When Celeste Hurst started her first job at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, she was fresh out of high school and felt driven to improve Michigan’s health any way she could. Thirty-five years later, Hurst is one of many long tenured employees at BCBSM and has the same goal she did on her very first day.
Hurst has seen a lot in her time with BCBSM: She’s worked in more than eight different offices throughout Michigan, experienced three different Presidents/CEOs, had multiple career changes and even went back to school through BCBSM’s tuition reimbursement program. Now a senior talent acquisition consultant in the Grand Rapids office, Hurst is responsible for recruiting and hiring talented candidates, developing recruitment strategies and creating new HR initiatives at BCBSM.
We sat down with Hurst to learn more about her journey at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
What was your first job at BCBSM?
“I first started as a department secretary supporting three assistant managers and 14 supervisors. From there I was selected to join the employee labor relations department as the head administrative assistant. My manager recognized my talent and passion and moved me into the talent acquisition department, which is when I really found my niche.”
What changes have you seen?
“Leadership has changed through the years and I really believe Dan Loepp has taken us in the right strategic direction. His communication style and guidance throughout the changing health care environment is welcomed by the employees. With that being said, Loepp expects the employees to know about the company they work with and for.
Technology has changed dramatically as well. I started out on a typewriter, then a display writer and I now work on a laptop.”
Can you describe one of your favorite experiences at BCBSM?
“I once worked for a senior vice president, and that was incredible. Being able to learn and expand my relationships with the executive staff really made me a part of the team. That’s where I earned the trust and respect I receive now and was a great moment in my career.”
What has kept you at BCBSM for all these years?
“It’s like a family here! We work eight or more hours a day together and the company treats us well. When the average tenure of employees in an organization is 12 years, it shows you how much people enjoy working here. Plus I’m really interested in health care. It’s changing so much these days that I like having to stay sharp and knowledgeable of what is happening.”
What have you accomplished that you’ve found specifically rewarding?
“More than 12 years ago I presented new initiatives to incorporate into structured interviews to the leaders of the company. Those initiatives are still incorporated in today’s interview process. Being able to see my work continue to make an impact has truly been rewarding to me.”