Women in IT Series: Sonya Y. Ridgill

Name: Sonya Y. Ridgill

Company: Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina

Job Title: ManagerApplication Development

What does your company do? BlueCross BlueShield of SC, a subsidiary of the Blue Cross Association, is the only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier which serves nearly a million South Carolinians with a variety of health insurance products. Our company also provides technology and back-office benefit administration services to several other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, along with offering claims processing systems.

Yes, but what do you actually do?  As a manager within the BCBSSC IT organization, I am responsible for performance management and staff development for a team of resources that are responsible for establishing estimates and developing the design solutions for work initiatives that impact our Commercial Systems lines of businesses.

Where did you go to college? Charleston Southern University

What is your degree in? Computer Science/Mathematics

Did you always want to work in IT?  I originally aspired to be an electrical engineer. In my sophomore year of college, I took an interest in the IT field after taking a programming course.  I really enjoyed it and immediately changed my major to Computer Science/Mathematics.

What is your favorite part of the job? Collaborating with my peers and staff on challenging tasks that evolve day to day is one of the favorite parts of my job. It allows me to not only stay challenged but continue to enhance my overall knowledge and understanding of our business and claims processing systems.

Describe the work environment at your company. The work environment here at BCBSSC is very dynamic and diverse. We area a company comprised of smart and talented individuals. Team work and collaboration are at the core of how we all get our jobs done and allow our company to operate successfully.

What qualities do you need to have to do your job? Leadership, strong inter-personal and communication skills are a must for this position. You spend a lot of time working through and with people at all levels.

What is (in your opinion) the biggest misconception about working in technology/IT? The biggest misconception about working in IT is the thought of only needing to focus on developing or enhancing your analytical and technical skills. While, it is true that these skillsets are important, they are not the only ones that an IT professional should look to possess. Team work, leadership, communication, and organizational skillsets are equally as important, and help in an IT professionals overall career success.

Any advice for students or professionals going into your field?While it is important that you develop or enhance your technical skill sets, it is equally important that you do the same with your team work, leadership, communication, and organizational skills. Being able to demonstrate that you are sound in all of these skillsets will allow afford you great opportunities that will lead to a successful career.

Personal hobbies and/or interests: Enjoy listening to music, playing pool, and working out.

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