What if the U.S. Postal Service stopped delivering on Mondays? Would it lose business to competitors such as FedEx and UPS? Would patrons stop using the postal service and pay more bills online? These are all questions that Starla Loyd had to research.

Loyd, '09, spent a semester with political movers and shakers in Washington, DC. Selected by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) to participate in its highly competitive internship program, she worked with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia in charge of maintaining the database of U.S. commemorative stamps. She also enrolled in three courses at George Washington University through the program's new partnership with the nearly 200-year-old private institution renowned for its undergraduate programs in international affairs, international business, political science, and political communications.

Maria Williams-Hawkins, a telecommunications

faculty member, encouraged her to consider the internship and send writing samples.

“On my own, no, I would have never thought of pursuing something like this,” says Loyd, an Indianapolis North Central grad who aspires to one day start her own production company. “The experience opened up my eyes more and expanded my opportunities, so I can feel a job maybe even in politics is a career option.”

Her days on Capitol Hill were filled with doing projects for the subcommittee. When any lawmaker or piece of legislation proposes the issuance of a new stamp, one of the first steps is a review of the database. Loyd also would compile the members’ daily news briefs comprised of clips relating to the postal service, federal workers, the District of Columbia, and other items of importance to the subcommittee.

She got to be a part of history, too, arriving in Washington just eight days before President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Loyd attended the inaugural ball sponsored by the CBCF and helped draft remarks for the organization's president, Elsie L. Scott.

“I was assigned to shadow Muriel Cooper, senior media manager for the foundation, and work with all the different media outlets that were there,” she says.

Loyd says her internship gave her a hands-on education.

“Being here, learning outside of the textbook, seeing that Congress member or senator outside of the TV box and saying, ‘Hey, I just met that person or saw that person,' it puts a different perspective on things and I believe makes the experience more genuine,” she says.

Read more about Loyd's distinctive experience in the nation's capital.

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“The experience opened up my eyes more and expanded my opportunities, so I can feel a job maybe even in politics is a career option.”

—Starla Loyd, '09