Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship.
I applied for shadowing positions within the FSUshadow program, and was able to secure three opportunities to shadow. On arriving at my opportunity with the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, I was extended an invitation to intern with pre-trial services over the summer.
How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity?
I learned about the FSUshadow program about a week before the deadline. I spent that week brushing up my resume and SeminoleLink profile and then applied for 10 different opportunities (the maximum). About a week later, I was matched with an opportunity to shadow the marketing director for the City of Palm Bay with Karyn Barber, an FSU alumna.
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?
When I went to the FSUshadow orientation, I stayed after everyone had left to ask a few questions. As it turned out, there were a few other positions that had not been filled due to last minute cancellations. Among these opportunities, I was able to secure two more opportunities at the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Sarasota, FL: one with court administration, and one with a public defender. Having recently become interested in the idea of law school, these opportunities were perfect for me. I was given the opportunity to intern for pre-trial services through court administration.
Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity.
With court administration, I was able to shadow various department heads and sit in on hearings and trials. I got to see mediation, meet the stenotype and court reporting department, and get a full tour of the jail where I was able to watch first appearances before a judge. First appearances are where a recently arrested person goes for their "first appearance" before the judge who determines the severity of their crime and the path that they will proceed. Whether that be spend 5 days in jail until release, or await trial, etc.
What was a typical day like "on the job?"
The experience I was given was not a "typical day" as my host had planned an extensive itinerary for me, separate from her own duties. Her goal was to let me see as much of the inter-workings of the court system as possible, and she did just that. I spent a majority of the time at the jail, familiarizing myself with their system.
What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?
I left with a newfound interest in criminal justice, and a passion for helping those individuals who find themselves being held in jail. I want to help those people get the fairest sentence possible and also the help they need upon release. This is what I will be doing with the internship in pre-trial services.
Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so?
Very much so, it helped reinforce my career interests and strengthen my direction. Having left the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, I have become inspired to do the best that I can in my academics. One major thing that I got out of the experience was learning that anything is possible if you put yourself out there, the first step is to just apply (in my case, to the FSU shadow program). With little previous experience, I considered not applying at all to the FSUshadow program because I wasn't confident that I would be matched with any of the opportunities. Had I not taken the chance and applied anyway, I never would have been given the opportunity to shadow with the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, nor would I have been given the internship. I am so thankful that I applied to take part in the FSUshadow program.
“I am so thankful that I applied to take part in the FSUshadow program.”
Major: Psychology, Class of 2017
Job Shadow Experience: 12th Judicial Circuit Court