As Second Year Audrey Dyer (MBA ’22) finishes her internship with CVS Health – and during a remarkable year for health care – she encourages rising First Years to remember that every recruiting journey is different. “Run your own race,” she says, and remember that “you’re at Darden for a reason”. Here, Audrey kicks off our Summer Internship Reflections series and looks back at her time spent on the CVS Enterprise Market Strategy team.
Tell us about your internship.
My role this summer was an MBA Intern on the Enterprise Market Strategy team. This team sits under CVS Health’s Caremark business, which is the company’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). PBMs are a lesser-known but important piece of the U.S. health care puzzle, as they partner with health plans to manage drug spend, process drug claims and ensure appropriate drug utilization.
Overall, the small but mighty Enterprise Market Strategy team supports strategic growth of the PBM by producing competitive/market insights and recommendations to power decisions and win in the marketplace. We monitor policy and market trends, as well as what Caremark’s competitors are doing, to support long-term strategy.
Every day was different, but my major projects included a year-over-year analysis of a competitor’s book of business to support an upcoming buying season, researching and reporting on digital health investments, and updating a primer on the quickly-growing Medicare Advantage market using CMS datasets.
What have you most enjoyed thus far in your internship?
I truly enjoyed the agile nature of my team. I mentioned three projects above, but there were many ad-hoc analyses, presentations, and opportunities for strategic thinking outside of those projects. Being able to lend a hand in a number of tasks gave me a well-rounded view of the important work the team is doing.
Also, my direct team was WONDERFUL to work with and made going to work every day fun and enjoyable.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Learning the intricacies of the huge organization that is CVS Health has been a challenge that I’m still learning from! I came from a large consulting firm before Darden so I understand the complexities of a large organization, but the vertically-integrated nature of CVS Health can be difficult to understand at first.
Combining retail presence (the brick and mortar pharmacy) with health insurance (CVS acquired Aetna in 2018) and their dominance in the pharmacy/PBM space (Caremark) can provide a lot of value for the customer on their health care journey, but it’s a lot to wrap your head around in a 10-week internship.
Which of your FY classes or your learnings from FY has been most applicable to your internship?
Core does a great job of providing a well-rounded foundation for your internship, so I would definitely say that I’ve pulled something from every single one of my courses.
If I had to pick though, I’d chose marketing due to its focus on the customer. My team at CVS is laser-focused on understanding who their customer is and tailoring analyses, communications, etc., to fit their needs, which was a key area of focus in Marketing (shoutout to Kim Whitler!)
What advice do you have for rising FYs who are beginning their internship recruiting soon?
I’d remind FYs that everyone’s recruiting journey is different! Know yourself and what you’re looking for, be confident in your abilities (you’re at Darden for a reason), and “run your own race”. Your section mates, the Career Center, faculty, and new friends will all be there to cheer you on and support you.
Any others thoughts you’d like to share?
I’d encourage all of my Darden friends to check out the newly-renovated CVS HealthHUB across from Barracks Road Shopping Center. CVS HealthHUBs are the company’s vision for a better future of health, offering health care services at a MinuteClinic; a pharmacy and expanded selection of wellness support and health products, telehealth, and a care concierge to help guide you every step of the way. It’s a new, integrated model for health care that I think is super innovative and promising!