Catching Up With...Clay Durham, Class of '92
Clay Durham: Class of 1992 (Susquenita High School, Data Processing)
Clay is a graduate of Susquenita High School and a discontinued CPAVTS program, Data Processing, which has given way to the Computer Programming and Computer Networking courses. Clay has been quite busy advancing in his field within the healthcare industry. He took the time out of his busy schedule to give us some details of where his education has led him in life so far.
Here is what he had to say:
Describe the company or industry in which you currently work.
“I work for Aetna, which is a health insurance company.”
What is your job title and what do you do?
“I set up our system to process medical claims, and process customer (Member and Provider) inquiries in our computer system.”
What other employment have you had related to your program areas at CPAVTS?
“In 1993, I started as a temporary data entry person for Highmark. I was hired full-time after six months. I worked my way up to Claims and Customer Service, and in 1998, when my company was sold, I moved to Health America/Coventry Health Care and maxed out my Claims/Customer Service positions. I posted for a position in Contract Management, programming contract logic; when Coventry was purchased by Aetna in 2013, I posted to a similar position in Aetna, by using their computer system.”
”Basically, you should never lose sight of your passion. Find a way to do what you like—even if it means doing something you don’t like first. You need to make the connections and learn as much as you can to become valuable and trustworthy. You have to be worth the chance an employer gives you, and then do everything you can to succeed beyond their expectations.”
What additional education and training did you receive after leaving CPAVTS, and where did you receive it?
“I took advantage of learning opportunities in the companies I worked for and learned everything I could about my jobs. The most important thing you can do is understand what you are doing, not just do it. I always look for improvement, and I try to make myself as valuable as possible. I try to never say no, but instead ask how to do something.”
How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?
“I was not a good student; I could not stand school. I knew what I wanted to do, I wanted to program. If you learn what you like/love, it makes things so much easier. I also was able to work half a day my senior year through the Co-Op Program, and I worked with the PA Department of Agriculture doing data entry. I was making money and gaining experience that I could put on a resume while my friends were in a classroom.”
How has your industry changed since your time at Cumberland Perry?
“I started working on mainframe computers. I learned RPGII and COBOL at CPAVTS, but after Y2K the opportunities for COBOL died. The logic and the problem solving was still the same. I have been programming claim payment logic since 2003, and I now work at home via the internet. My boss is in Arizona and my team is spread out across the country.”
What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?
“The pancake eating contest that we did for some charity—I forget which charity, but it was fun.”