The Bergami Summer Internships Blog

Criminal Justice Major’s Internship Enables Her to Follow in Her Late Father’s Footsteps

Several of Erin Satkowski ’21’s family members worked in law enforcement, and she has known since she was young that she wanted to pursue a career in the field. Her participation in the University’s Bergami Summer Internship Program is enabling her to intern with the police department in which her father served.

July 18, 2019

By Erin Satkowski ’21

Image of Erin Satkowski ’21
Erin Satkowski ’21

I am completing a summer internship with the Derby, Connecticut, police department because it will provide me with an opportunity to learn about the many different aspects of the criminal justice system. In addition, several members of my family are or have been law enforcement officers, including my dad. Their involvement in this field is what inspired me to follow the same path. The Derby Police Department is where my dad worked as a police officer before his passing, which makes this experience even more special.

I am majoring in criminal justice with a concentration in investigative services in hopes of becoming a criminal investigator. A criminal investigator can serve in either the public or private sector. Working in a police department will allow me to see the public side of investigations and help me to make a more informed decision as I move forward in my career.

Image of Erin Satkowski ’21
Erin Satkowski ’21 is interning with the Derby, Connecticut, police department.

One challenge I have faced during my internship was overcoming my shyness. I have always been very shy and soft-spoken, and I have realized that I need to be able to communicate and connect with many different people in order to be successful in the field. In addition, I need to have a strong voice and to show my authority.

I knew that I needed to work on this part of my personality when an officer told me that they don’t ask people what to do, they tell them what to do, and I must be comfortable with my own authority. People look to the police for direction, and I need be confident in my actions. Previously, I felt uncomfortable telling people what to do because I have never wanted to appear bossy or mean. However, this is a necessity in law enforcement.

"Since my first week on patrol, I have learned how to carry conversations and what questions to ask to enhance my knowledge."Erin Satkowski ’21

To overcome this challenge, I started to say good morning to everyone, even those I hadn’t met before. When I first started doing "ride alongs" with officers, it was a rather awkward experience, since I was in a car with someone I had never met for five hours at a time. Since my first week on patrol, I have learned how to carry conversations and what questions to ask to enhance my knowledge. I have gotten great advice from officers on how to further my career.

I learned that being able to communicate with a wide variety of people is vital to a police officer’s success. They have to speak and provide leadership to those around them. Officers need to be strong to do their job in a safe and efficient manner. This will help me in my future career, but also in my life when I need to step up as a leader.

The Bergami Summer Internship Program is funded through the generosity of Board of Governors member – and former Board Chair – Sam Bergami ’85 EMBA, ’02 Hon. and his wife, Lois, and the Division of Student Affairs.