An internship in high school spurred this student’s interest in majoring in criminal justice. Now, she looks forward to a career with North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation.
Why are you studying criminal justice?
What opened my eyes and led me to choose this major was the opportunity I had in high school to do an internship. I choose to do my internship at the sheriff´s office back in my hometown, and I cannot express how grateful I am to have had that opportunity. Being with the sheriff´s office for about six months I quickly realized that was where I saw myself in a couple of years. I saw myself being a law enforcement officer. I did not know exactly where I wanted to work, but I did know I wanted to work in law enforcement to help and protect people.
Why did you choose to study criminal justice at Appalachian?
I did not want to study in a class that had 100-plus students. I wanted a small environment where I would actually be able to learn the material, especially for criminal justice being as there are a lot of important topics covered. Apart from that, App State is the perfect place for me – not too close to home and I love that it is situated in a small town.
Why do you think it is important to study criminal justice?
I think it is important to study criminal justice because those four years spent on learning what criminal justice is helps you to become a better officer, judge, lawyer, etc. in the future. You will already have an idea of the criminal justice field. For a law enforcement officer that means that you will be learning the kind of problems they face and how stressful it can be. A student who studies criminal justice has more knowledge of what exactly they are getting themselves into because of the classes they take. These classes can range from Intro to Criminal Justice, Criminal Law and even International Terrorism. Having that early teaching, I believe, also helps us educate and find the best people we can to work these criminal justice jobs.
What are you planning to do after graduation?
After graduation I hope to work for the State Bureau of Investigation. That would be a dream come true, working hard to make that happen! My second option is to go to graduate school, hopefully in New York City at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and work in New York City as a police officer while I finish my master’s.
What extracurricular activities are you involved in and how have they helped you in your academic pursuits?
The first club I joined when I arrived here freshman year was the Appalachian State American Correctional Association. This club helped me a lot in that it made me realize even more that I was in the right major. All the activities they planned and speakers they brought in helped me learn something new or gave me the opportunity to make contacts. The other activity I am involved in, which is not part of App State, is that I am a police explorer. A police explorer is someone who has interest in law enforcement and wants to get more involved with the police. It is a wonderful program…I have the opportunity to actually learn what police officers learn and go through some of their training too.