Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

Internship Location: Madison WI

Organization Type: State Government

Policy Areas:  Economic and Community Development/Education/Finance and Budgeting/Research

I worked as a Research Analyst at the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) in the Office of Financial Literacy. One of my main projects was conducting a study authorized by the State Legislature on how to implement the federal ABLE program (tax-advantaged savings accounts for people with disabilities) in Wisconsin. I also led qualitative research on academic standards for personal financial literacy in 464 school districts across the state. As the only intern at DFI, I was fortunate to work directly with the DFI Secretary and participate in outreach trips to Milwaukee and Brown County to meet with community stakeholders. I helped plan a roundtable discussion on agriculture and community banking with Governor Evers, farmers, and business owners in Denmark, Wisconsin. I also participated in the Governor’s Council for Financial Literacy & Capability on the Financial Inclusion Committee, helping set priorities for new financial inclusion initiatives. The experience enabled me to hone my skills in policy analysis and apply them in a practical setting, as well as gain insight into how policies are implemented at the state level. A few fun highlights of the summer were hearing Secretary Blumenthal reference my work during a radio interview, sampling cheese at dairy farms, visiting Milwaukee Public Schools, and meeting Governor Evers.