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1 Nov

Expanding Internship Opportunities for all Individuals – Essence –

Expanding Internship Opportunities for all Individuals – Essence –


As the primary of her family (of 30 kids) to attend school, Blanche-Nicole Kissambou Tchimambou has worked hard to never let a chance pass her by.

She grew up within the rainforest within the Congo of Africa, where her family struggled to have enough food on the table. In the course of the Congolese Civil War, her family was forced to flee their home, and move from place to put, on the lookout for protected shelter. Much of her family fled in several directions, never to reunite again.

“I lived within the war zone in Africa and I used to be like, in the course of nowhere. I’m a survivor,” she said. “But you understand, I’m like I once was (that), now I’m looking in the long run.”

Blanche-Nicole at all times knew she desired to attend school and get an education. Though a lot of her life was turned the wrong way up, she pushed forward and graduated from highschool on the age of 23. A couple of years later, she became the primary person in her family to graduate from college.

When Blanche-Nicole got here to the USA by herself in 2015, she had to start out from scratch. After graduating with a level in business administration and human resource management, she was accepted right into a master’s program on the Carlson School of Management. Wanting to put her skills to make use of, she began applying for jobs and on the lookout for work.

Nonetheless, her earlier years growing up in Africa led to difficult struggles with mental health. She suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which might be severe at times, but she’s determined to ensure that it’s not what defines her.

“I just don’t want people to see me because I’m disabled,” Blanche-Nicole said. “What I can do, I do. I just attempt to be positive. And just imagine that the whole lot is feasible.”

Through her seek for work, she was introduced to the UnitedHealth Group Disability and Inclusion Internship program — a way for those of all abilities to get a foot within the door and learn corporate experience.

The internship helps provide competitively paid training, mentorship and development for those with disabilities across plenty of roles throughout the enterprise, said Andrea Eselunas, director of disability and inclusion for UnitedHealth Group.

“We felt the necessity to type of ensure we had an exclusive method to include this community of great talent,” Andrea said. “They’re truly untapped.”

The cohort-style program takes place over the course of 12 to fifteen weeks, and upon successful completion of this system, provides the chance to transition to part- or full-time employment.

“The undeniable fact that they’ve this program that helps everybody to get entangled, they make it possible for people, no matter their disability,” Blanche-Nicole said.

During her internship, she worked with Andrea, in addition to Tonya Barber, director of world diversity equity inclusion at UnitedHealthcare, who helped her understand corporate processes and learn the business.

“She learned quickly,” Tonya said. “You understand, we’re a big organization so sometimes it’s hard to navigate in the event you’re serious about an internship or full-time position here.”

With Tonya’s help and the assistance of other mentorship through this system, Blanche Nicole accepted a full-time position, following her internship. She now works as a bilingual broker services representative for UnitedHealthcare.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Blanche-Nicole said. “Because after I take a look at my background, I’m this one girl, just like the Bush girl, as I call myself, coming from Africa, who didn’t know loads about their country and have loads of barriers … I just really like helping people and helping people makes me feel joyful, I’m just so blessed to have this job.”

To learn more information on the Diversity and Inclusion Internship program, visit careers.unitedhealthgroup.com.

In the event you’re serious about video content on equity, take a look at the “CHIEF TO CHIEF Discussion: The Power of Equity” between Caroline Wanga (ESSENCE CEO) and Dr. Margaret-Mary Wilson (UnitedHealth Group Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President) within the video below.

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