Seeking Career Development Opportunities Innovatively

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Seeking Career Development Opportunities Innovatively

Thursday, January 3, 2019

When it comes to your career growth and development, resources like development programs, templates, talent stewards, and mentors are a great guiding light to explore the different ways your career can grow. But ultimately, the power is in your hands to take action and do something about it. Jaime W., Sr. Business Analyst at Optum, talked to his manager openly and honestly about his goals. The result? An innovative career development opportunity with UnitedHealthcare Motion.

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

I’m currently a Sr. Business Analyst working with Optum Payment Integrity.  I started with Ingenix -- the health information technology subsidiary that is now known as Optum 360 -- back in late September 2009, and started as a Junior Business Analyst. Prior to that, between 2004-2007, I worked for UnitedHealthcare as a contract analyst.  In total, I’ve been with the company about 11-12 years. 9 of those years have been at Optum.

2. What does your role involve on a daily basis?

I am a business analyst in Payment Integrity. My role includes requirements gathering. Since our requirements come from Medicare Publications instead of stakeholders, our business analysts roles differ from a traditional analyst job. We also perform additional tasks like:

  • writing user stories in CA Agile/Rally [agile software and methodology]
  • updating specification documents
  • writing/creating test cases
  • working with our documentation employees, ensuring accurate communication with our clients.
Finally, we do User Acceptance Testing to ensure our clients experience no issues while installing our software products.

3. Tell us a little bit about UnitedHealthcare Motion and why you want to work with them?

UnitedHealthcare Motion is a group within UnitedHealthcare. The group is working on an initiative for our members where individuals can either obtain a fitness tracker from us, or use one they own from a handful of companies.  Using fitness tracker incentives, members can earn rewards that can be used to reduce their health insurance plan costs.  The reason I wanted to work with this group is because I’ve always had a passion for technology and how it can be used to improve people’s lives and make things more efficient.  Within the last 5-6 years, I have really put a focus on health and fitness in my personal life. By combining my two greatest passions, technology and health, I truly am doing my best work!

4. How did you start your development conversation with your manager?

I first started explaining that the work I was currently doing wasn’t bringing me the same level of satisfaction that it once was.  I also mentioned to him how I had been doing some research based on articles and information I had found on The Hub. While doing research on the Hub, I stumbled upon UnitedHealthcare Motion and it seemed like something I wanted to be a part of. I brought this to my manager with the idea that I wanted to bring a new level of satisfaction to my everyday responsibilities. After being directed to the Product Director of UnitedHealthcare Motion, I was able to land myself a part-time spot in the group.

5. What steps did you and your manager take so you could work at UnitedHealthcare Motion?

First, my manager discussed with my director to ensure this time I spent with UnitedHealthcare Motion would be accounted for from a billing perspective. The next step was for my manager to have a conversation with the UnitedHealthcare Motion Product Director to discuss their needs, what my time with them would look like, and to discuss parameters around my time with that group.  My manager and I came to an agreement that would be beneficial for everyone.

6. During your time there, what did you learn and what do you look forward to learning in the future?

I learned a great deal about UnitedHealthcare Motion, specifically the whole process, end-to-end: how members sign onto the program to how they start tracking their steps and earning incentives/rewards. Due to the limitations of my time with them, I was assigned mostly to a data clean-up effort, where I performed manual and automatic data comparisons to help track number of members. During this time, I was very interested in learning how the data flowed and even created a visio diagram to help me visualize the whole process. Since my workshare ended, they’ve also onboarded the Apple Watch into the program as well – an initiative I was really interested in.

7. What is your best advice for an employee looking to start a development conversation with their manager?  

My biggest fear in this whole process was talking to my manager about wanting to leave. In my experience, that is a huge career risk. I kept being reminded via HR emails and publications around the office that UnitedHealthcare wants their employees to succeed. Even if your current role doesn’t bring you the satisfaction you are looking for, there is a place in the company that might.  What I would say to any employee looking to explore other options: don’t be afraid to talk to your manager.  If anything, the more people you talk to, the better off you will be. In addition to my manager, I’ve also reached out to UnitedHealth Group recruiters for information, and I’ve also spoken with my team’s Human Capital partner.  

Networking is the key to gaining opportunities that you might not otherwise have had.  In fact, not long ago I read an employee’s post on The Hub about being frustrated with the hiring process.  This individual was frustrated, because she had recently earned all the credentials to move into a specific role, but everyone she talked to wanted at least a year’s worth of experience, but how could she get the experience if no one would give her a chance.  I immediately reached out to this person and let her know that one of the teams I work with was doing the type of work she was interested in, and I would talk to them on her behalf.  In the end, I was able to share that someone on that team would be retiring in the near future and there could potentially be an opening for this person.  I gave her a contact to work with and let her take over from there.  

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