Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, October 14, 2021

Organizations needed to host interns in new health policy program

Organizations needed to host interns in new health policy program

Next month, the La Follette School will open to undergraduate students the application window for its new Certificate in Health Policy.

As part of the certificate program, students complete an internship that focuses on some aspect of policy that affects health care or other area of the health sector. The La Follette School seeks organizational partners interested in hosting talented student interns.

“In the health sector, finding talent with a firm grasp of both health policy content and analytical skills can be a real challenge,” says Mary Michaud, who advises and teaches students in the program. “Because our program attracts top students interested in working in the health sector, the internships benefit students and employers alike.”

During the academic year, interns work a minimum of 8 hours each week. During summer, internships typically last eight weeks, and interns work a minimum of 20 hours a week. Students in the internship enroll in a 3-credit, faculty-guided course alongside their internship, learning to observe and understand professional settings and key health policy issues.

Students are typically juniors and seniors at UW–Madison who have taken core courses in health policy. Some have quantitative training in economics and statistics. We expect the incoming cohort to come from other diverse majors such as pre-health, business, engineering, and computer science.

Examples of how these students could contribute to the organization and benefit from learning:

  • Analysis of new legislation, federal rules, or state statutes to clarify issues for the organization. How do changes in health policy affect our organization? How can we adapt?
  • Data collection and analysis. What types of data does our organization use to comply with policy, inform operations, and promote quality improvement?
  • Communicating about policy to diverse stakeholder groups. What messages and media would help our organization best convey policy information to our audiences?

Organizations who pay interns will attract highly motivated students, because most seek to offset the costs of higher education while completing their degrees. Many interns stay on as part-time employees as they complete their bachelor’s degree, while some become full-time employees following graduation. Organizations should expect pay between $15 and $25 per hour for undergraduate interns; the La Follette School does offer some limited summer tuition scholarships, but too few to meet demand.

To help the La Follette School learn more about your organization’s needs and ability to host an intern, please answer a few questions, and you’ll hear from us soon!