Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, health care has remained in the minds of many Americans and news outlets, who wonder and speculate about its future. Yet, the conversation is often centered around legislation and healthcare providers, leaving much important work unnoticed. This summer, four Hamilton graduates, Sam Sherman ’15, Taylor Brandin ’15, Alicia Rost ’15 and Kurt Minges ’15, will be joining Towers Watson (TW), an “American global professional services firm,” as Health and Group benefits analysts.
Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.
High School: Brighton High School
Brandin, who interned with TW last summer, described the nature of their work: “As an entry level analyst, I will be supporting the consultants on several client teams. There are several analyses that analysts are typically responsible for, including pricing, claims tracking and research.” Sherman, who has also worked at TW in the past, elaborated, “To provide a specific example, some projects will involve restructuring a client's health care plan to incentivize certain employee behavior, and ultimately lower healthcare costs.”
In the fall of 2013, Sherman and Brandin attended an information session about TW sponsored by the Maurice Horowitz Career and Life Outcomes Center. The session was led by Francois Martin ’12 and Ben Li ’13. Sherman admitted, “I didn’t know anything about the company and spontaneously decided to attend. I didn't know Health and Group Benefits consulting existed,” she stated, “and I was thrilled that a career could allow me to combine two of my passions: economics and health.”
Major: Public Policy
Hometown: Cumberland, Maine
High School: Greely High School
Brandin noted that Li was “an instrumental resource and source of encouragement for me … [providing] excellent insight into TW and the ways in which I could best prepare myself for the industry and the corporate environment.” This past fall, TW returned for another session, which piqued the interest of Rost and Minges, who also received support from Tom Billet ’79, who “ is very involved behind-the-scenes at both TW and Hamilton,” Minges stated.
The Hamilton connections have been invaluable, Rost explained, “Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and reach out to alumni to ask questions, it was really helpful for me to learn about jobs that interested me, as well as the positions I didn't think would best fit my interests and skills.” Minges agreed with the importance of finding that right fit, “I'll have the opportunity to pursue a career that involves work as both an actuary and a consultant: the two fields that I felt fit my strengths and personality best.”
Hometown: Bridgewater, N.J
High School: Bridgewater-Raritan High School
Sherman said she found this fit at TW “within a few weeks into [her] internship.” She explained that, “the incredibly supportive company culture and the challenging and rewarding nature of the work” made her feel fulfilled. “Furthermore,” she stated, “given the rising healthcare costs and changing dynamics of healthcare in the United States, the nature of the job is always exciting.”
Brandin also enjoys the relevance of this work: “The Affordable Care Act has provided healthcare consultants with very unique challenges and opportunities since they have to remain as ahead of the curve as possible when it comes to new regulations and legislation.” Minges added that this makes healthcare “a very exciting field to be in right now with Obamacare and the confusion surrounding how to structure health care plans. I think that no matter what there will always be a need for consulting in health and benefits,” he added.
Hometown: Nottingham, N.H.
High School: Dover High School
For students similarly interested, Rost highlighted the importance of starting early: “Making connections and learning about all the different companies and positions available takes a lot of time.” Beyond taking classes with career-related curriculum, all four students suggested taking full advantage of the liberal arts model.
For Sherman, this means taking advantage “of the multiple opportunities to practice public speaking at Hamilton [which] range from academic courses in public speaking to the Public Speaking and Business Pitch competitions.” While for Minges, the breadth of the liberal arts experience “really allows you to develop a wide understanding of a lot of different subjects and ideas.” Brandin added, “I may not have learned a thing about the healthcare industry at Hamilton, but I learned how to learn and how to think critically and those are universally useful skills in any field.”