Maximizing the Collegiate Experience: Preparing for the Ultimate Internship

What does it take to land an internship with the largest health insurer in Michigan? We asked previous BCBSM interns to reflect on that question and more. Below they dish on their experiences, from how they got the gig and the skills they picked up during it to how their internship helped during future job hunts.

Why were you drawn to a BCBSM internship?
“As a student, I was on the hunt for one thing: quality, real-world experience. When comparing internships, I looked for companies that would let me take on meaningful projects (not just make copies!) and that would help me gain skills and develop a deeper understanding of my field. BCBSM did all of that. I didn’t want to just fill a seat in an internship program; I wanted to actually make a real impact on my team and company.”

– Carly Getz, former BCBSM intern, current BCBSM PR and Social Media Liaison

Did you have to prepare yourself to transition from college life to working as an intern?
“Absolutely! I had been very involved in pre-professional organizations in college, which made it easier to acclimate myself to internship life. Asking my mentors questions and being involved in communications organization such as PRSA Detroit and IABC also helped me understand what was going to be expected of me.”

– Taylar Kobylas, former BCBSM intern, current BCBSM Social Media Specialist

What characteristics do you think you need to be successful in a BCBSM internship?
“You are going to need to be proactive and take advantage of all the resources you have around you. Be a sponge. Offer to help. Schedule time with leaders and team members in your department to learn about what they do. Don’t ask if your boss has feedback, ask what feedback they have for you. No matter how good you think you are, you can always improve.”

– Carly Getz

What accomplishment are you proudest of from your time as a BCBSM intern?
“I still feel pride about overhauling the Statement of Work process and implementing a new template into the system for the Procurement Department. It may not sound like much, but today all new statements of work used in the Procurement Department were created and uploaded by me and the team I worked with.”

– Kristen Suarez-Junquera, former BCBSM intern, current BCBSM Corporate Procurement Vendor Management Team Member

What has stuck with you after your internship with BCBSM?
“I picked up real applicable skills and totally changed my perspective of my future career. The most important things about an internship aren’t the specific projects you completed. Almost anyone with the right background can be trained to finish work- related tasks. What’s more important are the intangibles: how to communicate with employees of different levels in the company, seek out and utilize available resources, understand basic corporate and professional etiquette and work in a collaborative environment.”

– Maggie Ng, former BCBSM intern, current University of Michigan student, class of 2015

What can you do in an interview to hear “you’re hired!”?

  • Smile and be yourself
  • Treat the interview like a conversation.
  • Always have extra resumes with you.
  • Have answers for standard interview questions ready and use the “STAR method” (Situation, Task, Actions, Result) for targeted interviews.
  • Let the interviewer know that you really do want the job.
  • Do your research on the company. Know what’s going on in the news with them.
  • Ask questions that you can’t find the answer to on their website.

– Kristen Suarez-Junquera

When should you start looking for available internships?
“Different companies have different application processes and timelines. Start thinking about where you want to intern early on and see if you can connect with someone at the company, whether through a site like LinkedIn or simply emailing them. Get a feel for how their internship program works and whether it’d be a good fit for your skills and interests.”

– Carly Getz

To learn more about opportunities with BCBSM, including upcoming internships, visit our Careers website.

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