STEP-UP Achieve Blog: An Unexpected Highlight of My Summer
08.08.2012 | Posted by Tracy Deis, STEP-UP Achieve mentor, UCare
A coffee mug in our department reads, “My life is contracts.” Perhaps the two STEP-UP Achieve interns in UCare’s Provider Relations and Contracting area can identify with this sentiment. Shukri and Aminata have logged hours of work mailing contract-related correspondence, assembling new contract packets, and entering data into contract databases. This work requires great accuracy and consistency—and is essential to our organization’s ability to maintain a strong network of health care providers for our members.
Shukri and Aminata have been a huge help this summer. My colleague Angela Huntingon, who supervises the young women’s projects, says “They’ve been scanning, scanning, scanning!” Angela is especially thankful that they’ve renamed hundreds of contracting documents and uploaded them into our new system.
Serving as Shukri and Aminata’s mentor has been an unexpected highlight of my summer. Each of these young women is bright, motivated, and interested in learning. They have also cheerfully gone along with what suspiciously resembles homework.
After our initial conversations, I saw an opportunity to adapt my current graduate studies to fit their career goals. We decided to learn more about cross-cultural communication because it nicely blends the young women’s plans to become health care providers with UCare’s commitment to culturally competent care. In addition to encouraging them to visit the UCare-funded Culture Care Connection website, I shared with them selections from a textbook on nine “megaskills” of Cultural Intelligence (CQ). We are currently creating an overview of these ideas that they will present at our August department meeting.
My inner teacher is delighted to build on what these young women already know about cross-cultural communication, and provide a framework that helps them articulate skills to advance their health care careers. I’ve also enjoyed guiding last-minute resume polishing and helping to decode some ESL practice test questions before a college placement test.
The list of companies that are STEP-UP Achieve partners is impressive. It inspires me that so many businesses in the Twin Cities area take time to cultivate skills in young people. This week we’re taking our interns to visit another STEP-UP Achieve employer, a health care setting – which will allow them to see what’s on the other side of all those contract documents they scan!
Overall, it has been just plain fun to work with young women en route to successful academic and professional careers. It is also satisfying to pass along lessons learned in my own education and career. If I can contribute even a small amount to their future success, that is very rewarding. I am grateful for the opportunity.
Tracy Deis works in the UCare Provider Relations and Contracting department