The Bergami Summer Internships Blog

Forensic Science Major Gains Hands-On Experience Interning with Drug Enforcement Administration

For Jessica Flynn ’20, a forensic science major, participating in an internship with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven office has enabled her to apply what she has learned in the classroom to everything from writing reports to forensic testing.

July 18, 2019

By Jessica Flynn ’20

Image of Jessica Flynn ’20
Jessica Flynn ’20 is interning with the DEA.

I have been studying forensic science for three years now, and I have learned about the career path I would like to pursue. Never in my life have I admired or respected a group of people as much as I do those who work to uphold the law and put their lives at risk for the betterment of society.

One area I am passionate about is drug law enforcement in communities across the country. This is spearheaded by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration. I am interning with the DEA this summer. Drugs have an overwhelmingly negative impact on a community, and to fight that fight, you have to tear it down from the top.

On my first day at my internship, my supervisor took me on a tour around the office and introduced me to nearly every agent and analyst who works there. Everyone had a smile and a handshake for me, and I could already tell this was a great group of people I was going to be working with.

Working at my internship this summer has shown me how I will be able to apply the skills I have obtained at the University to working in federal law enforcement. During my internship, I have been able to use and expand my skills and knowledge, such as preliminary drug testing, critical and analytical thinking, investigative techniques, and interpersonal skills.

"Working at my internship this summer has shown me how I will be able to apply the skills I have obtained at the University to working in federal law enforcement."Jessica Flynn ’20

One of the major things I have learned in my courses that will help me in this career is writing reports. Every day at my internship, I see agents writing reports for their cases. A few days ago, I asked an agent how he goes about writing his reports. He explained how he uses a lot of detail and explanation, but not excessive information.

Image of Jessica Flynn ’20
Jessica Flynn ’20

Writing reports is now something that I feel very confident doing, as I have been writing lab reports for the last three years. Although writing a case report and a lab report differ in content, the premise is the same. I have learned to pay very close attention to important and relevant details and how to take case notes from examining evidence. I am able to recall procedural information, draw conclusions, and write in a logical and concise format.

I was able to see evidence processing when the agents seized a substantial amount of drugs from a residence. I watched as the agent tested the drugs with field testing kits. I was familiar with evidence bags and labeling. My coursework will help me when I conduct searches and seizures because I have experience with procedures for collecting and examining evidence.

Working at the DEA also requires analytical thinking to interpret and follow where the evidence leads the case, and a high level of interpersonal skills to be able to interact with not only other agents and agencies, but criminal informants. DEA agents are also required to use a variety of research skills to further their cases.

I think that my experience in these areas gives me a good basis to start my career, and this internship is showing me how much more there is to learn outside of the classroom.

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.