An aspiring politician, Taylor Doyle has been getting a taste of what life is like on the chicken dinner circuit. He's also getting an insider's view of the business of politics.

In his work, he coordinates events, attends luncheons, dinners, and cocktail parties, all to drum up dollars for members of Congress.

Doyle received an internship with Washington-based Bellwether Consulting Group, which provides political fundraising consulting to more than 20 Republicans in the metro Washington area. As part of his job, Doyle regularly sits in on conversations among members of Congress, lobbyists, donors, and business leaders. He helps to coordinate breakfasts, small meetings, dinner events, and leisure outings - all of which are part of Bellwether's strategy for increasing fundraising for its clients. Before events, he makes and sends invitations, gathers RSVPs, and organizes logistics, and afterward he follows up with potential donors and political action committees.

Bellwether works with politicians to fundraise by coordinating meetings and phone calls and small events with political action committees and by developing fundraising strategies. The company works with politicians taking them from primaries through national elections. In addition to coordinating events, Bellwether also produces mailings and brochures for its clients.

"Our job is to make sure that our clients have the necessary resources for a successful campaign," Bellwether team member Megan Cummings said. "We create strategic and creative PAC fundraising plans to fit the individual needs of our Congressional, Senatorial and corporate clients. We take care of the entire fundraising process, from designing the invitation to soliciting funds, and finally, to executing the event."

In addition to Doyle, who is a leadership studies and political science double major, Bellwether has other ties to the University of Richmond. As part of the D.C. Initiative coordinated through the university's Career Development Center, senior Maggie Brown is also interning with the consultancy. Brown, who works at a desk just across the aisle from Doyle, is a political science major also. Doyle's supervisor, Cummings, joined Bellwether after spending time interning with CNN Washington's political unit and is a graduate of the University of Richmond ('07).

Doyle said he has enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many movers and shakers in Washington because he hopes to be involved in politics for at least part of his career. After graduation Doyle plans to move back to New Orleans, where he grew up.