The Internship Experience: Subramani Ramkumar, MIS Candidate 2014, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association


Subramani Ramkumar

Full-time MS-MIS Candidate 2014

Field of Work: Healthcare IT

Undergraduate Degree: Computer Science and Engineering

Undergraduate School: New Horizon College of Engineering, Bangalore, India

Career Goal: To be an entrepreneur in the field of Healthcare IT.



How did you find your internship?

I applied to the position listing on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association career portal. In a couple of weeks, I got a call from the HR associate asking me to come in for an interview. In the face-to-face interview, I got a sense of the role's responsibilities and what I stood to learn from the experience and their expectations of me. When I got the call a couple of days later, I gladly accepted.

Did you receive any help from the Business Career Center in finding your internship?

Yes, I received significant assistance from the Business Career Center in landing this internship. In the start of the internship hunt, I had meetings with Justin Lall and James Brown who helped me create a polished resume that would catch the eye of a recruiter. I also got help in terms of information about interview tips, how to follow-up with interviewers, and how to stay connected with different points-of-contacts at various companies.

Did you have multiple internship offers?

Yes, I did have multiple offers. I had an offer for the role of a Web Analyst at The Plum Tree Group and the role of a Business Analyst at Jeppenson – a Boeing Company to go along with the offer as an Operations Intern at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

What factor(s) did you consider when choosing to accept your internship offer?

It was a tough decision to make – to choose between the offers I had.  Ultimately what helped me was my inherent interest in working in the healthcare domain especially in today’s time, when providing healthcare services of highest quality is of great importance. This led me to choose Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. I felt that the opportunity to work with the biggest force in the healthcare domain is something I couldn't pass up. The role promised that I would have a chance to put to test my existing skill set whilst acquiring new skills, as well.

What are your responsibilities at your internship?

As an intern on the Operations team at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, I am currently working on a project to enhance the performance of their Geospatial services. The goal is to improve the time taken by a customer to find the nearest Blue location based on their location. I have the opportunity to work on cutting edge tools such as Rational Application Development, Oracle, and SAS to understand and analyze the current application and seek to improve it in the future.

What do you like most about your internship?

The greatest learning from this internship thus far is the opportunity to learn how Corporate America runs! Having worked in India before this was a significant and pleasant shift in work culture. I am given an opportunity to test the skills I learnt in the last year at UIC through the top-notch curriculum. At the same time, I am eager to learn new skills on the fly that bolster my profile.

What has been the most valuable lesson you've learned at your internship, thus far?

The most significant lesson I have learned thus far is that hard work always gets its due. When I was assigned a project that I didn't have too much knowledge in, I faced a few hurdles, but with each hurdle I came to recognize how determined and motivated I could keep myself in the quest of accomplishing the task at hand. Eventually, when I did finish the task assigned, there was recognition given by my mentor all the way up to the Director of Operations. This kind of reinforcement really made me and my work feel appreciated.

Do you have a mentor at your internship? If you do, what has been the most valuable piece of advice you've received?

Yes, I do have a mentor at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Ayesha is a wonderful mentor who helped me right from day one. She helped with me all the little things involved helping me get settled in, to guiding me to the various avenues of knowledge that I can use to enhance my understanding of the application.

The most important piece of advice she shared with me is the idea that anything can be done. The knowledge or experience working on a particular domain is secondary to having a keen interest to learn and the desire to seek help from those who have significant experience. If I do these two things right, any obstacle can be overcome and any goal can be accomplished.