At Blue Shield of California, we are committed to growing and developing leaders at all levels—including the 40 current members of our internship program for undergraduate and graduate students. Our 10-week program is designed to immerse participants in all aspects of our business, allowing them to learn from real-life experiences. Ultimately, our goal is to provide an environment that supports their growth—personally and professionally.
We recently checked in with a few of them and here is what they had to say:
What attracted you to Blue Shield’s summer internship program?
“I was drawn to Blue Shield of California’s internship program for several reasons. First, I have a strong interest in the healthcare industry and its impact on society. Second, their internship program offers a unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience in a company that plays a crucial role in improving health care access and outcomes. Third, Blue Shield’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is highly commendable. And lastly, the organization’s commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment and addressing health disparities resonates with my personal values.”
"What resonated the most about Blue Shield was their commitment to innovation in the health care space through human connection, courage, and honesty. When I saw the UX internship description, I was excited because the problem spaces that Blue Shield and the Health Information Technology (HIT) team were tackling felt like meaningful design areas, and I was eager to be a part of the team in innovating solutions. Designing emerging technology-based solutions to complex health care problems is difficult, but everyone I’ve worked with at Blue Shield is dedicated to tackling these issues and improving member’s lives."
“I was genuinely drawn to Blue Shield's internship program primarily because of the organization's inspiring mission and deeply ingrained values. I have always sought to align myself with companies that prioritize human connection, honesty, and courage in everything they do, and Blue Shield's commitment to these principles truly resonates with me. I believe that working with a socially responsible organization like Blue Shield will afford me invaluable opportunities to learn from industry experts and contribute my skills and ideas towards their impactful initiatives.”
“I was excited to join Blue Shield because of their mission to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality health care at an affordable price. When I was in undergrad, I worked as a patient care technician in the Surgical Acute department at a local hospital in San Diego. This experience exposed me to the challenges that disadvantaged communities face in accessing health care and motivated me to join Blue Shield in their mission to improve the healthcare landscape for these populations.”
What are some of the projects you’ve worked on during your internship?
“During my internship with the Population Health Equity team, I have been engaged in a qualitative research project focused on exploring member hesitancy in reporting self-identification data. The initial phase involved conducting an extensive environmental scan, which included categorizing and organizing relevant literature and resources on the subject. This step allowed me to gain valuable insights and perspectives to inform the ongoing research.” -Jordan Williams
“Over the course of my internship, I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects that identify and solve problems in a diverse array of areas. Some of my favorite projects, in no particular order, include:
- Researching and designing a generative AI chat interface to make it easy to find articles in internal knowledgebases.
- Designing user journeys to innovate how we can improve patient outcomes for members with prediabetes.
- Researching users for a member-facing customer service chat pilot to help guide potential use cases.
- Conducting research and designing personas to make the internal transition to MS Teams as seamless as possible.”
What skills have you learned through your internship?
“Working at Blue Shield has provided me with valuable insights into the complexities of the healthcare industry. I have had the opportunity to apply and further develop my analytical skills in a real-world setting.” -Oluwaseun Oriretan
“Throughout my internship so far, I have had the privilege of honing my skills across various areas. Through engaging in diverse projects and dedicated professional development, I have honed and strengthened my abilities in project management, data analysis, and strategic problem-solving.” -Jordan Williams
“I’ve learned so much in the past few weeks and I’ve seen the most growth in my results, thought, people, and personal leadership skills. The foundation of these skills, and perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned to focus on here at Blue Shield, is empathy. By really listening to what people feel and say, from members to providers to employees, my perspective of the world has grown. Embracing empathy as a fundamental part of the research and design process has allowed me to ask critical questions that lead to meaningful collaborations, and ultimately, better solutions.” -Arianna Cano
What are your future career goals?
“My future career goal is to work in a business analyst role where I can combine my interests in business and health with my abilities in data analysis, client discovery, and process improvement!” -Yasmin Yacoubian
“I aspire to build a public health career that drives positive change by developing innovative and effective strategies to engage historically excluded and marginalized communities, enhancing their health outcomes, and transforming their interactions with the healthcare system. I am also keen on leveraging media, communications, and community-based participatory research to amplify voices, foster meaningful connections, and empower communities in shaping their healthcare experiences and outcomes.”
What are some of your biggest takeaways from Blue Shield’s summer internship program so far?
“One of my biggest takeaways from Blue Shield's summer internship program so far is the large number of stakeholders involved in the healthcare landscape. When I was solely involved in the clinical side of health care, I was only exposed to clinical staff (like myself), hospital administrators and patients. Now that I am working with Blue Shield, I am understanding that there are so many more players involved in health care – like strategy executives, product marketing managers, sourcing specialists, claims reviewers and more – that each play an integral part in the process of delivering care to patients. I am looking forward to gaining more exposure to these players and refining my understanding of the healthcare landscape further!” -Yasmin Yacoubian
“Some of my biggest takeaways from the program so far include having multiple opportunities to contribute as a thought partner within my team, engaging in meaningful research projects and the importance of maintaining a growth mindset while embracing challenges to further develop my skillsets as a public health professional.” -Jordan Williams
What advice do you have for prospective future interns?
“My advice to future interns would be to embrace learning opportunities and be proactive in seeking them out. Blue Shield of California offers a wealth of resources and experienced professionals who are willing to share their knowledge.” -Oluwaseun Oriretan
“I recommend that future interns be proactive in every facet of the internship program. Specifically, I advise them to clearly define the skills they want to learn in their 10 weeks with Blue Shield, then determine which projects will best help them develop these abilities. Additionally, I recommend interns to make dedicated time for meeting Blue Shield employees from departments across the organization – it is a great learning experience to see how each department contributes to Blue Shield's mission of creating a high-quality healthcare system.” -Yasmin Yacoubian
Are you searching for opportunities to advance your career? Learn more about how Blue Shield can support your professional growth and development.