San Juan, PR – Last week marked the end of our first official internship program, Abarca IGNITE, coordinated by our Talent Strategy division. We called our interns Sparks because we believe they are the small fiery particles necessary to ignite the rocket of our growth and propel us to a future ablaze with possibilities.
The nine-week program consisted of a blend of learning activities and mentoring designed to enable our interns to develop their leadership skills. In turn, the Sparks gained a unique opportunity to discover strategies for leveraging self-awareness to lead themselves, collaborate with others, and demonstrate greater understanding of our core values.
“I’ve gained so much through this internship, but one of the things I valued most was how Abarcans treat one another like family. Seeing people so willing to be there for you and to help you in the workplace has been a great experience, and is something I will take with me,” shares Spark, Juan Carlos Figueroa.
The Abarca IGNITE Summer Internship Program is an initiative of our organizational development platform Abarcan Growth, and part of our greater commitment to making healthcare awesome for everyone. We are doing so with fire in the belly, reflected in the program’s core values:
Inspire everyone around you.
Grow as a student, as a professional, and as a person.
Nurture your knowledge and strengths.
Innovate with your ideas, creativity, and youth.
Transcend Abarca’s walls applying what you learn in every aspect of your life.
Empower yourself to be an agent of change, and continue finding better ways.
Assignments varied according to each intern and their specific area of interest, including Analytics, Finance, Data Management, Project & Process Improvement, Talent Learning & Development, and Darwin Software Engineering.
A typical workday for the Sparks included a mix of carrying out the responsibilities assigned to them, attending team meetings, and participating in learning sessions where they practiced self-awareness and received feedback on their performance. They also held weekly roundtables to share their thoughts and learnings, and were encouraged to take the initiative to work beyond the basic requirements of the job. At the close of the internship, all interns presented their final projects to various members of our leadership team.
“Abarca is different in that they are willing to go off road in their ideas and projects. I was specifically working on machine learning, which is basically teaching a computer how to learn and create artificial intelligence, in a similar way that humans do. Having the opportunity to work on such an innovative project was invigorating and taught me the value of exploring different perspectives toward finding solutions,” said intern, Abigail Graese.
The IGNITE program is a direct pipeline for talent to Abarca, but most importantly, it provides the aspiring candidates with an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the healthcare industry through a hands-on, strategic approach, while giving the interns the chance to make a positive impact in their communities.