Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship.
Throughout my time at Florida State University, I have tried to seize each and every internship opportunity I possibly could. I utilized Handshake, my sorority, my friends, my teachers, and the Career Center. I have since interned at the Capitol, a couple of law firms, and participated in an International Law research project. Each step led me to a new understanding of the career path in which I would be happiest and most successful.
How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity?
I started preparing a couple of months before any opportunity I wanted to pursue. I would research the company or Representative to be able to understand their passions and goals in order to connect with them on a professional and personal level in the interview process.
If you used any Career Center services, resources, or events to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship, what were they? How did they support your application process?
I have utilized Handshake to secure a summer internship, which has by far been the most fruitful experience I have had throughout my time at FSU. Handshake is an amazing way to explore a variety of job and internship opportunities. Further, I consulted the Career Center several times for resume help. The staff is so knowledgeable and friendly.
Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity.
During my internship at the Capitol, my responsibilities included tracking and researching my Representative's sponsored bills, meeting with lobbyists, and scheduling events. Throughout my time researching international law, I coded International Court of Justice case briefs for bias. In my current criminal defense internship, I get to draft motions, orders, and answer briefs. I am also able to meet with clients and experience that lawyer-client relationship that makes the job so rewarding.
What was a typical day like "on the job?"
A typical day "on the job" for the criminal defense internship I have constantly changes. I get to help manage over 50 criminal cases, so the demands for each tend to be extremely different.
What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?
The major takeaway from my internship experiences is that doing an internship that you don't necessarily like can be just as helpful as working somewhere you love. Some of my internships have been able to rule out career paths that I otherwise may have pursued, which is just as valuable knowledge as finding something you enjoy doing. I encourage you to try each and every opportunity that you find even remotely interesting. You will always learn so much and grow as an individual.
Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so?
Absolutely; the desire to go to law school is overall a really broad goal. There are so many avenues to explore, and I think gaining experience through internships is the best way to first, rule out experiences that may not be right for you and to secondly, find your passions before investing in your future. The variety of jobs the Career Center has helped me find in government, criminal defense, research, and other types of law has clarified my desire to go to law school, as well as the path I believe I should pursue once there.
"Gaining experience through internships is the best way to first, rule out experiences that may not be right for you and to secondly, find your passions before investing in your future."
Major: Political Science and Spanish, Class of 2019
Company/Organization: Zelman Law