Business Center

Intern Success Story: Jennifer Turvey

By Tiffani Madle, Process Improvement Intern
Posted: August 8, 2018

Jennifer Uebelher

Jennifer Turvey
Strategy Liaison in the HCPF Strategy Section

Jennifer was ready for a career change and starting an internship in the Office of Process Improvement (OPI) at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) was just what she needed to make the transition. Jennifer began her internship with the OPI in July of 2014 and within in a short amount of time, she applied for and was offered a position with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) as a Process Analyst.

New beginnings

Prior to Jennifer’s internship with the OPI, she had been a writer and editorial project manager working for non-profits, and academic medical centers. This career began after completing two Liberal Arts degrees, “I majored in religion at Barnard Women’s College in New York and then I completed a Master’s degree in religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School. After 18 years as a writer, Jennifer desired a new career path. Jennifer was an intern with the OPI for about 5 months until Gary Vansuch, Director of OPI, informed her of an open position as a Process Analyst with another state department. She says, “Gary made the connection with my current boss and alerted me that this job was available.” Jennifer applied for and was offered the new position. Her title is now Strategy Liaison due to a shift in focus to strategic and performance management projects after her first 2 years at HCPF.

Jennifer worked on some great projects during her internship, “One of the best projects I worked on was the Maintenance Work Order, with Michelle Malloy. We went all over the state and I got to spend some time with the maintenance teams, which I really enjoyed. This project gave me the bird’s-eye-view of what a large and complete process improvement project looks like. It really set me up to understand how this all works. It was also wonderful to work with a mentor on a project. I also worked with the Communications office during a time when they were working to streamline customer service. I learned about all the different activities involved which was great.”

Challenges and Rewards

One of Jennifer’s biggest challenges as an intern was adapting to a new career field. She says, “Process improvement was a new experience and there was a lot of information to take in and that in itself was challenging. It was a lot of learning and I had to get used to working with teams and facilitating. I had to put myself out there in front of others. I got a taste of a whole new world.” Along with those challenges, also came rewards. Jennifer recalls feeling “valued and respected” as an intern. I felt appreciated and very comfortable there. The other interns I worked with were all really cool and were open to sharing ideas and had good attitudes.”

Career Success

The OPI internship helped pave the way for Jennifer’s current role. She says “The internship supported the career path change I was on and helped me get started. It gave me a super awesome foundation. I love my job and I feel like I’m doing good. I would like to continue this work long-term. I’m making good progress after four years and I think it’s going to be a really fun journey.” Jennifer’s advice to future interns is to, “Do the work you’re interested in doing and get some experience working with mentors. The organization is very open to the interns and provides opportunities to do some projects on your own. Take this opportunity to do the work because that’s what you're there for.”