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.
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.
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.
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:
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!