Julie Nickerson '17 Takes on Public Relations in Healthcare Insurance

August 20, 2015

Julie Nickerson

Julie is honing her communications skills at her internship at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Julie Nickerson ’17, a double major of business management and public relations who is also pursuing a healthcare management minor, was persistent in finding an internship that would bring together her interests. She applied to over 40 internships and talked to 15 different companies before accepting a summer internship at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA). Blue Cross is one of the leading health insurance companies in the state. Simmons College President Helen Drinan Currently serves on the board of directors.

Nickerson’s main focus at BCBSMA is associate engagement for the sales team. Her daily to-do list can include designing holiday emails, promoting various corporate campaigns, and joining conference calls or live chats about healthcare reform. She helps create a positive work environment and a culture of health for the sales team.

She credits her ability to juggle many tasks and her communication skills to her courses at Simmons. “I strongly believe that many of the skills I learned and practiced in Professor Cynthia Ingols’ internship class are very applicable in my internship, as I’ve been able to do a lot of networking,” says Nickerson. “From the first day, I have made a point to introduce myself to as many people as possible and I rarely eat lunch alone. I always try to send out at least lunch or coffee invitations to co-workers every week.”

The company culture at BCBSMA promotes a healthy lifestyle and provides a wide variety of benefits for employees, which includes after-work Zumba classes and opportunities to participate in local triathlons, walks, and road races. “Blue Cross has an incredible internship program called You@Blue where they offer training and education courses, community service opportunities, and various outings such as networking dinners and tickets to Red Sox games. They really have provided a great experience for interns to get to know one another and feel involved in the company.”

Her rules for being a great intern are: be organized; have confidence in your strengths; keep communication clear and concise; dress for the job you want, not the job you have; and always be on time. “When searching for the perfect internship, my biggest piece of advice is simple,” says Nickerson, “don’t give up.”