This week marks the beginning of our annual FUTURES summer program, a unique experience for 40 college students from around the country. They join us at Netsmart for 10 exciting weeks where they will receive firsthand, real-world experience working in various areas of healthcare IT. Two former FUTURES and current Netsmart associates share some insight into their experience and what makes being a FUTURE unique.
Why were you interested in becoming a FUTURE?
Software Developer Diamond McNeill, 2017 FUTURE: I was interested in becoming a FUTURE because of the values of Netsmart and the opportunities that the FUTURES program brought with it.
Software Developer Jordan Erisman, 2017 FUTURE: I heard about Netsmart after my first career fair at school and loved the type of work that the company did. So, when I was given the opportunity to become a FUTURE, I was excited to accept it.
What were some of the biggest takeaways from your experience as a FUTURE?
McNeill: With the FUTURES program, you really get to see the impact of your projects. The projects you work on impact our clients’ daily activities and it’s a rewarding feeling. During our FUTURES program, not only did we improve clients’ activities through our projects, but also directly through EveryDayMatters volunteer days. This gave us the chance to interact with them and help with activities or projects they were doing.
Erisman: The common saying about the FUTURES program is that you get to work on real projects that will be used after you are gone. Being a FUTURE two years in a row, I can honestly say that’s the truth. Projects that I worked on both summers are still used today. My other takeaway from my time as a FUTURE was the people. My mentors and teammates were always super helpful when I didn’t understand something. They were one of the biggest reasons why I decided to return as an associate.
What’s it like being a Netsmart associate?
McNeill: Being a Netsmart associate is not much different from being a FUTURE. Since becoming an associate, I do have a few more responsibilities, but being a FUTURE gave me an advantage since I had worked on the product beforehand. As an associate, I participate in meetings that impact the product. Just like when I was a FUTURE, I collaborate with my peers on different action items and tickets that need to be completed. There are also tons of events and activities for the associates to participate in with other associates.
Erisman: Since I worked on actual projects as a FUTURE, the transition to being an associate was easy. I am doing the same type of work, and sometimes even add additional features to the projects I worked on as a FUTURE. I love that I have been given the opportunity to work on client facing projects, and the work I am doing directly benefits them. It makes it easy to get out of bed in the morning to come to “work.”
What advice would you offer someone interested in becoming a FUTURE?
McNeill: If anyone is interested in getting a taste of a real-world experience, then consider the FUTURES program. Whether your interest is in IT, healthcare, sales, consulting or another area of business there might be an opportunity for you. There’s lots of opportunity to help develop great skills that you could carry on in your career. Even if you’re unsure about where your career might start, the FUTURES experience can help get you going on the right foot.
Erisman: Ask as many questions as you can. We don’t expect you to know everything as a FUTURE, and your mentors and team members are there to answer any questions you may have. The FUTURE program is a unique opportunity to work on real projects, and learn along the way. It’s not all about the time at work either, develop as many relationships with other FUTURES and associates as possible. Some of them may become lifelong friends.