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Internship Expectations: Chris Hoina

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC interns around a table

The following is a guest blog post from Chris Hoina, who just completed his first year in our full-time MBA program. At the time of publishing, Chris was three weeks into his internship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC. 


Jenkins MBA asked me to write a “short-ish” blog post regarding any expectations I might have for my upcoming internship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC and maybe this is naïve, but my expectations are pretty high.  When I began my internship search in the winter, I confided in my career counselor, Roderick Lewis, that I wouldn’t just accept any internship offer for the sake of garnering experience.  I knew exactly what I wanted and wouldn’t settle for anything less than an internship that would take my Marketing and Innovation concentrations and put them to use. Happily, I found exactly what I was searching for.

I am pleased that Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC believes I can bring something to the table within their Structured Innovation division.  Honestly, I’m most looking forward to actually applying what I’ve learned in the classroom- NC State is heavily steeped in STEM and the courses I took this year have prepared me to tackle some of the current issues we as a nation face in the healthcare industry. Considering my resume is a hodgepodge of sorts, it will be nice to gather some additional formal business experience.  While I’ve done some consulting and mentoring I’ve never really found myself in a traditional office setting.  This internship will be a chance to really explore this side of the business world.

Earlier this week I spoke to my supervisor to gain some insight on my position over the next 10 weeks and I was left even more energized than before.  It was great to hear some of the positive things that BCBSNC has planned for myself and the other interns.  I’m most excited about the projects we’ll be working on and the leadership teams that we’ll be meeting.  It sounds like I’ll have my hands pretty full, juggling a lot of projects simultaneously.  We’ll even have the opportunity to work on a service project in the local area.

Most importantly, I’m excited to learn more about our nation’s healthcare industry.  Since learning about my internship I’ve been reading up on trade publications, white papers, industry reports, journals, and even tackling Steven Brill’s “America’s Bitter Pill”.  I’ve always been covered under some form of employer-sponsored health insurance, so I’ve never really experienced the woes and frustrations that come along with health plans and I think this will be a challenging and enlightening exploration of the labyrinthian maze that is healthcare. Also, this might be a great opportunity for me to ideate some novel solutions to helping everyday North Carolinians!

It’s said that form, fit, and function are all necessary ingredients to creating a new part or designing a new process.  Similarly form, fit, and function are necessary to finding the perfect role at that perfect organization.  Over the course of my career and throughout the Jenkins MBA program I’ve learned that company culture and fit are the most important pieces to the puzzle and are often overlooked components to finding that perfect role.  I’ll be spending 50% of my waking hours with this organization, so it will be exciting to see how well I assimilate into this burgeoning healthcare company.  Everybody that I have spoken to at BCBSNC has had nothing but positive things to say and that’s really exciting and rare.  After reading this, I dare you to visit BCBSNC’s social media profiles and find a person that isn’t smiling or laughing or appearing to genuinely enjoy the work they are doing!

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