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November 11, 2019

DES MOINES, IA – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Drake University today announced the launch of BlueXSM: Technology Applied Learning — an innovative, four-year practicum for students studying computer science and related disciplines. Beginning fall 2019, Wellmark technology professionals will mentor a select cohort of Drake students, providing them with increasingly complex 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. "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 thereafter, 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."

To learn more about BlueX: Technology Applied Learning watch this video External Site.