My Internship’s Impact On My Career Path – Tom Zaborowski

This week Tom writes about some of the challenges he overcame during his internship with the Toms River Police Department and summarizes his overall experience throughout this internship and how it has impacted his future time in the classroom and his career path.

When I first started at my internship, I had the challenge of speaking up. I arrived being incredibly timid, kept to myself, and did not speak up for assignments, to ask questions, or to learn. I remember on my first day, I felt intimidated to ask questions or really learn anything I was interested in versus what I was taught automatically by the people I was with. When I was in dispatch my first day, I stayed quiet, didn’t really say much, and just let the day pass without really learning what I wanted to know. At that time, and even now I was okay with that, but after about a week, I really grew out of that stagnant period.

TRPD-308x318I remember I burst out of the my solidarity bubble on probably my second ride-along, if not during the EVOC Training where I drove the Chargers and Crown Vics. After being up close and working as a colleague with the officers all day, I really became my own person and broke that barrier I had put up myself. I moved out of a timid state, and put myself into an attitude to learn, achieve, and progress with getting to know my future career. I learned that I could overcome anything and be what I wanted, instead of what I had trapped myself to be. I burst the timid state I had forced myself to resort to in a new environment surrounded by people who seem intimidating to outsiders, and once I eliminated those barriers and we became more like friends, I was able to become the person I am now: confident, talkative when necessary, and personable.

I could not be happier with this new skill because I can talk freely with people without feeling this introverted pressure, or fear of letting myself get the best of me. Instead, I use this new courage and attitude to make new friends, live life, and be more amiable and inviting instead of quiet and forgettable.

As a whole, this internship has been what I wanted and so much more. I have done things that I know no one else has had the opportunity to do, and if they did, it was not to the extent that I was able to experience it. My favorite experiences had to be the EVOC Training, seeing my first autopsies, and seeing what officers do on a daily routine. I felt as though the paperwork was my least favorite aspect, but something I still learned from and never really complained about.

On important thing that I learned is that I had to get out of my own way in order to be the most I could be and become a person that other people would be drawn to and feel comfortable with, instead of one people just forget or feel as though they cannot talk to. As a future officer, which this internship had solidified as my career path, I will need this trait to be the best officer I can be and to make connections with people to resolve conflicts or attain information. Regarding the field of policing, I also learned that this job is not just what meets the eye. There is much more paperwork involved, as well as the idea of an officer preparing for absolutely anything on any given call. Nothing is black and white. Regardless of these realizations, there is nothing I would want to do more than to be immersed in this environment and deal with something new every day instead of sitting in a cubical or living my life behind a pane of glass. The action, excitement, stress, and unpredictability interest me in this field and draw me to a career as a police officer.

In the classroom, I think the reality and actualities of working in the real world will assist my thoughts and expectations. Things we learn in the classroom differ heavily from the real world actions of officers. We learn many archaic behaviors and topics that can be deemed intrusive in a real-world setting. This idea will assist my questions in class and the ways I think about topics when writing a paper. I will look at things as if I were already an officer and were facing that problem this very moment. I do not plan on getting another internship, but I do plan on pursuing a career in policing, as well as looking into becoming a beach patrol officer during the summer with TRPD to gain a rapport with the officers, as well as up my chances of being hired by them in September 2015 when their next hiring rotation will be. I believe that after getting a fulfilling experience with TRPD, there is no doubt in my mind that I want to pursue policing as my career goal.




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