After interning with the OptumRx division of UnitedHealth Group this summer, economics and history double major Colin Smith ’21 recently accepted a job offer with the healthcare company known for being one of the largest in the world. He will be working in the internal operations team, starting part-time this November and moving to full-time after his graduation, as an Associate in Client Management Operations. For the foreseeable future, the job will be entirely remote.
During the summer, Smith conducted research projects focusing on healthcare economic trends. “Being part of a small group of interns in a large company, I was lucky enough to receive a copious amount of training and professional experience,” says Smith, a member of Chi Phi and the Hobart football team. “The most distinguishing part of my experience was the mentorship I received from one of Optum’s senior executives.”
OptumRx is a pharmacy benefit manager that works to create unique plans for public and privately funded healthcare plans. “I will be a part of a multi-year transformation process as OptumRx prioritizes in technological implementation to drive cost down and enhance consumer experience. In return, this will decrease the price of prescription pharmaceuticals and encourage our members to live healthier lives,” Smith says.
This internal shift and push to drive drug prices down is a major reason why Smith is excited to work at OptumRx. “I am in the rare position to compose a system to make pharmaceutical drugs more affordable to all Americans and help Americans live healthier lives,” he says. “I have the opportunity to work through the complete transformation process and learn about the firm from the ground up.”
He credits his success at OptumRx and his drive to make a positive impact on the faculty at Hobart and William Smith, especially Instructor of History Virgil Slade and Assistant Professor of Economics Kellin Stanfield. “I took Professor Slade seminar ‘Lives of Consequences.’ The seminar broadened my perspective of the world, pronounced a more socially conscious perspective, and improved my communication abilities,” Smith says. “With Professor Stanfield, I took both Financial Macroeconomics and Macroeconomics which allowed me to apply economic concepts to changing healthcare trends in America.”
Jake Mirsky ’18, an alum and fellow member of Chi Phi, originally suggested Smith apply for the OptumRx internship and was a valuable resource during his application process along with the Salisbury Center for Career Services. Mirsky currently works as an analyst for Accenture, an IT Services company in Washington, D.C.