Finishing My Internship with the VT Department of Corrections – Maegan Moran

This week Maegan summarizes her internship experience and writes about some of the biggest takeaways, as well as how this internship influenced her future career plans.

When I began my internship earlier this summer I never would have imagined that at the end I would be wishing that I had more time. In a way I am sad to see my internship end because every day so far has been different; we see different people, we deal with different issues, and we have different things we must do on a day to day basis. I have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this new, exciting experience and I am thankful I was able to experience it every single day. This experience has been incredible and I have learned a lot about the criminal justice field and myself. I am now comfortable talking with offenders and I have learned how to write different types of documents including parole summaries, contact notes, travel permits, graduated sanctions, and many other important documents.

logoOn a personal level I think my self-confidence has increased because I have been able to master some of the skills needed for this job and I have become more comfortable having conversations with all types of people: therapists, offenders, parole officers, and others in a way that has allowed me to share my thoughts and insights. In the beginning I was hesitant to share what I thought about a situation because I wasn’t sure if I was right in my thinking, but moving throughout the internship I have become more comfortable with speaking up.

Thus far I have learned that this career field is difficult because after time it can wear on you, but overall I have loved the experience. It is incredible to help other people who in some ways have lost sight of what is most important in their lives. Granted it is hard to change someone completely, but trying to change someone’s attitudes or beliefs, which can morph their behaviors, is in some ways inspiring and at times it can be frustrating as well. I enjoy helping others so it has been great to apply that in this internship; unfortunately not everyone is open to change and that can be difficult and while I have learned that you can’t help everyone, even if just one person is somehow changed by what all of these incredible probation/parole officers do on a day to day basis then it is worth it. I certainly think that this could be a possible career field for me, but I also hope to complete another internship that is in a different part of the criminal justice field.

One of the skills I have learned from this internship that will be helpful moving forward at UNH and in my future is objectivity. In working with the offenders and knowing their history, at times it was difficult to remain objective and it still is at times. It would be impossible to say someone can remain objective all the time, but this experience has greatly improved my ability to remain objective more often and remind myself at the end of the day it isn’t the person we don’t like, it is the behaviors, and with work, time, and effort those behaviors can change.  This experience has been eye opening, and thanks to an amazing supervisor I have learned countless things about corrections, people in general, and myself. My experience wouldn’t have been comparable without someone leading and teaching me and I am grateful that I was fortunate to have such a strong person to teach me the past ten weeks.

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