A Finance Main’s Gerstacker Internship Goes Past Numbers

25 August 2022

Claire Nickerson Carl A. There’s a finance main and psychology minor with a focus on the Gerstacker Institute for Enterprise and Administration. A member of the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program, Nickerson is the kid of Kane and Jodi Nickerson of Battle Creek, Michigan, and a graduate of Harper Creek Excessive College.

by Jake Weber

Claire Nickerson, ’23, was satisfied that her summer season internship with Blue Cross/Blue Protect (BCBSM) of Michigan was an amazing “match”, a spot the place she may apply what she realized in her finance analysis.

It was stunning to be taught that the internship was not solely about funds, it did not actually even contain numbers.

However – as she anticipated – the internship was nonetheless an amazing match, and maybe an excellent higher studying expertise. As an alternative of crunching numbers, Nickerson helps BCBSM with one other necessary operation: ensuring its oceans of information are safe.

Working with Michigan’s largest employers and healthcare services, in addition to numerous particular person sufferers and well being care suppliers, signifies that BCBSM has to “show the info to be safe,” Nickerson says. “There is a course of, and that is what we do.”

On its floor, the method can look fairly simple. For instance, anybody on Nickerson’s staff could also be requested to find out how the corporate handles knowledge entry as staff be a part of, go away, or switch to the group. However to reply that one query, Nickerson has to seek out out who has the knowledge, get it from them, then add it to the audit file.

It is a actually easy query; In most corporations, one individual can present the reply. Alternatively, assessing how effectively an organization complies with HIPAA mandates (one in all Nickerson’s different capabilities) can take months, and should contain a number of rounds of the identical audit.

“This job is so much about networking. I ship lots of emails, making an attempt to get individuals to collaborate,” Nickerson says of his utterly distant internship. That Carl A. The Gerstacker Institute for Enterprise and Administration and its director, Laurel Draudt, in addition to Marsha Whitehouse, ’70, Alpha Chi Omega’s home advisor, are credited with serving to them put together for this a part of the job.

“Gerstacker actually helped put together me,” Nickerson says, noting {that a} vital a part of her work includes contact with individuals she does not know. “I realized so much about methods to ask questions and work in numerous settings.”

Nickerson additionally notes the “silver lining” of this internship, reminiscent of the chance to “drink from a hearth hose” in studying about data safety. He’s additionally cautious to switch some educational abilities to the brand new office.

“In my Monetary Modeling with Excel class with John Bediant, we spent lots of time on an Excel perform known as VLOOKUP, which was very obscure,” Nickerson says. “I’ve used it so much to filter by way of paperwork I’ve acquired from completely different individuals. It is an enormous group instrument I have been utilizing.”

“Claire’s success is because of her diligence of taking what she realized within the classroom and increasing it to work,” says Bediant. “For a classroom to be beneficial, the coed should use it as a springboard for locating Excel with the newfound confidence gained from class work.”

Confidence has additionally come from management roles on campus. For 2 years, he has served because the Vice President of Finance for Alpha Chi Omega. She has additionally been the Vice President for Philanthropy for the Panhellenic Council of Albion and is concerned with the Scholar Volunteer Bureau. Academically, she has been a First 12 months Expertise Guide, a Cutler Agent by way of the Cutler Middle, and a member of the skilled enterprise fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. And this fall, she’ll be pursuing a study-away semester in Alicante, Spain.

Collectively, these out-of-classroom actions have added a stunning aspect to her internship success. “These management alternatives on campus made me really feel extra okay with making errors,” she says. ‚ÄúThere may be lots of duty on me to right the errors. I understand how to do it and preserve going.”

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