From Intern to Employee

Three recent graduates share why they chose to work at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Sept. 28, 2023

Every summer, BlueCross welcomes dozens of college students as part of the company’s hands-on internship program. Students join the company from colleges as far away as Canada. They spend about 12 weeks working in a range of areas across the company, like marketing, human resources, accounting and information technology (IT).  

At the end of the summer, students go back to school with new skills and an understanding of the company’s business. Some interns come back to intern with the company for a second summer. A few even land full-time jobs with BlueCross after graduation. 

“I had a good experience as an intern. Immediately, I realized how different the school environment is from the work environment. Everybody I worked with was helpful and understanding, always willing to give advice,” says Caleb Daniels, a data analyst on the network contracting and reimbursement team. 

Daniels graduated from Anderson University with a degree in computing and data analytics in May 2023. The summer before, he interned as a data analyst in the Medicare Advantage area of the company. 

“My internship was a lot of learning how the company works and how the team works as part of that bigger picture,” he says. 

Caleb Daniels in graduation robe Hover image

Caleb Daniels.

He credits that experience with landing him a full-time job after graduation. In his full-time role, Daniels says his work supports the whole company. 

“It’s nice to see how what I did last year fits into how things work on the commercial side of BlueCross overall,” he says. 

Daniels decided to come back to BlueCross after graduating because of location, opportunity and relationships. 

“The biggest thing was having a team here that I knew was a good-functioning team,” Daniels says. 

Alexander Labrador, a server technician in the IT division of BlueCross, says his internship with BlueCross taught him what a career in IT could be. Labrador graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in integrated information technology. He interned with the company in 2021 as a junior.  

“That’s when I saw what it was like, because I never worked anything remotely similar before. After I was in the space, I knew I could do this as a career.” 

Labrador came to work for BlueCross through the Entry-Level Training Program (ELTP), BlueCross’ IT apprenticeship program. What attracted him to the company was the ability to move around. Other leaders in IT are proud of their diverse career options at BlueCross.  

“That is incredible to me. Being someone who picked it up late, I want to be able to move around at some point. I want to try new things so that I can figure out what works best for me,” he says. 

After a short time, Labrador found support for career growth. He went through CompTIA certifications as part of the ELTP and is serving on a WIS-C subcommittee as co-chair. He has even talked about his experience with college students at campus recruiting events. 

man and woman pose with Cocky mascot holding Blue Cross sign Hover image

Alexander Labrador attends recruitment events with BlueCross' Human Resources team. 

“I like to tell students BlueCross is the place to be because there is so much opportunity,” he says. “And if you do intern here, work hard. Try to show that you can do anything they throw at you. That’s how I ended up getting my full-time position.” 

Tarkia Reese, who graduated from Benedict College and interned with the company in 2021, also credits her internship experience with landing her a full-time role after graduation as an auditor on the company’s Medicare audit team. 

“I was a corporate audit intern, and that experience made me very interested in audit because I didn’t know what audit was before. But I loved every second of it,” she says. 

Tarkia Reese Hover image

Tarkia Reese.

Even though she works in a different part of the company now, Reese says she uses skills she learned during her internship. She also came back because of opportunities for career growth. 

“There are so many different avenues that you can explore and ways to contribute to the company’s mission,” she says. 

All three young professionals knew about BlueCross before their internships, but none really understood what it would mean to work here. 

“I thought it was just insurance,” Labrador says. “We have one of the biggest IT shops in South Carolina. No one expects that.” 

They all credit the people who work for the company as one of the best things about their jobs. Labrador praises his current boss and mentor for supporting his career. For Reese, the people are a highlight of working at BlueCross. 

“I have coworkers and managers who talk about life in general and how to maneuver life. I’m still young and have a lot of learning to do,” she says. 

Daniels says the company culture is notable — everything from the on-site fitness centers to the cafeteria. He takes mental health breaks by going for walks around the building. He values the open communication and room for growth. 

“This is the best place I could've started my career,” he says.

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