On Veterans Day (and everyday) Prime wants you!
Tim Herrlein, Army veteran and senior HR director, says veterans bring a lot of skills and experience to the workplace.
Two weeks after graduating with 18 classmates from White Lake High School, Tim Herrlein left his small South Dakota town for U.S. Army basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. It was the summer of 1969.
“My mom gave me a vinyl shaving kit, wished me luck, and I was off,” recalled Prime’s senior director of human resources (HR).
Tim became a paratrooper and radio operator with the 82nd Airborne Division. He pulled a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam and left the military as a three-stripe sergeant in 1971. “At the time, there was a stigma associated with being a Vietnam veteran,” Tim said. “I don’t see that these days with our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. But their transition to civilian life can be difficult for many of them.”
From paratrooper to Jackrabbit to HR
Like many veterans, Tim saw the military as an opportunity. “The Army opened doors for me,” Tim said. “It provided training and life experiences — and a college education under the G.I. Bill.”
He graduated with a degree in physical education from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings. “I love the Jackrabbits,” he said, pointing out several versions of the SDSU mascot in his office.
His experiences working with people as a sergeant, coach and mentor drew Tim into HR. “My military experience gave me the confidence and resiliency to work in employee relations, including 15 years in strong union environments and union-free manufacturing sites.”
Tim was considering retirement in 2012 when a friend and former coworker brought him to Prime. “I intended to stay a year to help out,” he said. “That was six years ago. I love it here. We have a great team.”
Prime wants you!
Tim has helped staff Prime’s booth at job fairs for veterans. He said a lot of veterans don’t know what a pharmacy benefit manager is or does. “Veterans with health care background might be able to see themselves at Prime,” he observed. “But if they don’t have that frame of reference, the leap is harder.”
That’s unfortunate. Tim said military experience provides great background for logistics, operations, training, compliance and IT. “The military is a complex enterprise and the skills people develop are much more sophisticated than when I was in the Army,” he said. “Whenever I talk to a veteran, I tell them there’s a lot of opportunity at Prime. We want you. And you have what it takes to be successful here.”
About Prime Therapeutics
Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) helps people get the medicine they need to feel better and live well. Prime manages pharmacy benefits for health plans, employers, and government programs including Medicare and Medicaid. The company processes claims and offers clinical services for people with complex medical conditions. Prime serves more than 27 million people. It is collectively owned by 18 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those plans.
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