Criminology is the study of criminal behaviors and activities, and you can get a criminology internship. One of the first things you need to decide is which side of the law interests you the most. You can then check with the career development office on your campus and look online for programs that are open to students at your education level. You’ll find internships available at police stations, correctional institutes and with other local, state and national organizations and departments.
Social and Behavioral Sciences Internships
Before you can get a criminology internship, you need to decide whether you have more of an interest in social and behavioral sciences or law enforcement and criminal justice. Social and behavioral sciences internships usually focus more on the emotional and psychological sides of the law. You might work as a camp counselor at a program or camp designed for children who were victims of violent crimes, or you might work with juvenile delinquents in a lock down center. Other internships in this field let you work with criminals on parole or probation and those dealing with serious mental health conditions that cause them to act out in violent or criminal ways.
Criminal Justice Internships
If you want to use your degree to work for the police department or a government agency, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations or the Department of Homeland Security, you’ll want to look at criminal justice internships. Working for a local police department helps you see what those officers do on a daily basis, and you’ll often see how you can work your way up from a patrol officer to a detective. Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA and other government agencies offer internships for both graduate and undergraduate students.
Applying for a Position
After finding a criminology internship that piques your interest, find out more about the application process. You generally need to fill out an application online and submit a copy of your resume and a cover letter. You may also need to send in your college transcript or show proof that you are currently enrolled in a criminology program. Some employers also request letters of recommendation from current or former professors and employers. Depending on the access that you have in the position, you may also need to pass a background check and/or a drug test.
Once You Land a Spot
Once you get a criminology internship, you need to know how to make the most of it. You never know when that employer or department might have a full time position that is perfect for you later, and many government agencies award jobs to students who worked as interns in the past. According to U.S. News & World Report, focusing on doing the best job possible and learning from the culture surrounding you will help you get ahead. Simply watching how others around you work and do their jobs can help you learn more about that agency or department and help you fit in better.
Related Resource: Crime Scene Investigator
A criminology internship can give you a better look at the criminal justice system and teach you skills and concepts that you could not possibly learn in a classroom. Before you can get a criminology internship and make the most of that experience, you need to decide between internships focusing on the behavioral science or law enforcement side of criminology.