IT Leader Shares Value of Diverse Career With BlueCross

Sept. 21, 2023

Ask anyone at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina what his or her favorite thing about working for the company is and most say it’s the people. This is certainly true for Elizabeth Hollowell, assistant vice president of commercial information systems in the company’s information technology (IT) division.  

Hollowell started working at BlueCross 17 years ago. Her role at the company has changed throughout the years, a benefit to working at a company like BlueCross. She started as a client advocate supporting the implementation of Medicare Advantage. She worked later as a design and development manager. 

“I have moved around and been in a lot of different roles in IT, but it came full circle back to supporting the business. That is really my passion,” she says. For the last seven years she has worked in the commercial client area. It supports the Private Business area of the company. 

Elizabeth Hollowell Hover image

Hollowell has worked in all parts of IT delivery — everything from how IT budgets, plans and  gathers requirements to how it designs and develops solutions, tests, implements and supports production. 

“The unique thing about my career is I’ve had the opportunity to see the whole life cycle, and a lot of people only see a piece of it. I’ve been lucky to move around and see it end to end,” she says. 

Because BlueCross has one of the largest IT shops in the Southeast, the company offers this wide range of career opportunities in the field. 

“We have such a large IT organization here that we have the ability to move people around. While I’ve been at BlueCross for 17 years, I feel like I have had six or seven careers within that,” Hollowell says. “People don’t realize all of the things BlueCross does. There is a lot of work beyond what we think of as traditional BlueCross business.” 

Programs like the Entry-Level Training Program, the IT apprenticeship program that brings in dozens of new IT professionals every year, and the summer internship program introduce young professionals to the variety of careers at BlueCross. The diverse work keeps the job interesting. 

“It has been amazing to try new things. I have had roles I never would have been able to do, but because I was here and they knew me, they could push me into some new areas that challenged me,” she says. 

This approach lets employees find the work they’re passionate about. 

“If you commit to your career here, you have the ability to move around, and they will support you in exploring to figure out what you are interested in,” she says. “You have to learn more about yourself, and all of that will help you become a more valuable asset to the company.” 

The ability to move around does more than just keep the work interesting. It fosters leadership and promotes employees who are dedicated to the work. 

“My peers in IT have moved around a lot, too. Leadership here has committed to BlueCross for all of these reasons — flexibility and the ability to try different things. So what you have is leaders who love BlueCross, love their staff as people and believe in the work we do,” Hollowell says. “We are committed to our organization and each other, have tenure in these positions, and have built the long-term relationships that make that possible.” 

Hollowell’s commitment to the company and the work plays a big role in her leadership. 

“I feel a huge responsibility to deliver for Private Business and to develop staff to pay it forward and create opportunities for my team, the same opportunities that have been created for me,” she says. 

Her advice to the next generation of IT leaders at BlueCross is simple: Do the work. 

“Be willing to recap the meeting, schedule the next one, draw the picture, write the query. Whatever it is, just do the work. The hard worker — that’s who gets the seat at the table. That’s how you move up. Seize every opportunity that’s in front of you to learn and create value for the organization,” Hollowell says. 

Find current career opportunities and bring your skills to work for BlueCross. 

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