Mike Beifeld

What are you doing today?

My position is called a management associate position. It is modeled after a program developed by CIGNA a couple of years ago, and I am part of the first pilot of the program under Intracorp. What it involves is rotating in 6- to 12- month segments over the course of 2 to 4 years in the company. During this time I have been sent to different divisions of the company (marketing, finance, operations, information technology, human resources, etc.) I learned aspects of the business and corporate culture in these rotations and participated in major project initiatives and strategic decision making with the organization's top leaders. I get to meet with the senior management VP and their directors, helping them on these projects.

I started in operations where I was an analyst of our nursing telephone call centers, and I was responsible for building a massive operational report on productivity. This report is now the hub of operational reports in the company, and with this report, we can analyze which call center regions (Dallas for example) are keeping up with productivity. That way the director of call centers can notify the call center managers whether or not they are performing well. Now I am in Revenue Management where I am helping with a major initiative to collect bad debts from customers of our company. I speak daily with CFOs and major account executives from the major customers (our customers are employers, generally, or third party administrators) trying to reconcile ourfinancial differences. During all of this, I also am sent to many training and developing opportunities, and the company is going to reimburse graduate school after one year of employment.

How has HPA helped you get where you are today?

I feel that the HPA major is a very special major that most colleges fail to include in their education opportunities. Penn State's Health Policy and Administration major is a very great opportunity for students to grasp aspects of both business acumen and business concepts, as well as clinical and theoretical aspects of health care. The professors are very knowledgeable and diverse, as well as the students. What is even more desirable about the major is the fact that students are required, not advised, to become employed on an internship. This unique experience prepares the student for the business world of health care and is a great builder of character and knowledge. I can personally say that the HPA major has helped me land a job with Intracorp, a subsidiary company of CIGNA Healthcare and a leader in health care and disability managed care. I gained my internship with Intracorp, and through my hard work that was instilled upon me through the major, I was able to receive full-time employment with them. I am currently on a management associate program, where I rotate throughout the corporate atmosphere learning about health care finance, marketing, nursing call center technology, and corporate human resources. I would encourage anyone interested in the world of health care to investigate the Health Policy and Administration major.