Internship Experiences





Internship Experiences


Each semester, students have the opportunity to share their internship experiences. Below are their stories.

Scott Syryla

In the summer of 2016, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the United States Marshal Service for a 12-week internship. SinceSS I had always had an interest in federal law enforcement , I thought it would be a great place to see the real world. While I was at my internship, I was tasked with numerous responsibilities, including helping to find fugitives, observing court cases, and taking care of seized property. In addition, I was allowed to go out on patrols with some of the deputies and even had the privilege to go through many different types of training. What I had learned from this real life experience is far more useful than what most textbook s could teach me. 

After completing the internship, I reflect back and realize that it was a very valuable experience. I gained not only work experience and connections, but I also acquired leadership skills and a sense of what real life police work is about. Plus, I was able to see many of the policies that we have learn ed in class being used in real life. It is nice to see that what our professors tell us about the justice system is not all smoke and mirrors. Most of what they say transfers over into the real world. For me, it was life changing and I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity. I HIGHLY recommend doing at least one before you graduate. You will thank yourself, and more importantly, you'll be more prepared for what lies ahead the day after graduation.  

 

Breyann Campbell

BCI spent my internship with the Ocean City Police Department in Maryland as a seasonal police officer. This was a great experience because I wasn't just interning with the department, but I was also an actual police officer in the state of Maryland. 

I was able to experience and graduate the seasonal police academy, and operate as a police officer on the streets of Ocean City. I was equipped with a Kevlar vest, baton, pepper spray, and a 38 special, among other things. While working there, I had the chance to pull over traffic in a police vehicle, write criminal and civil citations, clear houses while looking for burglary suspects, and arrest offenders for a variety of crimes. Along with that, I prepared statements of charges and probable cause, and attended court proceedings. I basically did everything a police officer is required to do.

This internship was amazing. I learned so much in the 4 months that I was there. It was fun to be able to get called to something, show up and then try to piece things together to figure out what happened. I think the two biggest things I learned from this internship regarding policing is that patience is key, and that using your senses (sight, touch, smell) can go a long way in investigating a particular situation. I can't emphasize enough how valuable this experience was, how much it has helped me better understand the CJ field, and helped me decide what I want to do after I graduate. 

 

Melanie Hilliard

I interned over the summer at SCI Pine Grove, located in Indiana, PA. Pine Grove was originally established to hold male juvenile MHinmates, but because of overcrowding issues, it now houses adult males too. I bounced around all over the place during my 12 weeks interning at Pine Grove. I worked in all 6 of the housing units, interacting with inmates on a daily basis. I facilitated groups and provided inmates with 1-on-1 counseling.

The internship helped me realize two things. First, despite the amount of time and effort spent on trying to assist inmates, if a person doesn't want the help, there is unfortunately a good chance they will recidivate. Second, even with prison being an inherently negative environment, the staff became family to me and made my experience worthwhile. The internship, in it's entirety, taught me that I want to steer my future career in a more rehabilitative direction. This way, I can help inmates reform their behavior so that they can become positive, contributing members to society once they return.


Peter Wright

WrightI took a summer internship with Georgia Probation Management’s misdemeanor office located in Covington, GA. There I learned how to prepare and issue warrants, petitions, and tolling orders. I went over the conditions of probation and gathered record keeping information from new probationers once the judge imposed their sentence. I called up probationers over the telephone to remind them when their next report date was in case they missed an appointment. On top of all of this, I learned and relearned record keeping skills, punctuality, independence, and over all competence in a real working environment.
 
No classroom can fully prepare a student for what working in the real world is like. Working at Georgia Probation Management was not burdensome or hard, but it was vastly different from the book work many of us students are used to. Believe your professors when they tell you that taking an internship could mean the difference between an employer hiring you in the future or choosing someone else instead. I had a great time during my internship; there was never a doubt in my mind that I was learning every day, I could feel it as it happened.

Not only that, but by taking part in a real working world environment, it helped me figureWright2 out what I wanted to be when I graduated. I always figured that I would become a private security agent or a felony probation officer. After working at GPM, I discovered I wanted something else, something a little more outdoors. So now, I am pursuing a career as a game warden. This discovery was not because I didn’t enjoy the work in a misdemeanor probation office. Rather, it was because actually practicing having a real life job allowed me to evaluate the pros and cons and find the best possible alternative in my mind. I can't recommend enough finding an internship doing something that interests you the most. Do it early if you can; you may want to take more than one.


Dylan Chapman

I worked at the Bradford County correctional facility over the summer of 2015. This facility houses inmates with many differentDC offenses ranging from misdemeanors to more serious felonies. During my time there, I learned things that you cannot learn in the classroom. Interpersonal communication skills are key to being successful in the correctional field and working here really helped me develop them. Before working in corrections, I really only thought about working on the policing side of the criminal justice system; however, after this experience, I have become much more open to different careers in the criminal justice field. 

Working at this facility also helped me apply the theories and discussions we have had in various CJA classes to real life, expanding my understanding of the criminal justice system tremendously. Finally, this experience has helped develop my improvising skills as each day is very different than the next and things can get serious in an instant. Working here, I was faced with situations that required me to think quickly and act. This has been a great way to get some experience in the criminal justice field and I could not have had a better experience!

 

Dan Cwieka

Dan Cwieka

I interned at the Warren County Prosecutor's Office, specifically the Special Victims Unit which dealt with child and sex offenders. I assisted the detectives and prosecutors with case paperwork, as well as many outside the office experiences such as witnessing court cases, visiting the Edna Mahan Women's Correctional Facility and serving as a hostage in a Child Abduction Response Team practice simulation.

Through my internship, I gained invaluable leadership skills, organizational skills, and a good idea of what I will experience in the real world after I graduate. I was also provided many networking opportunities, which I took full advantage of. I would intern at the Prosecutor's Office again in a heartbeat, because I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from this incredible experience!


Kimberly Floyd

Kimberly Floyd

My internship was spent working at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts as a safety and security officer. Working in this environment taught me the skills needed to work with different types of people. Hershey was an amazing learning experience for myself. Many people that work there are retired and have worked in corrections or policing, so talking with them was very informational. There was a lot to learn at Hershey, but not much training, so I became very swift with learning new things and dealing with new situations. Before I started working at Hershey, I was very introverted and shy and would not approach others often. By the end of my internship, I found myself approaching guests and assisting them without hesitation. The internship program at Mansfield University really helped me hone in on what I want to pursue as a career. It not only helped me decide my career path, but it also helped me understand why type of person I am and which environments and situations I would work best in. It was great to break away from classrooms and textbooks yet still gain some of the necessary knowledge to work in the criminal justice field.


Tyler Cunningham

Tyler Cunningham

After spending 12 weeks with the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, the amount of knowledge I received was incredible. I was able to deal with much of the criminal justice system, including: Adult Probation, Juvenile Probation, Domestic Relations, and the Sheriff's Department. I was able to sit in on court cases and have a first hand learning experience about the everyday duties of nearly every person in the courtroom. I was also able to observe and take part in the Sheriffs weapon qualification course as well as view an autopsy. I couldn't have asked for a better experience over the summer, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.


Hanna Johnson

My summer 2014 internship experience allowed me to enhance and develop various skills that are beneficial in preparation for pursuing the work force. I completed my internship for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts while serving as a part-time safety and security officer at Hershey Park. Because much of my job entailed interaction with guests, I have benefited in developing skills in working the public, especially in challenging situations. Personally, I struggle with assuming a position of authority over other individuals. This internship helped me realize that I truly am not the type of person to assume such a role but, rather, I am more suited for more personable roles that involved diffusing problematic situations or require effective communication skills. Ultimately, my internship demanded the use of both roles.

I strongly advocate for internship participation as doing so allows the student to not only discover their strengths and weaknesses but explore them on a more personal level. What makes this experience beneficial to the student is that it occurs outside of a school setting. Consequently, the student has a more direct and active role in their field experience and can use this experience to develop a road map to their chosen career.


Jenna Hoefer

Jenna Hoefer

My internship was at the Schenectady Courthouse, and I worked in the Special Victims Unit. This internship was very beneficial and such an amazing experience. Mansfield University gave me this opportunity and I did not just gain credit but I was earning amazing experience I would never receive in the classroom. I was able to experience so many different things such as working in and out of the courtroom, seeing a whole murder trial, working hands on with victims, and seeing the work environment of a correctional officer and a police officer. During my internship, I was able to work hands on and discuss everything with my supervisor to fully understand everything I was doing. I went into this internship not knowing what I wanted to do after graduation but once I finished, I now know I want to help victims by becoming a victim advocate. I never even knew this job existed until working with three victim advocates in the Special Victim Units office. Participating in this internship was the best decision I have made, and I would do it again if I had the chance.


Darren Barnard

Darren Barnard

I did the internship with the US Marshals because I want to be a federal agent and was thinking about being one of them. This was a good way for them to see my work ethic and professionalism. I was tasked with finding where fugitives have gone. These people fell off the face of the earth and I had to search for them using a database only federal agents have. I had to narrow down where the person is and find ways to track him and then apprehend him. This gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet with them and to show the Marshals that I can find anyone and that I'm relentless with my searches. I was also able to sit through court hearings and observe how federal court is held. Now that the internship is over I now that the Marshals keeping me posted on hiring dates and I have them to list as a reference. This internship is for someone who is willing to work hard and who wants to be in a federal agency. They are selective on the intern performance as to what they get to do.


Dominique Hudson

Dominique Hudson

During my internship, I developed insight of a professional workplace environment. The environmental of a workplace is much different than the academic world I've been use to since elementary school. After completing my internship, I realized my strengths and weaknesses. I am very good at understanding people, working with others, and handling problems. My weakness would be computer skills. The majority of the work that I had done was on a computer using Microsoft Excel, which I know little about. Now that I know my weakness, I can focus on different approaches that will help me strengthen my computer skills.

Aside from learning professional skills, I learned how to be patient and how to react in certain situations. Most of my duties consisted of constituent services. The majority of the constituents were respectful and pleasant to be around. Regardless the situation, I had to conduct myself in a professional manner and remember the people that I am representing: the councilman, Mansfield University, and the CJ Department.

Benefits of my internship: I was able to network with many important people. The last day of my internship, the chief of staff set up a meeting between myself and the Deputy Commissioner of Probation in Philadelphia. At the meeting, I discussed my future plans of working in juvenile probation. She gave me insight and allowed for me to ask questions. At the end of the meeting, she handed me a card and the back had a number and name for me to call after I graduate. In short, she will give me a recommendation letter when I fill out an application for a job position. Also, the councilman awarded me with a $500 scholarship that went towards my books.

Advice I would give others: An internship is a great opportunity to find out what you want to do after your undergrad career. It is also a good way to network with people that may help you later in your career. Having an internship can only HELP YOU!


Jon Heisey

Jon Heisey

I did my internship at Dauphin County CID and this division is comprised of many detectives from all over. Many of them were from Harrisburg and work in the city as officers. One of them was even an MU grad who worked as the Chief of Probation. The officers, in total, have over 200 years experience in field. I really enjoyed my time there an learned a lot from all of them. We went all over the county and did all kinds of investigations. I had the opportunity to be involved in DUI check points and the Drug Task Force. I am very glad I decided to do my internship there and the benefits and everything I learned will greatly help me out as I prepare for my career in the field. Admittedly, there was some down time and we did busy work like shredding papers and help prepare a jury list and other work that might seem boring. However, all the action and cases we were involved in greatly outweighed the down time. I sill keep in touch with most of them and would highly recommend other students do their internships with them. It is a time I will never forget, and I'm glad that I was afforded the opportunity of the internship.


Kayla Allgeier

Kayla Allgeier

My internship at the Erie County Courthouse with Judge Stephanie Domitrovich was one of the most beneficial things that I have participated in during my time here at Mansfield University. The career path that I have chosen for myself is to become an attorney and with the experience I gained throughout my internship I am now fully aware that I have chosen the right career for me. My internship has given me the opportunity to make connections with local attorneys and has shown me the 'true story' of what it is like to be an attorney. While at the courthouse, I had the opportunity to draft orders and findings of fact for the judge's law clerk, run background checks on people that were to appear in front of the judge, observe many judicial proceedings including a capital punishment case, and perform research on current law issues and draft presentations on those issues for the judge. My internship has been not only helpful to allow me to graduate a full year early from Mansfield, but it has also proved to be very impressive for my law school applications and personal statements. Internships here at Mansfield University are designed in such a way that they help you stand out from a crowd and give you an advantage over everyone else that does not have the real world experience you acquire through an internship.