Getting an internship at UnitedHealth Group is not only an opportunity to do something extraordinary with your summer, it’s also an opportunity to land your first full time job. Most college students know the last internship before graduation is perhaps the most important one.
So how do students make the most of these short-term experiences and turn them into full-time job offers post-graduation? We spoke to a few recent former UnitedHealth Group interns who are now full time employees to get their advice.
Nathan A. now works for UnitedHealth Group as an Actuary, where he had his first college internship. “I had some interest from other companies, but (UnitedHealth Group’s) offer was solid and they are a company with a good reputation which made me feel good about my choice,” he said. “When I got here, it’s the people I worked with that made me even more confident in my choice.”
Speaking to employees during the interview process helped Emily C., an Associate Actuarial Analyst at UnitedHealth Group, decide to do her internship here. “I did actually have a couple internship offers from other companies by the time I received my offer from UnitedHealth Group. Ultimately, why I decided to intern here is because of the future I saw at the company.” She continues, “I’ve been told the goal of the internship program is to convert interns to full time employees. To that end, the organization extends so many resources to help prepare interns for their futures beyond the internship and college. I was confident the experience I would gain from an internship at UnitedHealth Group would help get me ready for the rest of my career.”
As a Financial Analyst at UnitedHealth Group, Katie B. uses technical skills learned during her internship every day. “These skills have been a huge help at my current full time role. Also it was helpful to get a feel of what working for UnitedHealth Group was like. My experience as an intern was a positive one and let me know that working here full time would be a good fit for me,” she told us.
Emily C. agrees that learning technical skills during your internship are key to preparing you for your future career, “I picked up both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills that I continue to use after college in my day-to-day work. I gained experience with Excel, VBA, SQL and Access in ways that I think only on-the-job training can provide. I learned how to put together summaries which proves to be a very useful skill every day, and it taught me how to effectively communicate my findings and highlight important features in a meaningful way. These analytical skills are particularly useful because they are universal.”
Get a Mentor
A mentor is someone who has the type of career you would like to have, and they can give you a lot of valuable information during your internship and beyond. Nate A. had a mentor during his internship at UnitedHealth Group, “She was incredibly friendly and we spoke about our experiences and how we hoped to develop in our careers, as well as our personal lives. In all honestly, I could’ve utilized my mentor more.”
Emily C. discovered her mentor was able to give her support beyond what her manager could offer her, “I met with him each week to talk about my overall experience. I found that my manager more supported my work and projects, while my mentor was there to make sure I was getting the most I could out of this opportunity as a whole… in many ways, my mentor helped supplement my learning to ensure my experience was well-rounded.”
During her internship at UnitedHealth Group, Emily C. noticed her interpersonal skills developed significantly. “Over the course of the internship, I learned how to communicate the results of my analyses to upper management in ways that college never taught me.” She continues, “Having stronger interpersonal skills has already helped me in my professional career.”
For Katie B., networking and relationship building was an area that she worked on while interning at UnitedHealth Group. “There are so many people working (at UnitedHealth Group) and they all have different career paths and experiences. I tried to meet with people from many different areas to gain a wider understanding of our business,” she told us.
Katie B. has this advice for students considering an internship at UnitedHealth Group, “Do it! If you have the chance to intern here I would totally recommend it. I have had a great experience and feel lucky to have had the opportunity.” She adds, “One piece of advice I would give to interns is to remember that the entire experience is basically one big interview. Make sure to work hard and ask questions. Most people want to help you, all you have to do is ask.”
Along with that, Nate A. has these remarks about working at UnitedHealth Group, “There are a lot of good companies that you can go work for, but few have the people and the culture UnitedHealth Group does. When you get here, you realize how friendly and happy to help everyone is. You see how many incredibly intelligent individuals are working here, and your work truly means a lot to how the company runs and how our members receive care. Be open-minded, be curious, and work hard. Perseverance can take you a long way.”