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Loyola mass communication student interning at the White House

August 2, 2013

In the White House where Loyola University New Orleans senior Alden Woodhull is interning this summer, daily responsibilities have her interacting with people many only see on TV. Woodhull has enjoyed up close and personal views of several speeches given by Vice President Joe Biden, and she’s also attended a daily press briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. The mass communication major is interning in the vice president’s communications office through August.

“Every morning I walk onto the White House complex, and every morning, I’m reminded how lucky I am to be here,” Woodhull said. Usually the first to arrive in the office every day, Woodhull is ready to create staff briefing binders, monitor press coverage, and answer phone calls and e-mails for the press office.

Loyola School of Mass Communication students are making a difference, and White House intern Alden Woodhull is a perfect example. She’s using her Loyola public relations training to jumpstart a rewarding career in public service,” said Sonya F. Duhé, Ph.D., Loyola professor and director of the School of Mass Communication. “Small class sizes and outstanding faculty mean our School of Mass Communication students receive the kind of personalized learning and unparalleled training that opens doors for careers in the nation’s capital and around the world.”

Woodhull sees a future at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She hopes to eventually follow in the footsteps of Carney, who was previously communications director in the Office of the Vice President before he was appointed to his current post as White House press secretary in 2011. Woodhull said it was “especially exciting to see him give a press briefing because he started in the office I work in now.”

In the exciting and high-pressure environment of the White House, Woodhull relies on the training she received from Loyola’s School of Mass Communication. “A lot of what I do here relies on what I’ve learned from the School of Mass Communication, whether it’s writing in a professional, concise manner, understanding the strategy behind good social media, researching or knowing what is involved in effective media outreach,” Woodhull said.

A case-in-point is just completing the complex and thorough application for the White House Internship program. Loyola assistant professor Valerie Andrews taught Woodhull’s Writing for Public Relations class how to write an effective, clear and concise memo. Woodhull used the skills learned in class to write the sample memo required for her application.

The deadline for the spring 2014 White House Internship Program is Sept. 8. Apply online. For media interviews or high-resolution photos, please contact Mikel Pak, Loyola’s associate director of public affairs.

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