Wellmark partners with Drake, launches tech practicum for students

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Drake University announced this week the launch of BlueX: Technology Applied Learning—a four-year practicum for Drake students studying computer science.

Starting this fall, a select cohort of Drake students will work with Wellmark technology professionals, who will serve as mentors providing them with learning opportunities, career coaching and the possibility to step into full-time employment with Wellmark.

“Our goal with BlueX is to provide an immersive experience for our students with an industry leader from the time they arrive on campus,” said Tim Urness, Ph.D, professor of computer science at Drake University, in the announcement. “This program allows students to receive mentoring from Wellmark professionals to shape, inform, and contextualize their education early in their careers.”

Within the first year of the program, participants will be paired with a mentor from Wellmark, explore various technology roles and have the opportunity to extend their experience via a summer internship.

Each year after that, students will continue their mentorship and participate in an independent study of technology topics and trends, while working at Wellmark part-time during their junior and senior academic years.

Upon completion of the program and their undergraduate degree, students can apply for a full-time technology position at Wellmark, including a two-year rotational program designed for recent college graduates.

“BlueX: Technology Applied Learning will provide a path for the next generation of technology leaders to stand out among their peers,” said Paul Hlivko, Wellmark’s vice president and chief technology officer. “We’re fortunate to have tremendous technology talent in greater Des Moines and are committed to leading the cultivation of that talent locally, in partnership with Drake University.”