Last summer at AmeriHealth Administrators (AHA), a top performing third-party administrator in the health care industry, I was a “Marketing Communications Intern.” The summer before that, I worked in the mailroom. This summer at AHA, I’m not working in the mailroom or considered an “intern.” I’m actually an Associate Marketing Communications Coordinator working in the Marketing Communications Department, and I’m even training some of the summer interns this year.
Basically, my career at AHA started in the mailroom. I worked a full-time position in the mailroom for about a year while going to Temple for their advertising program. Since my job as a “Mailroom Boy” was to walk around the offices (one located in Horsham, PA and the other in Fort Washington) and deliver mail to associates throughout the company, I spent a lot of time talking to people working in various departments of the company. From talking to these many associates, I kind of got a feel for what department would be best suited for me.
Since I’m going to Temple’s School of Media and Communication to work in the creative track of advertising, I found that the Marketing Communications Department employed many of the same skills that I use on many of my school projects. On my mail runs, I would walk by the Marketing Communications Department and see people in this department using programs we use at Temple from the Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and After Effects.
I also saw people talking about design and copy much in the same way we talk about advertising projects at Temple. I couldn’t resist, and had to throw my resume and business cards on a few Marketing Communication Managers’ desks with a little note to introduce myself. Pretty soon, I started talking to a lot of people in the department. Throughout the year I would always tell them about school projects I was working on for my various advertising classes. I would also talk to them about some of the projects they were working on.
Then one day, after a little over six months of working in the mailroom, someone from the Marketing Communications Department told me that the company would be looking for summer interns to work in that department. She told me where to go to apply and I followed her instructions. I was selected for an interview, brought my portfolio in, presented my work, and about three weeks later I was hired as a Marketing Communications Intern for an internship program that ran from June to August.
After the internship program I went back to the mailroom, and told one of the managers from Marketing Communications, “If you guys need any help, feel free to give me a shout.” After about another six months, the manager who I told to give me a “shout,” gave me a “shout.”
I went to a meeting for my yearly review as a mailroom associate with my manager at the time, the Mailroom Manager, who told me that the marketing communications department was very satisfied with the work I did for them, and they wanted me to work on an eighteen-month assignment.
I had planned on applying for another internship this summer, but it looked like I had an opportunity that I could not turn down. Everyday in this department is challenging, the Health Care Reform legislation keeps us on our toes, I always have to keep an eye out for very specific details in all the work we do, and I’m learning writing skills at the professional level. AHA has given their “Mailroom Boy” a great opportunity for career advancement.