For past few months I was thinking to pen down my experience during this year's summers at Express Scripts as a Data Science intern in the Clinical Research and New Solutions division. After 3 months savoring the memories, I finally found some time to reflect back on what I learned and what I achieved in those 3 months.
Coming from a Chemistry and Scientific Computing background, I did have the skill set to get the job done but I still learned a ton during the internship. Previously I had the experience with predictive modeling in my research here at University of Michigan but the problem statement and context were completely different during the internship. The intern project made me familiarize with different aspects and intricacies of predictive modeling in clinical domain, different techniques of doing things and how the model would be put into production.
The other major highlight of the internship was the 1-1 with leadership in different departments of the company. It helped me gain an insider perspective on the business model of a PBM (Pharmaceutical Benefit Manager) and the functions the different departments perform within the company from sales, logistics, accounting, finance, HR and distribution. It also helped me understand the day-to-day workings and responsibilities of a director, VP, Senior VPs, COO, CTO and CEO of a fortune 25 company. I also got some great pieces of advise from all the people I met within the company and few of them which I will always remember are following:
- You are your own boss of your career. No one can or should decide your career except you!
- Surround yourself with people smarter than you and when you think you are equal or surpassed them, it's time for a change!
- Be a sponge and absorb as much around you as possible! (Which I always try to do!)
- Build your own brand!
- Know your strengths and weaknesses! And never be scared to say No.
- Use fewer exclamation marks in professional emails as possible! (That's a hard one to follow!!)
Written by Sahil Chhabra
Country of Origin: India
Ph.D. Student in Chemistry