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Preeti Bhanap spends summer in virtual Innovation Garage

By Samantha Poole | July 16, 2020 | 3 min read | Life at Blue Cross NC, Employee Spotlights

Preeti smiling in front of a pond and garden

Preeti Bhanap, a rising senior at Duke University, reflects on when she was considering summer opportunities and looking for her “dream internship.” It’s with a big smile that she says she found that rare and perfect match at Blue Cross NC.

Preeti, a biology major and computer science minor, didn’t want an internship that was solely focused on software. “I wanted to find a place that also leveraged my biology studies and interest in health care,” she said.

Blue Cross NC ended up being the perfect fit for combining her passions for both data and health care. “It was clear that this is a place you could really learn and grow. It was an opportunity to get an exciting project to contribute toward.”

She’s spending the summer as a Developer/Application Engineer Intern on the Information Delivery Team. Specifically, she’s working on a project within the Innovation Garage with a colleague. Together, they are working on using machine learning to get a more holistic view of claims data for each member.

“We have so many diagnosis codes,” she said. “We’re asking ourselves ‘Can we use machine learning to summarize each member’s claim history so someone can look at their file and better determine their needs?’”

Preeti says that by doing this, we could find what is unique about a member, and personalize the member experience.

In addition to her work within the Innovation Garage, on the Information Delivery team, she’s learning about data management software and tools. “If you have a lot of data that you have to maintain, transform, or store, these tools are extremely useful.”

Although no one could have anticipated hosting a virtual internship program this year, Preeti says the value of the internship is retained. She’s had many virtual coffee chats to meet leaders one-on-one, developed a mentor relationship with a member of YoPro and more.

Preeti says the internship is furthering her professional development and showing her the importance of networking.

“Because we’re all online, we have to be more deliberate about reaching out and making connections. It’s something I probably wouldn’t have thought to do on my own.”

The internship program and experience at Blue Cross NC is also reinforcing her decision to pursue a career in the health care industry.

“This is my first job with a company – not a college fellowship or research assistant – it’s been great to understand, ‘this is what it’s really like to have a job in the real world.’”

Want to see what the interns are up to this summer? Tune into to our Blue Cross NC Instagram page and watch our Intern Takeovers every Friday!