By Andrew Aguilera,
Stillman News Editor
Deane Franco is a junior double majoring in finance and information technology with a certificate in data analytics. He is from West Orange, NJ and is largely involved on campus. He is a team member of the Gerald P. Buccino ’63 Center for Leadership Development, and holds executive board positions for the Ski and Snowboard Club, and Food Recovery Network. During his free time, he enjoys exercising, participating in Spartan runs and half marathons, and going hiking. This past summer, he had the opportunity to intern at Express Scripts.
Q: What were your responsibilities as an intern?
A: I was a Strategy and Planning Process improvement intern for the IT department at Express Scripts. My job was to help look through and work through improvement requests for main projects my team was looking at streamlining for the company.
Specifically, my team consisted of business relationship managers. I got involved with the supply chain area by approving project proposals and getting them onto the execution stage. Mainly I focused on what kind of new technology techniques I could bring to the table to help with planning, forecasting, or estimation processes.
Q: Why did you choose to apply for an internship at Express Scripts?
A: A year ago, I had an internship experience in human resources and finance at a nonprofit. So, this summer I was looking to test out my other major and explore IT opportunities.
The experience offered unique exposure to the IT field as my position was the only business facing department within the IT vertical so I had to learn to speak the business language and learn to work with developers.
Q: How did you go about getting the internship?
A: I applied to Express Scripts because I found the internship on the Navigator. I knew that we had some Seton Hall graduates who worked there in the past, and that pharmaceutical is a big industry that is not going away. I thought it was a safe pick.
Q: What was the most valuable skill that you learned while interning?
A: I learned how to start from nothing and become a self-starting, impactful worker.
On day one, I knew nothing about the pharmaceutical industry or even what Express Scripts did.
But I learned, took tons of notes, asked a million questions, and now I know the industry landscape.
Even through my shadowing period I would bring project ideas to the table before I was given any work and that showcased my skills which led to more work.
Being uncomfortable and using that as my motivation to not want to feel like that helped me be successful this summer.
Q: How was learning in a work environment different than learning in a classroom?
A: In both situations, I walk into the situation relatively clueless on day one.
However, in the classroom, you should have some cumulative knowledge to give you a starting base whereas the work environment can consist of completely new jargon, business concepts, and skills.
Even though I feel more prepared in the classroom than in a new work environment, the work world is set up for development much more effectively than academia.
The work environment has training, mentors, mandatory skill building, and career building sessions that guide you to becoming successful.
In the classroom, there is less of a structure and a big emphasis on the classroom style which affects if a student succeeds or not.
Q: What was the company culture like?
A: Express Scripts as a whole was a professional, relaxed, and accomplished environment to be a part of. I was in an office that was acquired in a major acquisition a few years ago and I could sense that the culture was still maturing.
However, interns were flown for free to the company headquarters in St. Louis to get a full picture of what the company is like.
Their leadership really believes in growing and fostering the young talent and that shows through their opportunities and respect for their employees.
Q: What were some skills that you learned at Seton Hall that you used in your internship?
A: Seton Hall gave me the confidence to ask questions, the ability to go out and network, communication, and presentation skills.
All of these skills I needed to utilize while at Express Scripts.
Q: What advice would you give to students who are actively searching for internships?
A: I know it may be hard to hear, but do not mass apply for internships because you need experience and the interview process is hard.
I have been rejected by many companies throughout the interview process, but at the end of the day you need to do your homework and truly understand if you want to be a part of an organization or not.
I worked with other interns who did not enjoy the experience and it was such a difference experience for them. They completed the experience just to put it on their resumes.
You have to want to be a part of the experience you are applying for.
Q: What is next for you in your career?
A: Hopefully, I will end up back on the same team at Express Scripts from last summer, but I do believe in keeping all options open.
Although my time clock is ticking down to when I will decide to go back to Express Scripts, I have been talking to other companies about what their internship programs are like, what career paths they create, and what a successful summer would be like in their internship experience.
I am only 20 years old and although I really like Express Scripts to say that it is a perfect fit for me, not looking at what is out there would only be cheating myself.
All in all, their culture has left a positive impact on me and I feel that it would be a great company to start my career at.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 22nd print edition.
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