During my sophomore year of high school, I developed an interest in Criminal Justice. Granted, it was because I was watching shows such as Law and Order and NCIS, but I ran with it. I did not expect working in the field of Criminal Justice to be as glamorous as it is on television, but it sparked my interest, and I had no other ideas of what I wanted to study. At that point in time, I knew that I wanted to go into a profession where I could help others, so working in the Criminal Justice System was somewhere I could picture myself in the future.
I began my college search, filtering by schools which were close to my hometown of Providence and offered Criminal Justice as a major. It was then that I came across the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern, located in the urban setting I was looking for and part of a prestigious university. I was unaware of the co-op program until I visited, but the prospect of having a completed resume with work experience in my field upon graduation confirmed that Northeastern was where I belonged.
Upon entering Northeastern, I was determined to study Criminal Justice, but I was clueless as to what I wanted to do with my degree. I had interests in the judicial system and law enforcement, so that is where I began my co-op search. After extensive preparation and interviews, I accepted a co-op with the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) in Boston. There I worked in the Major Crimes Unit, completing tasks ranging from preparing legal discovery and transcribing recordings to creating exhibits for upcoming trials. In addition to these tasks, I frequently ventured downstairs to the Moakley Courthouse courtrooms, where I observed countless court proceedings.
While I enjoyed my time at the USAO, it helped me realize that I would prefer a career in law enforcement. After watching prosecutors collaborate with local, state, and federal police, pursuing law enforcement felt right. I began my second co-op search with this in mind, and accepted a position with the Drug Enforcement Agency, also in Boston. At the DEA, I worked in a Task Force with Detectives from Boston and neighboring cities, observing first-hand how investigations are conducted.
My co-op experiences have been fundamental in helping me choose what career I want to pursue after college. From my co-ops, I know I want to work for a federal law enforcement agency where I can make a positive impact on the community. Although I am not yet sure what capacity in which I want to work, Northeastern has given me the skills to be confident that I will find my way.
My interest in Criminal Justice has led me to participate in a variety of organizations on campus. I served as Secretary of the Criminal Justice Student Advisor Council for a year and a half. I am currently Vice President of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, and a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. Last September, I joined the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) Ambassadors, an organization that seeks to recruit prospective students to CSSH in pursuit of a liberal arts degree. I also recently became part of the CSSH Student Advisory Council. Participating in these organizations utilized my passion for Criminal Justice and its related fields to help expand my horizons and become more involved in the Northeastern community.
This May, I will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in International Security Studies. I am participating in Northeastern’s PlusOne Program, which allows me to take graduate level courses my senior year that will also count towards my Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
I am currently a Teacher’s Assistant for my co-op advisor, Jean Egan. Jean is an irreplaceable mentor, and she truly goes above and beyond for her students. She guided me and countless other students through the co-op process, and continues to advise me on future career prospects. Jean has helped me through many situations, and I attribute much of my college success to her guidance.
I chose Northeastern because of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. I knew going into college that I was passionate about Criminal Justice, and after hearing about the co-op program, I was sure Northeastern was the right place for me. There is a heavy weight on college graduates looking for permanent employment, and Northeastern’s co-op program alleviates much of this burden, allowing students to graduate with up to a year and a half of professional experience in their chosen field. From the moment I returned from co-op, I began directly applying my experience to coursework, and in turn, this helped me succeed academically. As I continue to gain experience in the Criminal Justice System, I apply my observations directly to my studies, and I am on track to secure employment post-graduation. Choosing Northeastern was one of the best and easiest decisions I ever made.