Alexis Christopherson

Major: Human Development and Family Studies
Company/Organization: South Dakota Department of Social Services
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Timeframe: Summer 2023
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


I assist low income individuals and families with eligibility determinations for Economic Assistance programs. This internship is specifically for the South Dakota Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid or CHIP). I work with existing Family Medical programs as well as Medicaid Expansion and will assist with Medicaid applications by communicating with the customers, verifying collateral information, entering the information into our computer system and determining eligibility based on our programs rules, regulations and policies. Contact with customers also includes assessing their needs, clarifying household circumstances and making appropriate referrals to other state, federal and local resources who can support them. I also gain knowledge of other programs managed by Economic Assistance by working on combination cases and shadowing workers in the other departments.


My greatest accomplishment was creating connections within my department. I enjoy working with all my coworkers and supervisors. This experience has granted me the opportunity to fine tune what I wish to do with my career moving forward post grad and has helped me determine the type of establishment I want to work for as a professional. I stepped out of my comfort zone applying to be a benefits specialist intern but I'm so happy I did.

Learning experience

When starting a new position in a field you've never worked in before you will be completely lost and overwhelmed. Working for a team who listens and supports you is so important and can determine a lot about how you will find yourself to enjoy a workplace. I found that asking questions and being receptive to all feedback is essential to being successful at any position. With that being said I also learned to be resourceful and to try and use tools given to me first to try and answer my own questions before asking a lead or supervisor. I have become so much more independent and resourceful because of this.

What advice would you give?

My advice is to believe in yourself and to work hard. There isn't much of a difference between your confidence in your ability to do something and your ability to actually do it. If you have good work ethic and a positive outlook on your future, you will achieve anything you put your mind to in time.

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