#22: PPO Chronicles- Aastha Rajan, Optum

Aastha Rajan from the 2019-21 batch, pursuing an MBA in Human Resources, did her summer internship with UHG Optum.

Aastha is a B. A. (Hons) graduate in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College for Women and had worked for 16 months before pursuing her MBA. After a few months of admission, the process of summer internship started. The selection process for the summer internship opportunity for Optum included CV shortlisting followed by a virtual interview and two rounds of personal interviews. According to her experience, Optum had the most creative and innovative interview rounds. As a member of two committees in SCMHRD, Aastha got a creative edge and confidence from working in MPR and Cultural Committee, respectively. She was determined to bag her PPO by performing her best and showcase her ability in an organization such as Optum.

The entire period of the internship was in a virtual platform. Aastha was a part of the Talent acquisition team in Optum. She was responsible for designing a plan that focused on attracting, hiring and subsequently retaining women for the mid and senior leadership positions. Her responsibilities revolved around identifying the current statistics of gender diversity through data crunching in Optum with simultaneously figuring out methods for increasing gender diversity. During her internship, Aastha interacted with around 80 women working from mid-level and management to senior management from across India. Regardless of the virtual setup, she managed to keep track of the employees’ schedules and conducted around 7-8 interviews daily. During her interactions, her work was mainly focused on figuring out the area of the problem, its cause, and method of improvement.

Regardless of the COVID-19 scenario, Aastha figured to perform excellently with the help of her mentor’s guidance. She had various opportunities to think out of the box; meanwhile, learn from the mistakes and set on the right path with improvements.

Optum has a nurturing work culture, which she experienced with her mentor’s supervision. Aastha’s buddy and her manager were invested in helping and guiding her throughout her internship duration.  Everyone at the organization regularly helped her throughout her internship with constant guidance and support. The autonomy of work, Aastha believes, is the key to why she was motivated throughout her stint. 

As for the advice to the juniors, she suggests using every resource as well as to reach out to seniors and learn from their experience. Lastly, have faith in your ability and mindset of showcasing the best performance by going the extra mile meanwhile being confident.

We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours.

-Garima Chauhan, Media and PR Team

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