An Enlightening Summer with the NJSPB

My internship with the NJSPB this summer was undeniably rewarding. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect was learning and experiencing more than I ever could in a classroom. While I highly value my education, my internship introduced me to a professional work environment, strengthened my hard and soft skills, and familiarized me with the inner workings of the criminal justice system. After all, these rewards are not typically feasible in a traditional academic setting. As a result, I am positive my experience this summer will give me a competitive edge in the future job market.

The most challenging aspect of my internship was maintaining my self-confidence. As the only intern in my unit (and the floor of the building), it was intimidating being the new face in the office. Most people have worked for the NJSPB for several years and know their colleagues well. Additionally, with no prior experience in the criminal justice field, a great deal of information was conveyed to me, all of which I did my best to absorb. Nevertheless, as the weeks passed, my confidence grew, and my knowledge expanded. I learned not to be afraid to speak up, ask questions, and share new ideas. Fortunately, I was guided and supported tremendously by my supervisor and colleagues. I am very grateful for such an enlightening summer, and I am excited to return to campus soon for my senior year!

My desktop computer

My desktop computer

Outside the front of the office

Outside the front of the office

Sydney Gero ’23
Criminal Justice

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The Importance of Internships

Internships are a valuable asset to traditional college education. The most rewarding aspect of my internship thus far has been the opportunity to develop professional skills while also furthering my knowledge in the field through hands-on application. In many of my academic courses, I have learned about various IT tasks and concepts. However, I was not able to fully grasp the ideas presented in class until I was able to see them in action. I now have a clearer understanding of what Information Technology really involves and what skills are needed to be successful in the field. Developing connections and expanding my network has also been an extremely rewarding aspect of my internship. I have had the opportunity to meet accomplished individuals who have shared their experiences and given me advice to help advance my career.

The most challenging part has been overcoming the learning curve that comes with taking on a role in a brand-new environment. Initially, I felt unsure as to how I would apply my skillsets. The environment was unfamiliar, and I had surface-level knowledge of the concepts presented to me. However, as time went on, I began to find my niche within the workplace. I learned the value of asking questions and taking advantage of the resources available to me. I was encouraged to ask questions if I was unfamiliar with a concept and my mentors were happy to provide answers. Internships are learning experiences and interns are not expected to have all the answers. I am eager to continue learning and applying the knowledge I have learned down the road.

WIRES

Simal Sami ’24
Information Technology

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Good Grief

I have just sadly wrapped up my time at Good Grief on August 5th. It has been such a rewarding experience for me. The most rewarding part was definitely facilitating support groups because I was able to be hands on with families participating in the Nights of Support programs and see the struggles of each age group. This was also important to me because this opportunity helped me narrow down what age groups I gravitated towards. I really enjoyed working with the middle school and high school groups which is what I predicted.

I consider myself very lucky because during my time at Good Grief, I didn’t face many challenges as far as data collection, gathering supplies for summer camp, researching organizations for community outreach database, or any other administrative work. However, one thing that was challenging for me was learning to not self-disclose when I was with the middle school and high school participants. As the facilitator, I had to let the participants control the conversation and make sure they are the center of the group. This group is not for me to participate in, but I am simply a guide. However, self-disclosing when we are talking about lighter topics was tempting for me. For example, one participant said they were thinking about going to the University of Scranton after senior year. Of course, I was extremely tempted to let her know that I go to Scranton and express how much I love it. I knew that it could derail the conversation and others wouldn’t be included in the conversation. Learning to not self-disclose definitely got easier as time when on, and I am glad I learned to control when to self-disclose. This skill will be extremely important for me as a future counselor!

This is me in our orientation room where new families come in and hear about programs, they can participate in. Behind me is a tree where children can write anything they want on paper leaves.

This is me in our orientation room where new families come in and hear about programs, they can participate in. Behind me is a tree where children can write anything they want on paper leaves.

These are boxes I put together of supplies for this year’s Good Grief Summer Camp. These boxes are full of arts and crafts, books, and so many activities for kids ages 6 to 18. I also made binders for the camp counselors that included schedules and ice breaker ideas.

These are boxes I put together of supplies for this year’s Good Grief Summer Camp. These boxes are full of arts and crafts, books, and so many activities for kids ages 6 to 18. I also made binders for the camp counselors that included schedules and ice breaker ideas.

This is another wall where participants can write messages to their loved one. It’s for any participant but especially for those who don’t like to express their feelings verbally.

This is another wall where participants can write messages to their loved one. It’s for any participant but especially for those who don’t like to express their feelings verbally.

These are memory boxes. Each child receives a memory box where they can collect items that remind them of their person. They can either leave their box here and bring in items over time to fill the box, or they can bring it home. Many kids carry it around everywhere they go.

These are memory boxes. Each child receives a memory box where they can collect items that remind them of their person. They can either leave their box here and bring in items over time to fill the box, or they can bring it home. Many kids carry it around everywhere they go.

This is the “Volcano Room.” All kids have their days where they don’t want to talk about their person who passed away or don’t have the mental headspace to handle difficult conversations. The Volcano Room is an option for them to play and get away from the conversation. It’s also a space for them to let out any anger they are feeling in a safe way.

This is the “Volcano Room.” All kids have their days where they don’t want to talk about their person who passed away or don’t have the mental headspace to handle difficult conversations. The Volcano Room is an option for them to play and get away from the conversation. It’s also a space for them to let out any anger they are feeling in a safe way.

This is a hospital room. Although this room may seem unsettling for some, many kids in the program love to “play doctor” or “hospital.” Some of the kids comfort in this room because a hospital setting might be the only place they remember seeing their loved one, especially if they are very young.

This is a hospital room. Although this room may seem unsettling for some, many kids in the program love to “play doctor” or “hospital.” Some of the kids comfort in this room because a hospital setting might be the only place they remember seeing their loved one, especially if they are very young.

Nicole Gomber ’23
Counseling and Human Services

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Opportunities and Obstacles of Interning with the Borgen Project

My internship is nearly over as I am writing this blog post. By the time it is posted, I will be done with my internship with the Borgen Project. Because of this, I have a clear idea about what has been challenging throughout my internship with the Borgen Project and what I have found rewarding. The thing that I found most challenging during this internship has been the public relations portion of it. I am a marketing major and this internship is a PR/Marketing internship, so I am doing a bit of both. The reason that I find the PR aspect so difficult is because of the lack of control that I have over whether or not it succeeds. To put my point in more concrete terms, I was required as part of this internship to get four pieces of media that discuss the Borgen Project published by media outlets. This could include newspaper, social media influencers, or other media outlets that would draw attention. I got two published through personal connections, but I for a while struggled to get anything additional published. I sent letters to the editor to newspapers, and I had one letter posted in the Scranton Times and successfully completed the goal!

The most rewarding part of my internship has been seeing how willing people are to help out a good cause. In case you did not know, the Borgen Project is a nonprofit that advocates for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger globally. It has been both eye opening and rewarding to see how willing people are to help the cause of eradicating global extreme poverty. In a similar way, it is rewarding that I am able to do my part in helping the cause while also being able to learn skills in marketing that I can use for a future career in the marketing field.

A screenshot of a presentation I did that highlighted what the Borgen Project is all about

A screenshot of a presentation I did that highlighted what the Borgen Project is all about

FLYER

One of the many flyers I posted around a local shopping center advertising the Borgen Project

A chalk message I did, also as a part of what is called the “One-Mile Campaign”, in which I was tasked with putting flyers and other physical advertisements around a one mile area

A chalk message I did, also as a part of what is called the “One-Mile Campaign”, in which I was tasked with putting flyers and other physical advertisements around a one mile area

Michael Walton ’23
Marketing

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A Summer of Crime (and Self) Analysis

It is hard to believe that my time at the Montgomery County Detective Bureau is already over. There were many rewarding aspects to this internship. This internship gave me so many opportunities to experience so many new things within the criminal justice system. My most favorite experience was definitely getting to shadow an autopsy. I almost passed out during it, but I still thought it was the coolest thing ever. It also helped me decide that I was definitely more suited for an analysis job. Another rewarding part of this internship was knowing how much of an impact my work was making on my community. I was assigned to work in the Detective Bureau’s Major Crimes unit to analyze data in an ongoing investigation for catalytic convertor theft. My job was to look through GPS tracking data and see if it lined up with addresses listed in police reports as well as noting other stand out addresses and reporting my findings to the detectives in that unit to be used in court. I was also able to work with some of the Detective Bureau’s Intelligence Analysts and check out the programs they use for their analysis. Being that this is my intended career path, I am extremely grateful that I was given the opportunity to learn about the different ways intelligence analysis is done, as well as putting everything I’ve learned at Scranton to use in a real-life case.

The most challenging part of this internship was the day-to-day schedule because this job is not like other jobs where you know exactly what you are going to be doing every day. There were some days where I had a million things to do and others where I would do the most minimal tasks just to feel like I had done something. This was difficult to face at first because I felt like I was not contributing or being lazy on the days where nothing was happening, but one of the lieutenants assured me that it was completely normal because crime does not run on a 9 to 5 schedule.

Crest

ID photo

My ID that I had to wear in the office

Tote bag

They gave us a bunch of cool stuff during our tour of the coroner’s office, including this tote bag that has now doubled as my beach bag

Clare Maguire ’23
Criminal Justice

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Learning the Ropes of Parole

This summer, I am an intern at the New Jersey State Parole Board (NJSPB) with their Community Programs Division (CPD). I have completed only a handful of days here yet have already gained a deeper understanding of parole. For example, I had the opportunity to sit in on a revocation hearing, which occurs when a parolee has violated a condition of their release. I also had the opportunity to observe a parole board hearing in which a prison inmate is eligible for parole. In this instance, the parole board decided to grant the defendant parole and require his participation in a community program. Both hearings exposed me to the prison population and gave me firsthand experience with what the NJSPB does.

In addition to observing two hearings, I have learned extensively about various community programs. These programs are offered or sometimes required for parolees based on needs, such as substance abuse or addiction counseling and mental health recovery. I have yet to visit these programs in person, which I hope to do soon. Still, new program ideas are often being proposed, and I have already had the chance to help brainstorm program ideas for different groups of offenders.

These community programs are about more than just compliance; rather, the goal is behavior and attitude change. Parole gives second chances, which everyone deserves. The CPD holds a positive mindset toward second chances, which I share, and have wanted to incorporate into my future career. Though I am not certain of my long-term career goals, my internship has reinforced my interest in offender rehabilitation and transition in the community.

New Jersey State Parole Board (NJSPB)

New Jersey State Parole Board (NJSPB)

Sydney Gero ’23
Criminal Justice

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Developing New Skills in a Professional Environment

As the world continues to rely on the use of technology, the need for trained IT professionals is rapidly expanding. IT advances businesses operations and enhances learning. In my internship thus far, I have experienced first-hand how an IT department must operate to do so. From this internship. I hope to gain knowledge of the corporate world and continue to apply what I have learned in the classroom to the real-world. I have found that within the past 2 weeks, I have learned more about various IT tasks and operations than I would have within a traditional academic setting. I also hope this experience will expand my network and connect me with experienced IT professionals who can help me navigate the job market after graduation.

This experience will heavily impact my career path, as it has further solidified my career choices. As someone who is unsure of what field of IT I would like to pursue, I hope this experience will help me to choose which field best caters to my personal goals and abilities as well as reveal those I may want to avoid in my future job search. This experience will also give me an edge in the job market when it comes time to explore career options. The projects I have been partaking in so far have allowed me to develop certain skills that I can add to my resume to attract potential employers. In the end, it is my hope that this experience will equip me with the skills and confidence I need to embark onto a fulfilling and enjoyable career.

New switches installed in wiring closet in Edward Leahy Hall which connects wireless access points, printers, fax machines, etc.

New switches installed in wiring closet in Edward Leahy Hall which connects wireless access points, printers, fax machines, etc.

New switches installed in wiring closet in Madison residential hall.

New switches installed in wiring closet in Madison residential hall.

Simal Sami ’24
Information Technology

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Good Grief

My internship for the Royal Experience Summer Internship Program is at Good Grief in Morristown, NJ. Good Grief is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide unlimited and free support to children, teens, young adults, and families after the death of an immediate family member through peer support programs, education, and advocacy. So far, I have been working at Good Grief for a couple weeks now and have mostly been setting up and facilitating support groups. Even with only being there a short amount of time, I already feel myself learning so much about the aftermath of losing a parent while still in childhood. In my future, I am looking to work with children who are experiencing PTSD and trauma. For young children, losing a direct parent or sibling is a traumatic event for them, especially depending on how the death of that individual occurred. Children could have witnessed their parent or sibling die and could develop anxiety, distress, sleep disturbances (nightmares), self-isolation, irritability, misperceived danger, etc. These are things I have read in textbooks and studied for exams, but I am starting to see these symptoms in real life talking to these children. Of course, it’s horrible for the people experiencing it but helpful exposure to me as a future helping professional looking to counsel people with these experiences.

One thing I really hope to learn about myself while at my internship is what age groups I enjoy the most and want to work with in the future. Good Grief is a terrific opportunity for me to narrow down what age populations I like. There are seven different support groups all with different ages from pre-school children to older adults. In the few different groups I have facilitated, I have enjoyed working with the teenagers the most. This age population experiences so many struggles already and the trauma of losing a parent makes these pivotal years unbearable. This is where they will start to experience significant milestones in their life without a parent being there, like getting their driver’s license, going to prom, graduating high school, going to college, etc. Because of these struggles, I find this age population to be the most fulfilling to work with. However, I want to remain open to every age group to see if my mind changes.

This is my facilitator name tag that I wear every day in the office.

This is my facilitator name tag that I wear every day in the office.

This was written by a participant in teen group on June 9th at a Night of Support. The topic for today was “resiliency” and the participant didn’t know how to explain how they were feeling so instead they felt compelled to write it out.

This was written by a participant in teen group on June 9th at a Night of Support. The topic for today was “resiliency” and the participant didn’t know how to explain how they were feeling so instead they felt compelled to write it out.

This is the 3rd-5th grade support group picking out activities to do. There are different activities options in the child groups if they don’t want to talk about their grief and instead want a distraction. Activities include bracelet making, drawing, model magic, sand art, play dough, etc.

This is the 3rd-5th grade support group picking out activities to do. There are different activities options in the child groups if they don’t want to talk about their grief and instead want a distraction. Activities include bracelet making, drawing, model magic, sand art, play dough, etc.

Nicole Gomber ’23
Counseling and Human Services

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Lessons Learned from Interning with a Nonprofit

I am hoping to learn a variety of skills in marketing such as advertising, how to do market research, how to run a branding campaign, and how to use social media in a marketing context. So far in my internship, I do feel that I have been learning a mixed bag of skills that are needed for marketing and the working world in general. My internship is as a PR/Marketing intern for a nonprofit called the Borgen Project. The Borgen Project is a nonprofit that is dedicated to advocating for the eradication of global extreme poverty. This is done through advocacy to encourage Congress and other government bodies to pass bills that would allocate international affairs budget toward poverty reduction efforts. One of the biggest lessons I have learned so far is how to reach out to others. This is an important skill to have in marketing as communication with consumers is crucial to having a successful marketing campaign. I have also gotten experience in advertising to customers. In the case of this internship, I am not advertising to people to buy a product but instead to donate. This has been challenging to me because I don’t have the opportunity to maintain continued contact with the donors as clients. Regardless of this, I do feel like I am getting valuable experience from this internship. I am hoping that the variety of skills that I will hopefully learn from this internship will help to prepare me to take on any role in the marketing field that may present itself. As opposed to focusing heavily on one aspect of marketing and struggling if an opportunity in that field does not present itself, I want to have a wide net of skills that I can apply to any career opportunity.

My internship is remote so I don’t have many good pictures, but here’s a few:

The Headquarters in Tacoma, WA

The Headquarters in Tacoma, WA

Me with a flyer for the Borgen Project I posted

Me with a flyer for the Borgen Project I posted

I flyer I designed myself on Canva for an informational event I was tasked with hosting

I flyer I designed myself on Canva for an informational event I was tasked with hosting

Michael Walton ’23
Marketing

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Montgomery County Detective Bureau

I have been interning at the Montgomery County Detective Bureau for almost an entire month and so far, I have learned so many crucial and interesting things about the criminal justice system and about my community as well. While my brain has been filled with so much knowledge already, I hope to learn more as the weeks carry on.

One of the main things I hope to learn more about is how intricate the criminal justice system is. Most people think the Detective Bureau is just one big unit; however, there are units in the Detective Bureau that I had not known about before I started working there, so I am excited to learn more about them and what their specific job is. The other interns and I cycle through each unit every two weeks, so I hope to be placed in one of those unfamiliar units soon.

I also hope to learn how I can make the biggest impact on the Detective Bureau in my own way. Sure, everyone can walk into that office with a major in Criminal Justice just like me, but I want to learn how to stand out. I want to learn how to bring something new to the table that will change the Detective Bureau or the criminal justice system in general for the better.

Gaining this knowledge will propel my career path into what I’m hoping will be new job opportunities that no one has really heard of before. For example, one of my main intended career paths is crime analysis. This is still a relatively new aspect in the system, when I tell some of the detectives what I’m doing and how I’m doing it, they have no idea what I’m talking about. Therefore, I’m positive that if I’m given the opportunity to offer something new like that, it will not only help those who have been working in the criminal justice system but will also help those who want to work in the system like me to have access to more career opportunities.

While I was stationed in the Forensics Unit, I got to go to the room where they test firearms that have been brought into evidence and look what I saw on one of the doors! One of the detectives in that unit actually went to Scranton!

 

 

Clare Maguire ’23
Criminal Justice

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