Read for Work Referrals

Disclaimer: Before we get to the good stuff below, please note that the views expressed below are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer.

Hello, World!

If you’re reading this, I truly appreciate you connecting with me about work at Centene Corporation. Whether you’re approaching the end of your education, looking to switch jobs, perhaps you’re desiring a mid-career pivot to “data science” (something I did later in my career)… It is never easy, it is uncomfortable and repetitive, and generally the whole process feels broken. I feel for you, and please know that I legitimately want to try to help you if I can.

A Bit About Centene

Centene is a huge company. We have approximately 70,000 employees and provide healthcare insurance to 28 million members. We operate a bit like a portfolio management company, albeit, somewhat under the radar - By that I mean, despite Centene generating revenues of $145 billion (USD) in 2022 and landing us on the Fortune 25 list, “Centene” is not particularly a household name like other national health insurance companies such as Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente, or United Healthcare… This is largely by design and also because of the inorganic growth (via acquisitions) that Centene has made over the last 10 years.

Centene operates its health plans at the State level and it is these brand names that have become household names in the respective communities they serve, e.g., Health Net (our California offering), Peach State Health Plan (our Georgia plan), Superior HealthPlan (our Texas plan), Fidelis (our New York plan), WellCare, Ambetter, etc.

Centene is a publicly traded, “managed care” health insurance carrier that primarily works with government-sponsored insurance products. The bulk of our members are on Medicaid (low-income households) and Medicare (65 and older). Managed care is a type of health insurance plan that aims to reduce costs while maintaining high quality of care. Managed care plans have contracts with medical facilities and health care providers to provide care for members at reduced costs.

A Bit About Data Science at Centene

As stated in the above section, we have almost 70,000 employees. While I work for Centene’s Data Science Center of Excellence (we call it the Data Science & AI Hub), we make up a small fraction of the data science horsepower at Centene - There are Data Analysts, Data Scientists, Analytics Engineers, Machine Learning Engineers, Cloud Engineers, Statistical Programmers, Biostatisticians, Business Analysts, Actuaries and Finance professionals, and many other ad hoc teams that code or work in data science adjacent spaces.

If you truly enjoy analytics, data science, machine learning, engineering, etc., you’ll love the stack that is at our disposal. On a regular basis, I get to work with GitLab (git repos and CI/CD), Jupyter Hub, VS Code (for Python), RStudio (for R), Databricks (for experimentation, training with Spark clusters, and model registy), Snowflake (data warehouse), Kubernetes (orchestration), AWS (storage), and those are just some of the many tools that I regularly use. Some teams develop more on the Microsoft Azure stack, some are more focused on chat bots, statistics, web app development, several teams are already developing and deploying GenAI + LLM solutions… LOTS of interesting things going on at Centene and I’d recommend this place to anybody who is driven and eager to learn/share new methods around data and ML/AI.

I help plan meetups and workshops with Centene’s R User Group and we have 100-150 regular attendees from across the country. There are many more Python developers. There is a ton of collaboration but even then, I likely won’t know specifics of the role that you’re interested in. This leads me to my next section…

Help Me Help You

I receive about 1-5 LinkedIn messages per day asking if I can refer them to a Centene position. Unfortunately, I do not run a recruiting or hiring agency (although maybe I should 😅). That said, I do want to help you!

Centene does not have a formal internal referral application system. If the position you’re interested in turns out to be in my org or for a close colleague’s team, I will certainly reach back out to you to discuss in more detail.

It goes without saying but given the competitive landscape, it is in your best interest to revise your resume to highlight your skills and experiences in a way that addresses the requirements of the position you’re interested in.

Please follow the steps below and let me know if you have any questions or concerns:

  1. Apply for the role you found on the Centene careers site
    • If I do actually know you from a networking event, UC workshop, SoCal RUG meetup, or some other way we’ve met, then of course I’ll give the hiring team a heads up about how we met
  2. Once your application is submitted, forward your confirmation email to
    • Attach a copy of your resume
    • Write a few sentences in that email explaining why you’re interested in the position that you applied to and also what interests you about Centene (or healthcare in general)
    • I want to be able to forward your email to Recruiting and the hiring team, and this will really help me help you!
    • When Recruiting or the hiring team ask me how I know you, please understand that I plan to be honest and say that we don’t actually know each other if we’re strictly LinkedIn connections

Best of luck!