Batten Prepares: An Internship Snapshot


When she left Charlottesville for the summer, MPP student Nora Neus had no idea how much a Batten education would help her in the workplace. Taking an internship at the Office of Budget at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, she’s taken on projects on Medicaid and Private insurance. Some of her specific projects focus in on special populations, such as Native Americans, pregnant women, children, immigrants and those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse disorders. For her long-term summer research project, Neus has been working on the national shortage of physicians.

Neus also volunteered to organize the Budget Office’s Summer Speaker Series. The Series invited stakeholders to speak on various issues related to health and budget. Through her Batten connections, she invited Raymond Scheppach to speak on state health care systems. As the former National Governor’s Association executive director and former member of President Clinton’s 1993 health reform committee at the White House, Scheppach brought expertise needed for the series.

Every year, the Office of Budget conducts the “summer process”. This process allows the Office to present legislative proposals to Congress, highlighting nuances in policy in the Presidential budget that Congress might have over looked. This afforded Neus the opportunity to write policy memos, conduct research and draft actual proposal language. She has been able to follow through on the proposals, including leading work group meetings to examine the policy issues with over 20 Health and Human Services employees from different departments.

Neus says that her experience at Batten has been invaluable, preparing her for the fast paced professional world of D.C. policy making. “I’m continually surprised at how well Batten has prepared me for my internship,” Neus said.

After concluding her internship with HHS, Neus interned with the CNN television show, Anderson Cooper 360. As her example shows, Batten students and graduates are prepared to take on any challenge.

Garrett Hall at Sunset

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