Vanessa Redensek: Opening a career, closing a market

  • August 8, 2018
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 3 minute read

Angela Lu, MBA 2019, is president of the Graduate Business Student Association and co-authored this with Vanessa Redensek, MBA 2019, on behalf of the organization.

Vanessa Redensek
Vanessa Redensek

All right, all right! Let’s keep this #humblebrag ball rolling and find out what the energetic Vanessa Redensek has been up to in the bustling home of Broadway and Central Park. We spied her on TV not so long ago. What was that all about?

Vanessa, what brings you to the Big Apple this Summer?

I am working for Cognizant Technology Solutions as a summer associate within the healthcare consulting business unit. My client for the summer is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health plan providers headquartered in New York City. It is a $10 billion company with 3.1 million members.

As a summer associate, I relocated to NYC to work directly with the client as we get ready to launch new applications across the business, which will directly impact their entire healthcare system from members, to providers, to employers and beyond.

What was it like to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq?

Since the first day I was accepted into the Cognizant family, I have been treated as an equal. Cognizant is a very flat organization. I have had the opportunity to meet other associates at all levels, from business analysts to C-suite executives.

I had the very unique opportunity to go celebrate Cognizant’s 20-year anniversary as a publicly traded firm on Nasdaq. We celebrated in Times Square at Nasdaq’s headquarters, cheering on live TV as Karen McLoughlin, the CFO, rang the closing bell (10:32 mark on this video). Our photos and live video were also broadcast on a giant billboard in Times Square, which was thrilling to see and also hilarious because people on the street started taking our photos thinking we were celebrities.

When you’re not busy being in the news with them, what are you doing with Cognizant this summer?

Cognizant is developing multiple applications from a standard “out of the box” solution into a customized app, specific to our client’s needs. I was thrown right in the trenches with my team in operational readiness.

I work in the middle of many moving parts. I verify that all the pieces and stakeholders are aligned at go-live to prevent delays in delivery or acceptance. My role is so critical to the success of the project that my internship was extended for two extra weeks to ease the pain of my roll-off and expedite the onboarding of my replacement resource! To my knowledge, this is a first for Cognizant internships.

I have also joined Embrace—Cognizant’s group for LGBTQIA+ and allies—focused on creating an environment where all people can develop and grow to their full potential. As a very new group, the formal global announcement for Embrace is set for late August.

I helped create this global announcement, along with an internal survey and census to understand the kind of support and professional development that our LGBTQIA+ associates are seeking and in need of.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that I do nothing but work! In addition to exploring the city on the weekends, I definitely have enjoyed lots of team bonding experiences outside of work, including happy hours at rooftop bars, dinners at amazing restaurants, and even a Yankees game. This isn’t special treatment for interns; this is normal life as a consultant at Cognizant.

About the Author

Washington University in Saint Louis

WashU Olin Business School

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