Connected Together: Q&A with Yesenia Rodriquez
Yesenia Rodriguez, Analyst (Program Management) discusses her journey to CRx, her goals for joining the Mentorship program, and her adventures as a “yelper”.
What’s your role at ConnectiveRx? I am an Analyst Program Manager. I do a lot of data mining, meaning that I go into a portal that has a lot of data and then pull the data that I need for specific programs to make files for clients or for a program manager that might need it. I review and approve payments for programs, any EFT payments or check payments. I also help my program managers learn to implement things in the program. I call myself a “program manager assistant” to be honest with you LOL because I work with the program managers and whatever task they're working on; I help them with that.
How did you get here today, career wise? I actually took criminal justice and sociology in college and that was my goal. I was going to go work at a courthouse and I just wanted to make a difference. Unfortunately, I lost my nephew, and I couldn't make my internship at the Newark Courthouse. Although I wasn't able to start it, my friend brought up another opportunity and said, “Oh, my job at ConnectiveRx is hiring.” And I'm like, “OK, what does this company do?” She couldn't explain it to me. She was a biller for the Claims department at the Fairfield contact center. She told me that her company pays people's copays. And I'm like, “yeah, but where this money come from?” I didn't really understand it. I thought “ok, let me take this job as a Customer Service Associate for a few months, and then I'll just leave. But once I got into the company, and I started realizing that this helps people, and these are programs that I never heard of. It kind of motivated me and then my goal was to come over to the program manager side and grow from there.
What keeps you inspired in your role at CRx? For me it’s advocating for patients. That means a lot to me, and I came from the contact center where I worked for three years. Now, from the back end, I'm still able to help patients by looking at programs that may need a little update or may need more financial benefits in a year than what they were offering before. So, being able to assist patients without them knowing that this is what’s coming from the background is something I really enjoy. I enjoy it because if you ever been around someone that's sick, you know that medication and treatments are really expensive and just this little bit that we're doing on the back end helps families.
Which ConnectiveRx value resonates with you the most and why? (Accountable, collaborative, compassionate, innovative, customer centric, cultivator of talent) For me, personally, is collaborative and it’s because of the growth mindset that this company brings. I've worked for other companies that are as large, and I feel more comfortable here because even when I came in, they already had a goal in place for me, and can see me growing in the company. My Teammates and manager at the time, Silvana Esposito, willingly guided me through that process instead of just saying, “OK, you figure it out on your own.” I feel like they do a lot of engagement with their employees, and I really appreciate that. Not every company cares that much.
I always tell new hires when people here say, “if you need help, reach out”, they actually mean it. I have always experienced that no matter who I go to, they're actually giving you more information than what you ask for. They’re trying to make your life easier and guide you. And I really appreciate that.
When you’re not working, what are we most likely to find you doing? I am a yelper. I like to go out to restaurants and write reviews. That's one of the things you're always going to catch me doing is eating out. And just trying new things. I like to find little adventures to try out with my son or with my significant other, as well as my family. I like going out and trying new things with them. I try not to be a harsh critic because if I have a bad experience somewhere, I try to go again twice or three times to see cause. You know, they could’ve had a bad day. But I just like trying like new foods, new restaurants. That's my thing.
I’m also a Harry Potter fan! It’s very rare to find people that are Harry Potter fans now. Originally, I didn’t grow up watching it. I watched it as an adult and I feel like oh my God, this is like the best thing! So now me and my son share that.
What made you interested in joining the CRx mentorship program? The first thing that I was looking forward to was to speak with someone that is already in the midst of their career, that they actually know how to get to certain places. What I told my mentor (Jack Alston, who I love!) in the very beginning was I come from a Spanish background. I'm first born American, first-born graduate from college, so I never had any guidance. I just followed whatever steps I thought were next. Then coming into adulthood, I realized there's so many more careers out there than what I thought there was. Before, it was either you have to be a doctor, a nurse, or a lawyer. Now, knowing that there's like thousands of these careers, being in this mentorship program would mean speaking to someone that actually knew how to guide me and offer advice. And that's the whole point of mentorship. It's just guidance for me because I come from a place where I didn't have anyone to guide me growing up, so this feels really good to have now.
What are your goals in the mentorship program as mentee? My goals as a mentee are to learn problem solving skills, career planning and growing my leadership skills. Overall, I like being able to feel like I have someone that I can go talk to. I really appreciate the fact that I can talk to someone about my goals and feel comfortable.
What are you learning from your experience as a mentor that you can apply to your own career? As a mentee I am learning so much from my mentor, but the one thing that I have learned and plan on applying to my career is strengthening my emotional intelligence and communication skills. Learning to communicate effectively and knowing how to manage your own emotions in a positive way will lead you to be a great leader.
How often are you all getting together, formally? We’re meeting every two weeks for a half hour. For me, this has definitely helped, and he always says, “if you need more time, let me know.” When we last spoke, he said “let's do an hour so we can do mock interviews with ourselves,” so he's available more than what the program requires if I needed it.
What’s been the biggest takeaway from being in the Mentorship program so far? For me, it is learning from my past experiences. From talking to my mentor, he’s explained how to take the positive of a negative situation and use them to move forward in your career. So, I'm hoping we get more into that.
What tip or trick would you share with others in a mentoring relationship, as a mentee, to get the most out of it? I would say don't be shy because I know, especially for me, I didn't know my mentor, and this is not someone that I worked with in person. So, you might be a little bit shy coming into the meetings and think, “maybe I don't want to ask this question.” Just go out there and ask the questions that you want to ask, because I'm pretty sure that there will be comfortable answering your questions. Especially if it has to do with your career. So, don't be shy because that's what the program is for; it’s for you to be able to get mentored by other professionals.