Optum Scrum Team Inspires New Internship Position

July 18, 2019

Press Release

Twin Cities

We have Optum supervisors and young professionals to thank for an entirely new internship position.

Prior to the upcoming internship year, young professionals primarily fulfilled the roles of Helpdesk Support, Desktop Deployment, Data/Quality Assurance, Development Support, and Project Coordinator/Operations Support. This year, we’re officially adding one more to the list: Scrum Team Member. For those with an IT background, especially for the software developers, this phrase is likely very familiar.

For those who are still beginners in IT, Scrum is essentially a framework for individuals to work more effectively as a team. At Optum, they operate more specifically within the Agile framework. This also may be unfamiliar territory for some, but we’ve got you covered. Within software development, Agile organizes individual and team workloads into short-term cycles called “Sprints.” So, what’s the goal? 

According to an intern onboarding guide – created by Class of 2019 Genesys Works Optum interns for the incoming class – the goal is to “reduce downtime of applications, create a more satisfactory experience for the user, increase productivity within the workplace, reduce errors and confusion between developers, and promote collaboration between the business/technical aspects of a team.”

If you weren’t already impressed with our Genesys Works interns, we hope you are by now. Here’s the team of impressive interns:

  • Bryan Casas Mendez, Scrum Master
  • Thomas Joseph Hipolito Biggs, Product Owner and Technical Product Manager
  • Sai Suchir Tyada, Lead Developer
  • Gabriel Hutchens, Lead Developer
  • Zachary Mitchell, Developer and Former Scrum Master
  • Kungsang Dhondup, Developer

For Optum, the Scrum team was simply created out of the need for larger capacity. While full-time Optum employees and Genesys Works supervisors, Jordan Williamson and David Hawkinson, didn’t have time to fulfill these tasks, they knew the interns had both the capacity and capability. They were first trained within Agile and from there, began running the team on their own.

It wasn’t long before our Genesys Works corporate partnerships team became interested in structuring an internship position after Optum’s model. According to Jade Denson, Genesys Works Corporate Partnerships Manager, “The students on this team were producing work that we’d never seen before. They were presenting and more integrated into the team than the average intern. We saw this and thought, why not share this with other companies?”

Jade then set up a call with Jordan and David to walk through some basic features of a Scrum team and even had them provide an update at a Supervisor Forum. At that point, it became obvious that other supervisors were interested in the role as well.

Fast forward to July 2019. As we prepare to place more than 300 students at top companies across the Twin Cities, the role of Scrum team member will not only be available at Optum but an assortment of other companies as well, including 3M, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Sleep Number, first-year partner Vanco, and Xcel Energy.

For interns, the setup of this particular position ensures that they build meaningful relationships amongst their team, have access to various IT roles on the team and within the organization, and receive professional development opportunities due to the role’s requirement of team presentations.

But don’t take our word for it. Hear directly from Thomas Joseph Hipolito Biggs on why it’s a role worth earning:

Genesys Works was probably the greatest, most challenging, and most growth-focused experience of my life. They gave me the tools and knowledge to succeed in any business or tech environment, and I was blessed to have been placed on such an amazing team of interns (and now, good friends). Optum Technologies has helped me expand not only my horizons of what I thought was achievable for myself, but also my knowledge of a real development and business environment and what career I want to pursue in my life and future.

This is precisely why our program is successful: because of corporate partners who eagerly foster a learning environment and interns who strive to learn.

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