Health policy undergraduates gain valuable experience through internships

Photos of Casey Kaelber and Travis Miller.
Casey Kaelber (left) and Travis Miller (right) completed internships for the Undergraduate Certificate in Health Policy.

An important part of the La Follette School Undergraduate Certificate programs is the required internship working with a policy-related organization or a project relevant to health or public policy. This summer, 12 La Follette School Health Policy Certificate students had the opportunity to apply the practical skills and knowledge gained during their coursework and develop skills in a professional setting through a variety of internship opportunities in health policy. Other students completed health policy internships during the academic year working in a wide variety of settings, including the state legislature, nonprofits, and healthcare organizations.

Travis Miller is a senior majoring in legal studies with Certificates in Public Policy and Health Policy. This summer, he worked as a customer service and program coordination intern for Wisconsin Health Care Association/Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living (WHCA/WiCAL) in Madison. Miller’s main task was working with the WisCaregiver Careers 2.0 Program, an initiative that addresses the shortage of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in Wisconsin. He worked with a team to contact nursing homes throughout the state, ensuring they were aware of the careers program and helping them take advantage of the program. Miller found his internship through email communications sent from La Follette career services director Marie Koko. In the future, he plans to focus on boosting prevention through a career in health policy, and hopes to work in Washington, D.C. Miller’s advice for students is to “be scrappy and apply for as many internships as you can. It is worth it because those experiences will help you advance your career.”

Casey Kaelber is a senior majoring in global health with Certificates in Biocore and Health Policy who worked as a government affairs intern for AbbVie in Washington, D.C. this summer. As part of the internship, he worked with the pharmaceutical company’s government affairs organization and directly reported to AbbVie’s intellectual property lead. Kaelber was tasked with researching and analyzing current market trends and literature on intellectual property. He also had the opportunity to write portions of policies in position papers. Kaelber focused on research and discovery cost transparency from an industry perspective, an experience that made him appreciate the way his educational background translated into real-life policy work. He wants to impact as many people as he can while making sure everyone has equitable access to health care services. “Be open to new majors and new ideas,” advises Kaelber. “Take classes you are interested in because you might find something that you are super passionate about, and it might lead you down a path you never knew existed.”

For current Certificate in Health or Public Policy students, Marie Koko ( can offer insights on how to find an internship or career in health or public policy. Students can also consult the internship listings Koko shares with certificate students. Mary Michaud serves as the academic advisor to all certificate students. She can be reached at, and students can set up an advising appointment with Michaud using Starfish.

The application period is now open and the deadline to apply for the Undergraduate Certificate in Health or Public Policy is November 30. The application will open again in May 2023.

– Written by Carlos Puga and Mary Davis Michaud

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