The Bergami Summer Internships Blog

Criminal Justice Major Applies Coursework to Internship at Law Enforcement Agency

For Maria Dougherty ’21, one of eight students completing an internship through the University’s Bergami Summer Internship Program, her classes at the University of New Haven enabled her to feel prepared and confident during her internship with the New York City Department of Investigation.

June 26, 2019

By Maria Dougherty ’21

Image of Maria Dougherty ’21
Maria Dougherty ’21 in New York City.

I am spending the summer interning with the New York City Department of Investigation. I chose to intern here because of the potential it has to aid my future career. One day, I would like to work on investigations related to the influence of policy in the criminal justice system, and I believe that an agency with so many different areas of expertise and knowledgeable people will be a very good influence on my career.

This summer, I hope to meet people in the field and learn from them. The best way to learn in the criminal justice field is by doing. The people I will be surrounded by have countless experiences, and their wealth of information will be incredibly useful. I would really like to learn how to handle evidence and examine it.

Image of New York City
New York City.

I think communication is important with any sort of work. When it comes to the criminal justice system, it’s not any less vital. When it comes to interacting with other interns and employees, it is incredibly important that we keep each other informed. It’s necessary that all employees are on the same page when working with criminal cases and confidential information.

At my internship, I have noticed some very effective communication tactics. We have a meeting about once a week to discuss what we’ve found and to update each other on the progress of our cases. In addition, we keep our email open at all times to quickly respond to messages that come in. Based on my time at my internship thus far, I’ve learned useful communication skills within the workplace.

One of the biggest things that I learned in the classroom and am now able to use at my internship is the process of collecting evidence. In my forensics class, we learned that it is important to stay away from making definite judgements on what things are if you are not an expert. At my internship, it is very important that we say what things could be or what evidence may suggest we look into further.

"My experience and education at the University of New Haven has gotten me to a place where I feel like I can be effective in the criminal justice community."Maria Dougherty ’21

In addition, my criminal law class has helped me immensely at my internship. While I am not a law student, having the general knowledge makes it easier for me to work within my limits and to understand what I can and cannot do.

My criminal procedure class also gave me a boost at my internship. In this class, we learned what happens to the criminal when they are processed. At my internship, we were given work on out first day, and it was a good feeling to need little relatively little explanation. My experience and education at the University of New Haven has gotten me to a place where I feel like I can be effective in the criminal justice community.

I am incredibly excited for the rest of this summer. After only a few days, I really feel like I have found the place for me.

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.