Who Says Internships Have to be Boring?
My name is Austin Proffitt, and I am a junior at the University of Saint Francis (USF) working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) as well as Finance. I am a part of the Keith Busse School of Business EPIC program which requires students to complete internships and participate in real-life learning experiences. I also play golf for the St. Francis golf team and am heavily involved in student government on campus. This summer I started an internship role at Physicians Health Plan in Fort Wayne within the Group Experience Team.
Physicians Health Plan is is Northern Indiana’s only local, not-for-profit health insurance company, founded and directed by area physicians. PHP has more than 160 employees, serves more than 1,400 employer groups (nearly 65,000 members) and offers group health, dental, prescription drug plans, life, disability, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).
Internships have a reputation of being boring or not holding much value for students and for employers—at Physicians Health Plan (PHP), that expectation does not hold true.
When I arrived at PHP, there was an instant emphasis placed on my role. My internship is split into three phases, with supervisors guiding me to complete a syllabus-like task plan along the way. I will shift from sales to group implementation to account management teams meaning there will be a lot of movement in my time here (the company is even moving locations during my internship!). This is a very unique opportunity for an intern and PHP has put me in a position to make a positive impact and personally grow during this year-long endeavor.
With the opportunity I’ve been given it’s clear that PHP is investing into future talent and building real-life experiences for people to develop professionally. This opportunity has provided me incredible insight on the insurance side of things, but more importantly, the people side of things. I have learned that PHP pride is placed on building relationships inside and outside the office and, above all, we value our members and customers.
Real-Life Experience Reinforces Academic Studies
My experiences here at PHP have reinforced what I have learned and continue to learn within the USF business program. From spreadsheets tricks to project management skills, I have utilized many of the tools I have learned while at Saint Francis to enhance my impact at PHP.
I am interning twenty hours a week while taking 18 credit hours and playing a collegiate sport, so my time management skills are being put to the test. There are never enough hours in a day, however I have been given a great opportunity in addition to my studies and didn’t want to pass up the chance to learn and grow professionally through this internship.
To anyone debating whether an internship is for them or not, I will leave you with a quote - “Never regret-- If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad--- it’s experience.”
Past experience leads to future success, so be sure to take opportunities in front of you. My opportunity here as PHP has been a blessing and I am glad I’m here because regret can be among the worst pains out there, and that type of pain is a treatment cost code not covered in health insurance.