Allegheny alumni speak about internship and job opportunities

Finance management rotation program, summer associates program open

Lauren Trimber
Naveed Ismail, ’12, Greg Vallano, ’15, Marina Robertson, ’17, and Becky Slippy, ’16, speak with Allegheny students about internship and job openings at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017.

Four alumni joined students in the George M. Henderson Campus Center to talk about the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in one of five events held by the health care provider at noon on Monday, Sept. 18.

The meeting focused specifically on non-medical internships and positions within UPMC, with specific internships including a summer associates program and finance internship which could afford interns the opportunity to work directly with UPMC’s chief financial officer.

Naveed Ismail, ’12, who was a managerial economics and mathematics double major at Allegheny, began the meeting with a map of the United States that displayed the largest employers in each state. In Pennsylvania, UPMC employs the most people. When he started working for the company in 2011, UPMC only had hospitals in downtown Pittsburgh and the city’s Oakland suburb before gradually expanding throughout Pennsylvania, according to Ismail. Today, there are hospitals across the state, as well as in southern New York and western Maryland.

The four alumni showed students a video advertising jobs with UPMC. After the video ended, Ismail said the video did not necessarily show every positive aspect of UPMC.

“Part of the difficulty of showing those videos is that they’re already outdated,” Ismail said. “That one we showed was made in the last two or three months. We are always growing. It gives you an idea of how dynamic the industry is.”

Since the meeting focused on opportunities within UPMC pertaining to the financial aspect of the company, Ismail stressed that for the first time in UPMC’s history, the company’s insurance business has surpassed its health service.

“UPMC finance organization is very young. Everyone is currently or has been [in] a [Financial Management rotation program] at least in the past ten years,” Ismail said. “So there’s an enormous opportunity for young people to move into bigger positions.”

Greg Vallano, ’15, graduated with a major in economics and a minor in computer science. Vallano was a summer associate at UPMC between his junior and senior year at Allegheny. By the fall semester of his senior year, he had a job opportunity.

“The folks who interview you, you will already know them,” Vallano said. “It’s a great opportunity to fast track to a full-time position.”

Marina Robertson, ’17, graduated with an economics major and a French minor. She said UPMC’s Financial Management rotation program. A full-time position, the FMR program is three years long and includes three one-year rotations. The program was recently changed from shorter to longer rotations, according to Robertson.

“Now we’re getting to where you can get adjusted to the position and learn more in that one year,” Roberston said.

Ismail added that the FMR program helps further corporate advancement.

“[Moving from an] associate to senior [position] is about an 8-10 year time frame, but with this program, it’s down to about three years,” Ismail said. “That’s the advantage with this position.”

Becky Slippy, ’16, graduated with a major in managerial economics and a minor in art. She said the goals of the rotation programs included gaining leadership skills and building lasting connections across UPMC.

“We’re all on a first name basis with our CFO,” Slippy said as a way of emphasizing the connections she formed after only a few years working for the health care provider.

As the meeting drew to a close with a question and answer session, Ismail explained why Allegheny students have an advantage when applying for positions at UPMC against graduates of colleges such as Penn State.

“What separates Allegheny graduates is that you guys are more adaptable because you guys are taught how to learn,” Ismail said. “I’d rather hire a person from Allegheny because I understand your experience. You have stronger communication skills, personal skills, ability to sell the experience that employers are looking for.”

The summer associates program, an 11-week paid internship, has a Nov. 1 application deadline. The minimum GPA requirement for the summer associates program is a 3.0, although Vallano said the GPA is not necessarily the only thing they will look at on the application. UPMC employees are aware of how involved Allegheny students are both on and off-campus, and if their GPA dips below 3.0, it will not immediately prevent them from obtaining the position, according to Vallano.

The finance management rotation program application deadline is Oct. 1. The GPA requirement for this program is 3.2, though a 3.4 is preferred. However, similar to the summer associates program, the GPA can vary according to the applicant’s experience.

For further information about internships offered by UPMC, students were directed to contact Campus Recruiter Alex Sossi at [email protected].