Criminal Justice Internships

The benefit of pursuing a criminal justice degree is that your internship opportunities are virtually endless. Because you have a knowledge of court procedure, police methodology and forensic psychology, you can apply this knowledge in a variety of positions. The FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Prisons are just a few of the government agencies that offer excellent internship programs for those who are pursuing criminal justice degrees.

Work for Federal Law Enforcement

If you decide to pursue an internship within federal law enforcement, then you can find internships with the Department of Justice, the CIA, the United States Secret Service and the FBI. These are the most popular departments that offer internship programs. The internship programs are usually full-time and last for eight to twelve weeks. You will probably work in Washington, D.C. if you decide to pursue one of these internships. You can request whether a department like the FBI has a local branch that you can intern at during the semester. Since most of these internship programs are unpaid, it can be beneficial for you to cut down on the cost of housing by taking on a local internship opportunity.

Work for State Law Enforcement

State police departments will usually offer internship opportunities to students who are in their final years of completing a criminal justice program. You may also be able to find internship programs at specialty police departments, such as a highway patrol department or university police department.

Work for City Police Departments

When you intern for a local police department, the major benefit is that you will gain tremendous experience. These departments are often willing to take on many interns during the school year and summer. They are often overloaded with too much work, so they can provide valuable work opportunities to students.

Apply Early

If you do want to apply for an internship program, you should always try to apply as early as possible. The deadlines for internship programs will vary, so it is important for you to begin organizing your application as soon as you find internships that interest you. You may also need to obtain a letter of reference from one of your professors. You should request a letter of reference from one of your professors as soon as you make your list of internship programs.

Prepare for the Interview

The interview is often the most important part of the application process for internships. The interviewee wants to make sure that your personality will mesh well with the personalities of workers in the office. He or she may see that you are a highly qualified individual, but he or she will want to make sure that you have a positive attitude and bring good energy to the office.

Impress Your Supervisor

When you do finally land an internship that you want, you should do everything in your power to impress your supervisor. Try to always arrive early for your shift, and you should stay late if you have work to complete. You never know whether your internship opportunity will turn into a paid salary position.