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Erin Doolin

Liberal Arts Major(s): Criminology, Political Science
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Orange County, California

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience has been getting to know the officers in the department and learning about how a police department really functions. I have gotten to attend a lot of interesting events, and I have had experiences I never would have had without this internship. Through this internship, I went on ride alongs with police officers, learned how to shoot a gun, and attended community building events. From going to bomb trainings with the K-9s and K-9 officers to scooping ice-cream with police officers, no day was ever the same. The internship has truly been a great learning experience and a lot of fun, and one of the best parts was definitely getting to know and work with the police officers in the department.

I think this internship has really supplemented my education in Criminology well and has given me a much greater understanding of the criminal justice system

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a Criminology major, this experience gave me a more holistic understanding of law enforcement. Being able to have this hands-on experience is truly an incredible opportunity. I have been able to see how a case progresses, from the time that the crime occurs to when the judge sentences the defendant. I think this internship has really supplemented my education in Criminology well and has given me a much greater understanding of the criminal justice system.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

As someone exploring multiple career paths, this internship has given me a wonderful glimpse into a life in law enforcement. Being able to meet and network with different officers from a wide array of backgrounds has been enlightening. I feel like I have a much better understanding of the criminal justice system than I did before, which will help me no matter what career path I end up taking. I have always wanted to be a prosecutor, so I believe having a background and a better understanding of the police side of a case will be really beneficial. However, this internship has also sparked my interest in a career as a law enforcement officer. No matter which field I pursue, this internship has given me a wide set of skills and contacts that will be incredibly useful.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I think Paterno Fellows is a wonderful program that has helped me get to where I am today. Paterno Fellows has pushed me to challenge myself academically by pursuing a double major and minor. It has also inspired me to attain leadership roles in my organizations and focus on ethical leadership through Leadership Jumpstart. I think that the Paterno Fellows program set me on a path that helped me gain new skills, build my resume, and find opportunities to get involved.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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