Carly Blank, Criminal Justice major
WHERE I INTERNED
I did my internship at the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center in fall semester 2012. My duties included working with the school program tutoring students, watching over and mentoring juveniles, and assisting staff members.
HOW I CHOSE THIS OPPORTUNITY
I had a high interest in working with juvenile delinquents. My goal was to have a career that would help them make better decisions in life before they are locked away forever: in other words, a second chance.
The MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I LEARNED DURING THIS INTERNSHIP
The most important thing I learned is that for 99% of the juveniles I worked with, the kids weren’t bad people; they just made bad decisions. Many grew up in bad homes, and all of them had battles they were fighting with internally. It taught me never to judge, and that everyone has a story. I also learned that many kids don’t know how to be civil, how to love, or know what is right and wrong. They were never taught.
HOW I APPLIED WHAT I'VE LEARNED SO FAR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Many of the juveniles were victims themselves, so I was able to listen to their stories and handle the situation because of my Violence and Victimization class. Also, due to classes dealing with laws and the court system, I was able to explain to them the next steps they’d be taking, and what may happen next. Both elements let me become close to the juveniles and made it easier for them to open up to me.
HOW THIS WILL BENEFIT MY CAREER CHOICES
Having hands-on experience and seeing the justice system in action is way more impacting than reading about it. I gained career connections, friends, and was even offered a job. It also allowed me to see that working in that type of setting long-term was not for me. Everyone should have at least one internship during college. It lets you dip your toes in before taking the big plunge of committing to a job.