Technology careers in the Philippines - an interview with Evee Goana, Technology Operations Lead

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Technology careers in the Philippines - an interview with Evee Goana, Technology Operations Lead

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Technology plays a vital role in the way we innovate at UnitedHealth Group. Technology is vast and it’s not always easy that’s why we have people like Evee, our Technology Operations Lead for Optum, a business of UnitedHealth Group to help us. Here Evee shares what it’s like to work as a technology professional at UnitedHealth Group and also shares what kind of technology career one can get here.

1. What is your current role and how long have you been working with us?

I’m currently the Technology Operations Lead of Optum Global Solutions Technology Services, part of the UnitedHealth Group family of businesses in the Philippines.  As Tech Operations Lead, I also lead the Project Management Office (PMO) and Delivery Transformation in the Philippines.  I’ve been with the company for almost 4 months.

2. What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect of your work at UnitedHealth Group?

Given my time with the company, the most challenging aspect was getting up to speed with all the information available at hand.  I had to learn and understand the processes, policies, know the people and initiatives of Optum in a short amount of time to become effective in my role.  My responsibility entails dealing with various information and cross-functional groups like Finance, Operations Excellence, Project Teams and Leaders across Optum Philippines and India so I can effectively manage operations and deliver timely and accurate information. 

3. What are the technology careers at UnitedHealth Group? How different is it to other technology companies?

Technology careers in Optum Philippines are mainly in the Infrastructure and Delivery Services domain. Infrastructure Services include System Operations, End User Technology Services, Helpdesk, Contact center services, etc. Delivery services include Solutions Support and Maintenance Operations, Application Development, Interactive Design Services/Digital Experience, etc.

We are looking for systems analysts, Java developers, technology support analysts, network analysts/consultants, testing managers, project coordinators and IT managers.  To learn more about the latest job openings, I suggest that you check and filter by job field (Information Technology) and country (Philippines).

Clientele base of Optum Technology Services is mainly captive for now thus we mostly engage in the health care services and solutions industry but the services we offer in general do not differ much from other technology companies.

4. What’s it like being a Technology professional at UnitedHealth Group?

Optum, part of the UnitedHealth Group family of businesses, is still relatively young at 5 years and we are expecting to exponentially grow in the coming years.  We are in the middle of this business expansion and it’s exciting to be part of this journey and see the different opportunities for growth open up for the employees and the company. We need to be open to transformation and still stay true to our United Culture.

Our company works hard to keep the people engaged and that’s what I’ve observed when I started.  Management and Human Capital work closely to keep the people informed and involved. This investment of the company on its people makes me proud to be part of UnitedHealth Group.

5. How do you think our technology professionals at UnitedHealth Group are contributing to our company’s mission?

Everything we do is in service and support of the company that helps people live healthier lives
and help make the health system work better for everyone.  To keep the infrastructure functionally stable and usable, our software secure, compliant, updated and available, and delivering these services timely, with high quality and excellence keep the people efficient and effective in the work that they do.

6. What kind of career growth can a technology professional experience with us?

The Technology Services group provides opportunity for interested IT graduates and skilled professionals to be part of a technology team offering services like Application Development, Production Support, Testing and Infrastructure/Network Operations support. 

Our Technology Development Program provides a customized curriculum and on-the-job experience to recent college graduates so they can gain knowledge on the different types of work that we do in Technology and eventually be placed in open positions.  Based on skill set and/or interest, we align resources to roles that will fulfill a business need. 

We provide training and skills development on Java, Python, MySQL, HTML, .Net, PeopleSoft, and Mainframe to name a few.  We train resources to be developers, software and support analysts, engineers, architects and for those who want to pursue project management, there is a track for project managers.

7. How important is employee engagement for you as a leader? And what are some of the ways you engage your team?

Very important.  Engaged people displays passion at work which translates to high performing and caring individuals.  If everyone is engaged, life at work will be better   

As a People Manager, I make sure that my regular meetings with my team members are always productive.  Whether it be formal or informal, it is important that I get to hear them out, set action plans and follow through on expectations. I share the company’s vision and plans and get them involved in the process by being inclusive when it comes to decision-making, planning improvements, setting expectations for the future.  When they understand their role and purpose in the bigger picture, it is easier to get them involved.

8. How do you mentor your team for greater growth?

Given my years of experience in my field of work, I can say that I’ve learned a lot in the process.  These valuable lessons are what I share with my team.  Hopefully they learn from my experience in making decisions at work.  Sometimes what people need is a little nudge in the right direction and validation from a person they trust so that they are empowered to make decisions. 

9. What advice would you give to someone seeking a career in Technology?

Technology careers are fast paced. You need to be open to changes and always be interested to learn. Technology continually evolves and we value innovation.

Know your strengths and interests.  Is problem solving for you?  Is developing and building programs more your forte? Is back end system maintenance and support more your interest?  Technology offers different roles and knowing where your interests lie may influence and shape your career path.  On the other hand, be open to what may be offered or assigned to you.  Technology is broad and it’s always a learning experience.

Be open to following processes and procedures. Technology means reusing best practices and learning from others.

Learn to work in a team. Be confident and have good communication skills.

10. What are some of the qualities you are looking for when you are interviewing candidates in Technology roles?

Talent and Drive. Skills can only get you somewhere but the drive to learn and succeed is what takes you to the next level.

Whenever I interview candidates, I pose questions that will help me measure the candidate’s mastery of skill so I can see if he/she is capable of analytical thinking.  In the technology field, we look for people who are open to challenges and are resourceful so they can be good problem solvers / troubleshooters. 

For drive and passion, I look for confidence, communication skills, leadership qualities and personal values.

11. Tell me a reason that a technology professional might choose UnitedHealth Group?

Apart from our company being Number 7 on Fortune 500 in the US, and Number 14 in the Global Fortune 500 which gives pride to all our employees, a person might choose UnitedHealth Group over others because of our competitive offer package and growth opportunity. We are growing in numbers and that usually implies faster career advancement.  Work-life balance is also something very much valued in UnitedHealth Group.  We, the employees, feel compassion from our leaders and true to the company’s mission, the company values its people and “living healthier lives”.

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