New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness
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Shannon Sutton

Major: Criminology
Minor: Security and Risk Analysis; Psychology
Hometown: Rockaway, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned of this internship opportunity through my mentor, Kevin. Kevin and I met though the College of the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program this past fall semester. Speaking with my mentor has been extremely beneficial in networking and developing a work/life balance. After learning about this opportunity, I applied through the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness' website and completed an interview over the phone.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my experience, I assessed and analyzed critical infrastructure threats, vulnerabilities and potential consequences as a member of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bureau. Each day, I would assist the full-time employees in their work that aims to improve the partnership between the government and state facilities in security and resiliency. Throughout the eight weeks spent with the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, I gained experience in the office as well as in the field of Critical Infrastructure.

"This internship was a stepping-stone into the government and gave me the opportunity to network within fields I hope to pursue."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This summer internship has allowed me to gain a better appreciation for the skill set that I have learned in my classes. It was beneficial to see the lessons I have learned in class applied to real work. I now hope to take the time and effort to continue to improve such skills in my coursework. Skills such as researching, critical reading, writing, and interpersonal communication have been very helpful in my internship.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have always planned to obtain a Master's Degree in International Affairs and begin a career within the federal government as an Intelligence Analyst. This internship was a stepping-stone into the government and gave me the opportunity to network within fields I hope to pursue. After completing this internship, I am more confident in my dreams and will continue to work hard to meet my goals.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this internship to Liberal Arts students who are interested in pursuing professional careers within criminal justice. Since day one, I was extremely involved with the Critical Infrastructure Bureau and each member of the office was part of the learning process. I've gained a vast amount of resources and knowledge that will hopefully assist me in the near future.

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