Career Moves: Elon’s Student Professional Development Center helps Elon grad begin a career as account manager for Aetna

Sage Edelstein '20, a marketing major, knew she wanted to explore a business job in the healthcare sector and with help from the SPDC, Edelstein secured a job working for healthcare insurance company, Aetna.

Sage Edelstein ’20 grew up learning the values of health and fitness from her parents and was intrigued by the industry’s healthcare sector. Edelstein declared a major in marketing her sophomore year at Elon University after becoming interested in sales, marketing, and business.

During her sophomore year, Edelstein visited the Student Professional Development Center for the first time and continued to use its resources and services while working with advisors to secure an employment opportunity that fit her professional interests.

Edelstein recently answered some questions about her experience working with Elon’s Student Professional Development Center:

What did you do to find employment?

I built a close relationship with Danielle Golinski, assistant director of career services for the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, who truly understood what I was looking for in a company. Golinski mentioned the Aetna position posted on Elon’s Job Network and connected me to Elon Alumni working at Aetna, happy to discuss the position’s recruiting process and details.

What did you do to prepare and become a strong candidate for the position?

I gained experience in business during high school and through internships over the summer while attending Elon. At the beginning of my senior year, I met with Danielle to develop skills to present myself professionally. She assisted me with fine-tuning my cover letters and polishing my resumes. She helped me to build strong interview skills and bolster my confidence. She also helped me learn how to connect with Elon alumni working within the industry.

Tell me about the company and your role.

Aetna is a health care company that sells traditional and consumer-directed insurance and related services.

In the summer of 2020, as a member of Aetna’s E.E. Cammack Group School program, I started training for the year-long Sales Leadership Development Program. Now I’ve relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, to work as an account manager for the Aetna Business Development team.

In my role, I cultivate relationships with prospective and existing clients, external business partners, and Aetna experts; and develop client acquisition and retention strategies to increase revenue and grow membership. My work also includes uncovering and capitalizing on market opportunities, identifying the competition and industry trends, and ensuring client satisfaction.

Which faculty members and staff members in the SPDC did you work with to prepare for your employment, and what help did you receive?

Elon provides exceptional one-on-one assistance to students and alumni! Every student should take advantage of the services the SPDC offers!

Golinski helped me prepare application materials for the position and conducted multiple mock interviews to practice answering common interview questions.

Phone interviews are a critical aspect of the application process. With my enhanced phone and video interviewing skills, I was able to show the interviewer my personality and discuss how my unique skills, experience, and knowledge made me an excellent fit for the role.

How do you plan on using the SPDC in the future?

With help from Elon’s SPDC, I plan to continue to build my professional network with Elon alumni in the Phoenix area. I will also keep in touch with Golinski, and others at the SPDC who have helped me along the way as I transition to new careers in the future.

What recommendations would you share with other students about the SPDC?

At the beginning of your college career, build strong relationships with the staff who work in the Student Professional Development Center. Start by making an appointment! Attend as many of the events the SPDC hosts as you can. I found the Job & Internship Expos and career fairs extremely helpful. Learn about the services and resources the SPDC offers and stay engaged in your professional development throughout your time at Elon!