Minnesota School of Business-Online student, Stephanie Hoehle, has a passion for criminal justice and decided she was going to carve her own career path by actively seeking out internships, even if the places she was applying weren’t advertising for them.
After having some early rejections, the criminal justice student stayed persistent in her search for an internship. Her dedicated pursuit paid off when she got the call from her local county probation department in regards to an internship application she’d submitted a few weeks earlier. But, she didn’t get offered the position right off the bat. Take a look below to learn how Stephanie made it through the interview process and is putting her classroom skills to work in the criminal justice field.
So, where are you currently interning?
I am currently interning at the Sherburne County Probation Department.
How did you hear about this position/opening?
I just went on to county websites and started applying for their internship positions. It did not say if they were looking to hire any, but I figured, what the heck—I am going to fill out the paperwork and see what happens from there. It took about two weeks before I even got a response back from them. And just to get a interview, I had to answer a list of questions and send it back. So it was quite the process, but they want to make sure that they are getting someone who is really passionate about doing it.
How have you been able to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to what you do in your internship?
I am able to use a lot of the tools I learned in school directly in my internship. Communication is a big one and so is writing. There is so much paperwork involved in probation and knowing how to effectively write is a big thing. I think those are the two key components that I have brought with me. Plus the knowledge that I have with legal terms and the background on how the criminal justice system works also helps me understand what is going on at times, especially in court, and clarifies why we have to do the things we do there in probation.
Where do you see yourself career-wise in five years? Ten years?
In five years I see myself working in the criminal justice system somewhere. I know it may take a while for me to get my dream job, but that is okay with me, and I will look forward to that. My 10 year plan is to have the probation job that I love and will have for the rest of my life. There is so much support through school to help me along the way, and I will more than likely land the dream job sooner than I think. Also with completing an internship it helps so much to get your foot in the door somewhere and work your way up. I am excited to see what is next for me once I graduate!
What piece of advice would you give to other criminal justice students seeking out internship or job opportunities?
My piece of advice would have to be don’t give up. If one option fails, get back up and try another one. There are so many places looking for students to help out and they are eager to teach you the fundamentals of the job. I know how job searching can be hard at times, but I just see it as a learning experience. When you don’t get a job, the biggest thing you can do is call that place afterwards and ask them why you didn’t get it and what you can do to make yourself better for the next time. Places love when you follow up with those questions because they want to see you succeed and will give you that feedback to help you out. I think that is something that most of us miss when we are job searching, and if we all had the answer to “I wonder what I am doing wrong,” we would be able to fix it and rock it out the next time!