP.
For me, this experience changed me professionally. I always was fortunate enough to have a job prior to Anthem, but nothing even comes close to working for a values-based company with over 50,000 employees. I learned the culture of the company, how to interact professionally with people in executive positions, how to market myself, all while strengthening my work ethic. Through this opportunity I was better able to grasp the type of job I would like to have post-graduation and what it will take for me to get there. My assumptions of the workforce changed over the course of my STEP Signature Project because of the people I met throughout my time at Anthem. I think it is a wide known stigma that business people with authoritative positions have little personality and do not care about their employees or product and that all they care about is the money. However, with this job I found that all to be completely false. The leaders at Anthem would come into work every day looking to make a change in people’s lives. Whether it be members or employees, the leaders at Anthem strive to change the world of healthcare.
Interactions and Responsibilities that Empowered My Transformation
During a normal work day at Anthem I would primarily interact with the Strategic Initiatives Team. This team consisted of seven different employees and one Staff VP. The dynamic of this team was interesting because I only worked face-to-face with two employees and the Staff VP. The other five people on our team were virtual so they were scattered throughout the United States and I never actually met them. I think this was a big learning curve for me because I am used to working face to face with people and not having to schedule time for a phone call just to ask a simple question. Even though this was by far the most difficult thing for me to grasp, by the end of this summer I was extremely comfortable with it. I think moving forward this was a great experience because most larger scale companies are becoming more and more virtual. Since I got exposed to it this summer I was able to get out all the minor setbacks that come with working alongside virtual coworkers and get into a normal rhythm.
During my STEP Signature Project, I was introduced to many leaders within the company through one on one meetings. By being exposed to higher up VPs and getting the opportunity to connect with them on a personal level I was able to become more comfortable and confident speaking to people that hold important positions such as the Chief of Staff, Staff VPs, and Executive VPs. I feel that this opportunity to network with such dignified people will only benefit me in the future. As I apply to the rotational program that Anthem has to offer for post-graduation, having these VPs on my side will boost my application and increase my likelihood for an employment offer.
By becoming more familiar with a professional work environment and being able to efficiently communicate with higher ups I feel more prepared to begin my career. With the help of my STEP Signature Project, I was able to sharpen my skillset, uncover more opportunities available to me with a Public Health degree, and set a foundation for what I would like to do after graduation.
The Value of My Transformation
This professional transformation was extremely significant for the current stage of my life because I am preparing to enter the workforce post-graduation. My STEP Signature Project taught me immeasurable skills that will allow me to enter this next phase with confidence. My project taught me how to work side by side and communicate with experts and professionals, how to ask for help, and how to perform on the same level as people that have held careers in a certain field for years. The personal and professional change I underwent this summer is something I hope everyone that hopes to gain employment after graduation is able to do. Nothing makes you feel more prepared than learning to work a full-time schedule side-by-side with professionals and experts and without my STEP Signature Project funding it would not have been possible.