Intern Name: Anna Faerber
Major(s): Psychology, Chemistry
Title/Place of Internship: Office of Special Investigations (OSI) Intern
How did you find out about your internship/fellowship/etc.?
I started by just doing google searches looking for internships around St. Cloud or the cities. I also went to XPD and talked to Laura Hammond about opportunities that she thought I should apply to. I eventually came across the Minnesota Department of Corrections and saw all of the internships that they have to offer - this one sparked my interest immediately and I applied online.
What were your responsibilities at your internship/fellowship/etc.?
I did a variety of things at my internship as my supervisors tried to make sure that I got the most well-rounded experience as I possibly could. Within the office I would read incident reports, listen to phone calls from offenders to the outside world, and read mail both from offenders to other offenders and offenders to the outside world. I even broke a "code" where I had to decrypt a message from one prisoner to another! I also had the opportunity to visit other parts of the prison to learn what they did. I sat in one of the living units for a day and saw what it's like to be a correctional officer and how intake works. I also went to case work and learned what case workers do. There were also days where I just helped with miscellaneous tasks that my supervisors asked me to do. There were also days that I got to sit in on interviews and interact with the offenders. No day however was the same. When you work in a place like a prison, you never know what you are going to walk into when you walk through those locked doors each morning.
What was the most beneficial aspect of your experience?
It's hard to say what the most beneficial aspect of my experience was as it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. However, if I had to pick one thing, I would say that the ability to travel to the different prisons within the Department of Corrections (DOC) and see the different jobs and ways that each prison operates as well as going to gang intelligence meetings was the most beneficial. Because I was given the opportunity to visit and get tours of many of the prisons and halfway houses within the DOC, I gained insight as to what I may want to do with my future career. After this internship, there was no question as to what I want to do - criminology and criminal justice. This internship solidified that for me.
What was the most surprising thing you experienced or learned during your internship/fellowship/etc.?
I think the most surprising think I experienced/learned was seeing the differences between the prisons within the DOC. I had no idea that each prison operated so differently. I also didn't realize how big of a difference there is between a maximum security prison compared to a minimum security prison (it's a huge difference!)
How can you apply what you experienced at your internship/fellowship/etc. in the future?
My experiences with the Office of Special Investigations will definitely be applied to my future career. I will use the knowledge that I gained about prisons, gangs, etc. in my future job. I also think the skills I learned working in a professional environment will help me be more comfortable interacting on both a professional and personal level when I start my career.
What advice would you offer to future students interested in this experience?
DO IT! My internship was one of the best experiences I ever could have asked for and it showed me that I'm going into the right field. You will regret it if you get an opportunity like this and you turn it down! Even if it's unpaid, I promise it's worth it :)