Ever wonder what it’s like behind the scenes at League? What type of people make up our ever growing team, and what do they do to help us build a product that is revolutionizing health insurance, employee benefits and workplace wellness? Now you can stop wondering. Get to know our talented team members in the new League Employee Spotlight series.
Where are you from?
In 2002, my parents made a life changing decision to immigrate from Delhi, India to Toronto, Canada so that my brother and I could have endless opportunities. Moving at the age of 15 to a new country wasn’t easy. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect and whether I would be able to adapt to this drastic change. However, on my first day of high school, surrounded by many immigrants like myself and experiencing a highly engaging teaching style, I realized that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. I felt welcomed.
What did you study and why?
At the time, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I was good at math and enjoyed my science classes, but I also knew that I wanted to make an impact on the world. A conversation with my dad helped me decide—he kept telling me about this field that continued to make a profound impact on the advancement of science, including drug design and genome analysis. Now this was exciting! With that, I chose to study Computer Science, Bioinformatics at the University of Waterloo.
The program was hard. Actually, it was very hard. I wasn’t a natural programmer so it took a lot of hard work, persistence and practice. Weeks and months working on healthcare problems that I deeply cared about led me to come up with different solutions and trained me to be good at something I wasn’t naturally good at.
While I don’t program anymore, the technical and interpersonal skills I developed have been instilled in the way I approach new challenges today.
Considering my technical background and experience, I wanted to develop business skills that would equip me to build ideas from the ground up, to meet like-minded people who were ready to change the world, and to put myself out there testing and building ideas. And I did. Through the MBA program at Ivey Business School, I met and worked with a diverse set of people, applying skills we learned in the classroom to solve real problems, and building and pitching ideas to investors globally. I was also able to tap into Ivey’s impressive alumni network, which played a significant role in landing my role at League.
What led you to work in the healthcare field?
I have an interest and continuous drive to make the healthcare system better, but there isn’t ONE defining moment that led me here.
Prior to joining League, I had the opportunity to work in multiple areas within the healthcare industry: hospitals, pharma, research and tech—all of which helped me understand each player’s part in the delivery of care.
I often found myself stumped but fascinated by larger systemic problems, specifically those that require multiple players to collaborate and co-create solutions for the end consumer (patients, providers and society). Challenges like this are exactly why I’m at League today.
What do you love about your job?
Every day, I get to work with smart, hardworking people who share my unwavering passion for delivering a phenomenal health experience to our clients and plan members.
I also deeply value that, from the get-go, corporate social responsibility has been a part of League’s mission. I love that I get to work with a team that is passionate about collaborating with organizations like the Children’s Aid Foundation to provide healthcare to vulnerable youth in Canada. I can honestly say that these types of things make each and every day at League remarkable.
What do you think are the key assets to kick ass in today’s tech startup environment?
- Grit and Perseverance. You must have the determination to solve the BIG problem the startup has positioned itself to solve. It will take many iterations, many possible solutions and many conversations to get there—but your sheer willingness to take the journey as the company evolves will be key to your success.
- Hard work and initiative. In a startup, there is always lots to do. On top of what you are responsible for, you need to be open to lead or support when and where necessary—don’t wait for someone to ask you.
- Adaptability and a willingness to learn. Many times, you won’t be an expert in an area, so be prepared to work hard, learn quickly and help the team.
What would you say to recent graduates wanting to work in healthcare?
Healthcare is massive and it can be very hard to really know where you want to be. My suggestion is to write down where you see yourself in 10 years or what your dream job/company looks like. Then create a pathway to achieve that.
Even though your pathway will evolve over time, this exercise will help you stay focused when you are applying for jobs. Believe me, you will get distracted as your peers start interviewing for banking jobs.
Working for a startup is an option. Consider it. There are number of great startups disrupting healthcare globally, so why not get involved in your local startup community (like MaRS or StartUP Canada) to learn and to network? The one piece of advice I have here is to research the company (Who is it backed by? How long have they been around? How have they evolved?) and the founders (What is their background? Have they launched companies before?). While passion for an idea is important, it’s even more important to be part of a team that has the capability—and the track record—to turn ideas into businesses.
Pro tip: Health care problems are complex. Be patient and never give up.
Quirky factoid about yourself:
At the age of 10, I spent over 5 weeks with a family in Melbourne, Australia as part of a cultural exchange program that my junior school had organized. We also travelled to New Zealand for a two-week vacation as a group. Since then, I have travelled to 25 countries across 5 continents.
League is hiring!