Success Stories

Marketing Major Lands CVS Health Position Before Graduation Through a Learning Project

December 01, 2021
Brielle Tolli '21, '22
Brielle Tolli '21, '22

Brielle Tolli enrolled in the University of Hartford’s 3 + 1 Accelerated Business Program where she will be obtaining her BSBA in marketing (2021) and MBA (2022) degrees in four years. Tolli is excited to officially complete her MBA degree in marketing with a concentration in health care at the end of the spring semester.

Last spring, Tolli had the opportunity to participate in the CVS Health case competition. This case competition included five other Barney students, all of whom had to develop a solution that assessed the needs and opportunities (cost, quality, access, equity, and population health) associated with providing health-care programs to minority- and women-owned businesses in underserved communities in a post-pandemic world. The six Barney students were split into three teams of two, with each team generating a unique solution. Tolli and her partner, David Freitas, worked together to conduct research about these communities in the Hartford area, sparking their winning solution of the CVS Heart of Hope Van. 

The CVS Heart of Hope Van would provide care in minority and women communities in their respective neighborhoods while also building trust. The vans would be equipped with medical supplies, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists who can provide care—including resources, information, and take-home care packages for their specific needs. To build trust in this van, Tolli and Freitas are planning to have the driver be a trusted member of the selected community. “We want the driver on this van to become a known person that people get excited to see.” The van will act as a front door for minor injuries so people don’t have to access primary care at a high cost. Tolli and Freitas would have these Heart of Hope Vans work in partnership with the minute clinics provided by Aetna CVS Health, where communities can learn how to make appointments.

Along with the case competition, there was also a class associated with the project. Tolli and her peers met with Professor Thomson and Dr. Lofink every Monday to learn about health care and listen to guest speakers. The class provided Tolli and Freitas valuable information to use for their solution. Tolli’s favorite part of this course was being able to learn about the health-care industry and work with others. “When I first started this course, I did not know anything about health care. However, as I learned new material each week, I began to love it. This project helped me to discover my passion for health care as an area I want to work in. As a result of this project, I chose to make my concentration for my MBA in health care.” This course has helped Tolli build presentation, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.

After completing this project with Aetna CVS Health, Tolli was offered an internship for the summer of 2021 in their general management corporate internship program. She was a Medicare marketing product and Part D intern for the company. During her ten-week internship, Tolli was able to participate in a variety of projects and hear from corporate leaders. She was able to project manage and lead the 2021 Age in Plus Pilot Campaign for Medicare Product and Part D. Tolli was also able to compile a 2022 Plan-to-Network Crosswalk and directly listen to and evaluate tele-sales calls focusing on enhancing the member experience. She was also able to complete the 2021 Preferred Pharmacy project and research pharmacies that would be best for advertising Aetna Medicare Part D plans. During her final presentation, Tolli was able to make Medicare suggestions such as having Aetna create portable lists of questions for members to carry in their wallets for doctor appointments, and having the Aetna Medicare Part D website provide a drug-filler drop-down search box that allows members to see the plans that cover their drugs as well as how to pronounce the names of drugs they take. Throughout her internship, Tolli got to learn about and understand Medicare Part D and the importance it has on health care. Tolli loved the work she did at Aetna CVS Health and the company culture. Not only did this project help her get an internship at Aetna CVS Health, but she also got offered and accepted a full-time job post-graduation. Starting in June of 2022, Tolli will be working for Aetna CVS Health in their general management corporate development program. This four-year program will have Tolli complete three eighteen-month rotations in different areas of the company. She is excited to start her career and work in a variety of areas throughout Aetna CVS Health.

Tolli says that she would not be where she is today without the help of the Barney faculty and advisors. She says, “The faculty at the Barney school want everyone to succeed and are willing to give you any advice, feedback, or guidance you need. The instructors here don’t just connect with you in the classroom; they connect with you outside of the classroom as well. The faculty at Barney help you to really push yourself and seek opportunities that are outside your comfort zone.” Tolli would like to express her sincere gratitude to faculty members Dr. Celia Lofink, Kenneth Goroshko, and John Thomson for continuing to challenge her in her studies and provide support and guidance both in and out of the classroom. The Barney School of Business has helped to not only shape Tolli’s career path, but it has also helped her to grow into the leader she is today.

Besides the internship experience, Tolli is prominently involved with activities on the UHart campus. She currently serves as president of the Barney Leadership Council and as the secretary of the Delta Zeta Sorority. Tolli’s passion does not stop there, as she is also a Red Cap Student Orientation Leader, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, and a member of the National Honor Society for Leadership and Success. She also participated in the Hubbell RDTI Experiential Learning Project in the spring of 2020, where she conducted research on how Hubbell’s competitors go to market and how customers are consuming information.

What advice does Tolli have for incoming Barney students? She says, “Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone! When you try new things that make you a little uncomfortable, you can grow in ways you never could have imagined. You are able to open doors and seek amazing opportunities. I would also suggest that incoming students get involved on campus. There are so many clubs and organizations that UHart offers, and you can learn so many different things. I am personally a part of many diverse clubs and I have been able to learn so many valuable skills to grow, not only as a leader, but also as a person.”

The faculty at the Barney school want everyone to succeed and are willing to give you any advice, feedback, or guidance you need. The instructors here don’t just connect with you in the classroom; they connect with you outside of the classroom as well. The faculty at Barney help you to really push yourself and seek opportunities that are outside your comfort zone.

Brielle Tolli, BSBA '21 and MBA '22