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Federal Law Enforcement Internship Question

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  • Federal Law Enforcement Internship Question

    Hi everyone. I am attending a university in Arizona and the university has posted their partner agencies (federal and local) law enforcement with the contact information for a couple of agencies I would like to intern with. On the university website it says only criminal justice majors can apply for an internship for credit and that the school would help with getting the internship coordinated. I am working towards a bachelors degree in a social science field and a minor in criminal justice. I asked a couple of people in the criminal justice department if I can apply for an internship without getting school credit, could they help coordinate it for me and they did not give a clear answer, basically just hemmed and hawed. Someone finally said probably not. My question is do you think it would be appropriate to email or call the intern supervisor for a couple federal agencies without going through the university?

  • #2
    Paragraphs, dude...paragraphs...

    Comment


    • #3
      Why do you want to work for free at a federal agency?

      Comment


      • Abaddon
        Abaddon commented
        Editing a comment
        I would like to try to get a foot in the door as early as possible and to get some work experience with law enforcement as I work towards a degree.

    • #4
      1. Of course the university was no help. They want you to pay them $3,000 so you can volunteer for a federal agency for a semester.

      2. Of course you can call the intern coordinator at whatev agency. Maybe you'll get a real person on the phone; maybe you'll get sent to a full voicemail box.

      Here's the deal:

      Go to any college Criminal Justice career day and walk by any of the alphabet agencies and you will see lines longer than the beer booth at a Garth Brooks concert. All of the students will ask the exact same thing: "Do you have any internship positions this year?" Why? Because college kids are smart, and they know people who get internships are often able to slide into entry level positions shortly afterwards, and what 20 year old CJ major wouldn't want to be an 1811 special agent at age 23, rolling in a sweet G ride, soon to be making six figures with full retirement at age 48?

      So these recruiters get a constant bombardment from people- not just college students but current LEOs- looking for information. How many internships will you have this summer? When are you hiring entry level again? When are you hiring laterals again? These poor people parrot the same answers to twenty calls a day: "We will have 10 interns this year" and "We anticipate hiring 1,000 new people in 2020" and "No we are not hiring laterals this year."

      You are one little guppy in a big fish tank full of little guppies, swimming about, ready to bite at whatever morsel of food floats down, waiting for someone to feed the fish.

      BUT: if you don't try, your chances of getting an internship are 100% zero. Just don't be surprised if calls and emails don't get responded to with urgency.

      How does the process go from random phone call to an actual internship? That's where it gets tricky. There is no magic formula but magic can happen. Call it what you wish....luck? Good timing? Karma? Divine intervention? Convergence of the stars? Answered prayer? Only the future knows....



      It is not the well-fed long-haired men that I fear, but the pale and hungry-looking.

      -Julius Ceasar

      Comment


      • Abaddon
        Abaddon commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for the reply. Your first point is perfect, of course they want me to pay them to get an internship.

        I understand the recruiter and internship coordinators are bombarded with calls and emails constantly so I wasn't sure if I should call or email them. I know many people want to get a federal internship and it is very competitive. I still haven't figured out how to stand out from the crowd yet.

    • #5
      A lot of internships don't require a specific major but, rather, require a minimum GPA. Perhaps the CJ thing is a university requirement as opposed to an agency requirement.

      The purpose of an internship is to give a student academic credit through experiential learning. Without the academic credit component you are just some random person.

      Comment


      • Abaddon
        Abaddon commented
        Editing a comment
        I have noticed when looking on agency websites it is usually a higher GPA, at the university you have to be a criminal justice major. I didn't know if trying to go through the school would be better than trying to go it on my own.

    • #6
      Originally posted by just joe View Post
      The purpose of an internship is to give a student academic credit through experiential learning. Without the academic credit component you are just some random person.

      Perhaps I'm a little jaded about internships because I never benefitted from an internship and spent ten years after college wallowing in the ooze, trying to crawl my way out of low paying, go nowhere (often temporary) LE jobs before I got my break. Meanwhile, a handful of lucky kids I knew who won the golden ticket before graduation essentially had well-paying careers handed to them on a platter with minimal effort, other than going to class and spending 10 weeks as interns.

      Plus, my experience is the intern selection process isn't always on the level. One school I am familiar with has an internship program that sends six students every year to a big agency. The program is open to college juniors and the intern coordinator makes the sole determination on who gets selected. And who got selected, year after year? There's a pattern... attractive females who could've auditioned for the next cast of Charlie's Angels. It became clear over the years that the intern coordinator had a preference and if you didn't fit that mold, you were SOL. Why? I suspect he simply enjoyed the attention of pretty young ladies over dudes. Happens all the time in high academia.

      I say this because the low dirty truth is often the cards are stacked and no matter what you do or who you call, the intern program won't be an option. BUT- smart people who are persistent are rewarded for their efforts at some point. You just may not get it the easy way, like some do...


      It is not the well-fed long-haired men that I fear, but the pale and hungry-looking.

      -Julius Ceasar

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      • #7
        Some places just use them as free labor and have no intention of hiring them afterwards. Most of the jobs I've seen interns do is unskilled jobs they don't like doing. However I've heard of some helping in the field.

        If it was me I would not do an internship. I would look into getting in to the military as a commissioned officer.

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