St. Olaf College | News

A passion for problem-solving leads to position as health care consultant

McDevittLauren325x450Lauren McDevitt ’15 always envisioned herself going straight from college to law school.

Then she took a St. Olaf College course in health care economics.

McDevitt was drawn in by the course’s focus on federal health policies, current issues and controversies within the U.S. health care system, and the economic factors that lead to changes in the health care sector.

“Coming from a medical family and being interested in policy, I had always been interested in health care and health care policy, but I hadn’t read much of the literature that explains and investigates issues within the health care system,” says McDevitt. “The course was absolutely the reason why I became seriously interested in health care consulting.”

That interest led McDevitt to explore careers in the field, and she recently accepted a full-time position as a senior business analyst for OptumInsight, a health care analytics and consulting firm. The company offered McDevitt a position in the firm’s Leadership Acceleration Program, a developmental program for recent college graduates.

“I’m interested mainly in how the world works — why people do what they do and how we as informed citizens can work to fix problems with society,” McDevitt says.

Before applying to the Leadership Acceleration Program, McDevitt spoke with Nicole Radil ’12, a St. Olaf alumna who works at OptumInsight and is involved with the program. McDevitt also met with Senior Associate Director of Career Education and Coaching Kirsten Cahoon ’98 in the St. Olaf Piper Center for Vocation and Career, who guided her throughout the fall recruiting process.

“They showed me that this program could be a perfect fit for my interests,” says McDevitt.

Shaped by experiences
A wide range of opportunities and experiences have helped McDevitt shape her future career goals.

This summer she interned at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division. As an intern, she completed various writing and press projects and worked under several different attorneys, including U.S. Attorney Amy Gillespie ’88.

As a sophomore, McDevitt conducted a monthlong career exploration in which she shadowed various attorneys, including Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Holiday Companies Lynn Anderson ’75.

“I was able to spend time with fantastic attorneys who taught me that success should not be my goal, but rather significance,” says McDevitt.

At St. Olaf, McDevitt serves as a special events coordinator for the college’s Political Awareness Committee, and this fall she was involved with St. Olaf’s Management Consulting Club.

This spring McDevitt will be working at Zipnosis, a health care technology firm founded by Jonathan Pearce ‘01. McDevitt heard about Zipnosis at Ole Biz, a Piper Center event that enables students to meet and develop connections with alumni working for a myriad of companies.

“Consulting and law both appeal to me for similar reasons — you are able to specialize in an area and use your knowledge to help others and solve problems,” says McDevitt. “I’m looking forward to using analytical skills to get to the bottom of a problem and improve people’s lives.”