In 2016, Audra was looking for the opportunity to grow professionally. She worked for three and a half years in an administrative role but decided to leave due to lack of opportunity for advancement. She then found a career coach who introduced her to Skills. Audra was quickly placed into a seasonal role with Ulta Beauty, and then again into a role as a Customer Advocate with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBS) in June 2020.
Since then, Audra has had four roles across multiple departments, which includes her most recent promotion in August of 2021 as a Health Advocate Concierge.* We sat down with Audra to hear more about her experiences and growth since joining the BCBS team.
What brought you to Skills?
My career coach got me in contact with Skills. I was placed almost immediately at Ulta Beauty, which worked for me because I was taking care of my mother at the time.
After COVID hit, Skills reached back out and recommended me for the role with BCBS, which better aligned with my skillset and employment needs. I was really excited about the opportunity, so of course I took it! I have a lot of respect for the work that Skills does and am very proud to be associated with the operation. Skills gave me back my confidence and financial independence.
How did it feel when you were offered the position with BlueCross BlueShield?
I was elated. I couldn't wait for the opportunity to get back into a full-time role, to feel like I was viable again in the world. There are so many opportunities here, the benefits are fantastic. And BCBS is an industry leader!
I like to help people and make a difference in the world, so being hired made me feel like I was worth something again and felt like I was back to me.
How has BlueCross BlueShield and Skills helped you grow?
I feel like I’ve learned so much at BCBS. I started working in benefits and eligibility and then six months later I moved to government and intake. Everything that I've learned, I take into my everyday life. I feel like being a Health Advocate Concierge makes me a better humanitarian and helps me communicate better with my mom who is a senior. In every way I feel like I've grown.
Would you recommend Skills to other job seekers?
Absolutely! When I first went to the Skills office, it was at a higher level of professionalism than I had seen working with many other organizations, so I was really impressed by that. I like the way they prepare you for interviews and follow you throughout your journey – I’m still in contact with them two years later.
Also, I love the fact that Skills works with industry leaders. That to me is probably the most important component because you know you're going to be placed at a national brand, someone who can offer you benefits and room for growth. I feel like this was where I was meant to end up, and I feel like I'm going to retire from this company. I really do.
*Since our interview with Audra, she was promoted again to Customer Delivery Consultant in the BCBS marketing department.