Interning in Chicago – The Blue Experience

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern with Health Care Services Corporation also known as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL, MT, NM, OK, and Texas (Quite the mouthful). I was a member of the internal audit team, assessing our internal business practices and identifying ways to more efficiently deliver care to the patients insured by Blue Cross. It was a fun summer, to say the least.

My journey to Blue Cross started nearly a year ago. Last fall, I met a director of audit at the National Black MBA Conference held in Philadelphia. A quick sidenote: The National Black MBA Conference is a must for students and the OSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion typically sponsors a group of students every fall. Another compelling factor is that these conferences put you in a great position to both network and meet global companies.

Once the summer came around, I was ready to dive into the internship. One of the great things about Blue Cross is their structured intern program. Between the Illinois and Texas offices, there were 150 interns (including 15 graduate interns). One of the best events was “Lattes with Leaders,” a weekly event where interns would grab coffee with a member of executive leadership. Some of our guest speakers included the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Medical Officer, and the President of the Illinois Blue Cross Plan. I took notes in every meeting and reflected on ways to grow as a leader.

Another compelling attribute of the internship is the annual Intern Innovation Challenge. For the competition, I was paired with four other interns and had to devise an innovative solution addressing the mental health challenges faced by high school and college-aged students. Our group created Bearable, a chatbot driven referral network that will provide students with rapid access to a clinical provider. We had an incredible team who worked hard to on the project. Without a doubt, the hard work showed because we won 1st place!!

It was a memorable summer and I will never forget the wonderful team that I met. I can’t thank Blue Cross Blue Shield, the National Black MBA Association, and Ohio State enough for their roles in making it happen.