The healthcare company is looking for tech talent in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud services.
Cian O’Mahony is the vice-president for Ireland operations at Optum Rx. Optum Rx is part of the pharmacy services division in Optum.
“In Ireland we are generally focused on working with the supply chain (ie, drug manufacturers, pharmacies and wholesalers) to provide access to medicines and ensure they are affordable for our clients, which continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing the US healthcare market,” he told SiliconRepublic.com.
“I lead a multidisciplinary team of people working across analytics, data science, contract negotiation, contract management, and business strategy, all serving the US healthcare market. I’m very proud of the talented team that I’m surrounded by and the work that they do, and I’m excited for our continued growth through 2023.”
While Optum is part of the United Healthcare Group, the company uses development tools in AI and data science, meaning its always on the lookout for strong tech talent in these areas. The company has Irish offices in Dublin and Letterkenny.
For instance, O’Mahony has a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences and a master’s degree in applied maths and pharmacy from University College Cork.
After he left college, he got a job as a back-end C programmer for a start-up that offered software and consultancy for population health analytics to the food and cosmetics industries, where he progressed to the role of chief science officer.
“I then decided it was time for a change, so I joined Optum, which was a great fit for my background.”
‘The intersection between health and technology is a truly exciting space to be in’
– CIAN O’MAHONY
What first sparked your interest in data science and analytics?
I started my career as a programmer who was good at maths, and at some point (not sure when exactly) I was rebranded a data scientist, which has become a standard term now.
What got me into it was studying mathematical sciences in college. What I really loved was the idea that you could apply mathematical and statistical methods to all sorts of problems in all sorts of diverse fields, and my favourite was always anything to do with human health.
I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunity to stay in that general area my whole career.
What kind of roles are you hiring for in 2023?
We are always on the hunt for data analytics and data science talent, ideally with strong financial and business acumen. We are also interested in people with experience in the pharmaceutical industry, in contract negotiation and management, as well as pharmacists and commercial/finance people.
Across Optum as a whole, we’re on the constant lookout for individuals across technology, analytics and product, especially in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud services.
There is market-leading innovation that is taking place here that is having a positive impact on millions of lives around the world. The intersection between health and technology is a truly exciting space to be in.
What would the ideal candidate be to you?
Someone curious, motivated and eager to make a contribution in whatever way they can. We are looking for all levels of experience, from graduate up to senior director/VP. I truly believe that an effective workforce is a diverse one, whether it’s diversity as measured by gender or ethnicity or diversity of skill set and experience level.
We’re keen to break down barriers wherever possible and offer hybrid/flexible working arrangements as standard. If anyone has any doubt about their experience or fit for a role, I always encourage them to reach out to our talent acquisition team who will be happy to talk through available options.
What advice would you give to candidates who are hoping to apply for a job in Optum Rx?
Demonstrate that you are able to get your head around complicated business problems in a fast-paced environment and make progress on them with the tools and resources you have available to you.
If you’re an experienced candidate, provide examples. If you’re new to the workforce, demonstrate a willingness to learn and get stuck in.
Don’t come with very narrow ideas of what you want to do, rather come with the examples of the skills you bring to the table and how can you help.
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