MBA summer catch-up: Experiencing a US company for the first time

  • September 10, 2018
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 2 minute read

Angela Lu, MBA ’19, collaborated with Ridhima Kaushal, MBA ’19, on this post on behalf of the Graduate Business Student Association. Lu is president of the organization.

Class of 2019: Summer Catch-up Series No. 5

Ridhima Kaushal, MBA ’19
Ridhima Kaushal, MBA ’19

Olin’s full-time MBA program boasts 30 to 40 percent international students each cohort—and I’m one of them! For those who didn’t grow up in the States or with experience in US corporations, what’s it like to work in an American business environment for the first time? Ridhima Kaushal, who has worked both at home in India and in France, adds a new chapter to her cultural experiences this summer.

Where were you this summer?

Over the summer, I worked for the supply chain strategy department at Express Scripts. Contrary to general belief, supply chain at Express Scripts has less to do with logistics and drug fulfillment and more with the contracts that are set up for their clients—health insurance providers, corporations, etc.). These contracts are a part of the networks, also known as products at Express Scripts. Confused already?

One of the first challenges as an intern at Express Scripts was to understand the complicated business structure of the pharmacy benefit managers and the way the US healthcare industry functions.

So, what did you have to do?

Express Scripts has grown exponentially over the years and thus the processes can get complex and confusing very easily at this $53 billion firm. This is why my team charged me with the task of streamlining some of their processes and implementing efficiencies. I was a part of the product team and devised a SharePoint solution that integrated more than 2.5 million data points in a single place.

My project had an effect on three teams directly and gave the product owners an opportunity to gain a high-level picture on one front while being able to access the details on the other. During those 12 weeks, I worked with a wide variety of people from product owners to communication managers to IT experts, but one thing was common among all of them: their willingness to help and be approachable!

And how was it, aside from all the cool deliverables you just described?

My internship was an amazing way to discover what the American business culture is like. Apart from the kaffeeklatsches and the water-cooler clans, I got to experience the openness to authority that this culture encourages.

During the executive speaker series organized for the intern batch, I got a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with Everett Neville, the executive vice president of the supply chain department. The internship program also exposed us to a host of community efforts that the company engages in. From making cards for children in hospitals to volunteering at a nearby forest for clean-up, I’ve really experienced it all now with Express Scripts!

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