How did you find your internship or full-time position?
I found my internship when the RWU Career Center emailed the Justice Studies Career Newsletter for April/May of 2013. The student spotlight was of a former student who also completed an internship with the Connecticut State Police. In his bio, a web link was provided that led to the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection's internship/co-op program. Through that link, I was able to contact the person in charge of student placements throughout the CT State Police in the region that best suited me. As a result, I was placed in the Connecticut State Police's Special Licensing and Firearms Unit.
What were some of your daily job duties?
As I worked in the headquarters building rather than a troop, I did not witness as much of the "nitty-gritty" police work such as ride-alongs, emergency calls, and whatnot. However, some of my daily job tasks would include trips to the State Police gun vault to help process, dismantle, and record confiscated or surrendered firearms; I often assisted with security guard, private investigator, bail enforcement officer, and firearm license processing; and I was also assigned projects that aimed to improve the headquarters' fitness center.
What did you like most about your position?
I truly believe I was offered the unique chance of a lifetime with my internship at the Connecticut State Police. One of the roles of the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit is that it is the acting boxing commission for the state (minus events at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods). Early in the internship, I was asked by one of the detectives if I would be available to assist working a boxing match that was being promoted by rapper '50 Cent' on May 5, 2013 at the Connecticut Convention Center. I immediately expressed interest, as I have never seen a boxing match before. On the day of, I was shocked as to what I got to experience and witness. I got to assist with the check-in process for the boxers and training staff. During the match, another intern and myself were in charge of walking the boxers from the locker room to the ring. As I got to sit ringside directly next to 50 Cent as the match was being televised on ESPN, it was very cool to watch myself later that night in the background of the highlight reel on TV.
Did anything surprise you about the interviewing process or how you located your position?
Surprisingly, I did not go through an interview process. I simply provided my resume and once the background check was complete, I had the position. I also found it incredible that doing something as simply opening an email (Justice Studies Newsletter) would lead to a full summer internship.
Reflecting on your overall experience, what activities /experiences were helpful in providing some direction about your future career path and goals?
Working very closely and creating professional relationships with sworn state troopers and civilian employees helped create a strong foundation of my career path. They were very quick and honest to tell me, firsthand, what they enjoyed about their job and what aspects they were not as fond about. I was offered countless amounts of suggestions, references, and guidance that I know will remain beside me throughout my time at Roger Williams and beyond.
Do you have any tips for other students that are considering an internship or seeking full-time employment?
The biggest tip I have to offer students considering an internship or full-time employment is never to be afraid of "striking out". The only way to find out if an opportunity exists is the ask. Visiting the Career Center, making "cold calls', sending emails, getting your name out there, and not being afraid of rejection is monumental in the job search process. Your dream job might not have an opening for you, yet. However, you must start somewhere; and through these experiences, you will be provided with a stronger toolset to get you where you want to be.