James Moody, a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, is spending part of his summer working as an intern for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in Washington D.C.
Moody, who earned his undergraduate degree in history with a minor in political science, is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in public administration from the E.J. Ourso College of Business of Louisiana State University (LSU). His internship runs from June 5-Aug. 8.
Prior to graduating from the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus in May 2012, Moody served on the Gulf Coast Student Government Association from 2011-2012. He is a native of Pass Christian, Miss.
Moody was initially assigned to work with Agriculture and Healthcare Policy, but day-to-day he works closely with the Healthcare Fellow assisting with meetings on healthcare related issues and concerns. He also assists in committee hearings and constituent casework by finding out how district offices can best serve the individual’s need or concern, or putting them in contact with a federal agency for assistance.
Moody says the internship has enlightened him as to how the legislative process, committee markups and subcommittees work. Working with the Healthcare Fellow has taught him about the healthcare industry as well, but he said there is still much to learn as the summer continues.
“This experience thus far has taught me a lot about the public sector and how the policy-making process works,” Moody said. “But, most of all, I find this experience mostly beneficial not only for the learning experiences, but for the great networking opportunities that comes with Washington, D.C.”
After graduation next May, Moody plans to work in the public sector for a few years and eventually attend law school. His plan is to establish a non-profit agency that takes on the issues of housing and community development following crisis or to even become a candidate for elective office.
“I have a passion for serving the public and even as an intern, I am serving my state,” Moody said. “To me, it is not about the money, but it’s about serving my community, my city, my county and my state, making a positive difference in someone's life through policy. That is my form of compensation.”
He was also nominated by the senator’s office to participate in the Stennis Congressional Internship Program. Approximately 30 interns from around Capitoal Hill in both Congressional and Committee offices are invited to participate in a six-week program that provides training on the real legislative and policy making process.
Interns are chosen for the program based on outstanding academic performance, community service, campus involvement and a drive for public service. The program is housed in the John Stennis Center for Public Service and Leadership.