A Week in the Life: Summer Associate Product Manager

By: Katherine Robertshaw

Read below to get a glimpse into Katherine Robertshaw’s week. She gives you a behind the scenes look at what a typical week is like during the Summer Associate program in our Product Manager position. Interested in joining our team? Apply now for our 2019 Summer Associate Program.

Monday Means Meetings!

Today, thanks to the coordination and introduction by my manager, I had the pleasure of meeting the Chief Nursing Information Officer for UPMC. After navigating through one of UPMC’s 40 Hospitals, I settled into the CNIO’s office to discuss her experience and ask for her advice in building a career.  She shared that even in her time as an administrator elsewhere she had kept her eye on the health network here in her hometown. What the CNIO found most impressive about UPMC, its ability to innovate and creatively adapt to the needs of the healthcare system, is what makes Enterprises appealing to me. At the close of our meeting the CNIO offered her ongoing support and encouraged me to understand the current process solutions before aiming to fix them.

After a successful career development meeting riddled with useful advice, I hurried back to Bakery Square. Armed with my headphones, I aimed to transcribe several patient interviews. The interviews had been conducted the previous week with the intent of understanding patient needs in the outpatient setting.


Transparency on Tuesday (and every day)

Tuesday morning started with a road trip alongside the Allegheny River to one of the UPMC’s primary care facilities. Over the past two months I have supported my team here at Enterprises by conducting discovery research for clinical facilities. Today’s visit included a touch base with architects and an interview with local patient. My team and I have collected data in the form of interviews, demographics, and clinic tours, and have periodically circled back with architects to understand how a clinic might be designed. Our meetings typically include a briefing on our most recent findings, and a conversation of what aspects of the community and the clinical space need to be further researched. Today, we discussed how clinicians, staff, and patients use the current space.

Following our session with the architects, my colleague and I headed across town to meet with a patient. In dreaming up and conceptualizing new clinical spaces we aim to honor UPMC’s vision of “putting our patients […] at the center of everything we do.” To execute this, we interview many UPMC patients. Our interviewee today, a particularly jovial patient, has asked for a clean and safe space, but most importantly the retention of the clinical team he sees today. He reported that at his clinic each staff member and clinician is stellar. The day wrapped up back in the Bakery Square offices digging through the day’s experiences.

Wisdom Wednesday

Hump Day this week is dedicated to data synthesis and meeting preparation. I worked through interviews, transcribing and highlighting key takeaways. The high point for today was a touch base meeting with one of my managers. A major perk of the Enterprises office is the option to swing down to Coffee Tree Roasters for more informal meetings like this one. We chatted for about an hour. We discussed my experience thus far in the internship, how I see my career growing, and the discovery work I have been collecting. I value having an opportunity to tell my manager about the positive experience I have had collaborating with the team, receiving feedback on aspects of projects, and having the chance to hear about other team members’ projects. My team members sharing their findings and innovation allows me to borrow the best ideas for my discovery work. With new ideas from our conversation floating in my head, I headed back to my desk to work them into my project.

Let’s Lunch Thursday

Thursday brought the Executive Lunch. A highlight of the summer, the 18 Enterprises Summer Associates lunched with the President, Chief Technology Officer, Executive Vice President, and the Vice President of Analytics. Thanks to the Enterprises HR team we filled our plates with salads and wraps, the president grabbed his favorite brownie, and the floor was open for questions. The conversation was wide and varied given that we had software engineer, AI, business, and analytics expertise in the room. We discussed favorite and most impactful projects the executives have contributed to. Revolutionizing technology strategy and continuing to be competitive against new entrants like Amazon and Google materialized as main topics of conversation.

Additionally, each executive gave advice for career growth. The VP of Analytics advised that we each seek out a mentor or several mentors, someone to give unbiased advice, but also someone to advocate for us as a professional. The most remarkable aspect of the whole luncheon was the approachability of each of our executives. They offered honest answers to tough questions, extended an open invitation for continual advice, and included us in the Enterprises conversation despite our “intern” status. There are few companies and few executives who would take the time to facilitate this opportunity.

Friday Fun

The week closes with preparation for a key stakeholder meeting to be held next week. And this meeting will be FUN! For our team to understand how the clinicians, staff members, and patients use spaces (exams rooms, lab, registration areas), my colleague and I devised a colorful and interactive activity. Today, we piloted our activity on our team. Supplied with cut-outs in different colors, labeled as different clinical and office spaces, we tasked our team with creating a “blueprint” of usable clinical space. Each team member explained their unique designs, walking “Patient Lego Man” through their newly laid out space.  By the end of the meeting we had 3 innovative floor plans, and tips and feedback to have the stakeholder meeting run even more smoothly.

While the week was busy, it was exciting, engaging, and demonstrative of the uniqueness of each day at UPMC Enterprises. The opportunity to weave new experiences with career building conversations and team collaboration is what I have enjoyed most as a Summer Associate. Not only have I sharpened my interview and qualitative analytic skills, but I have grown my knowledge of the healthcare and health IT industries through conversations with the other SAs, patients, health center staff, UPMC executives, clinicians, and team members.




Come work for us! We are currently accepting applications for our 2019 Summer Associate Program, apply here.