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Student testimonial: Jessica Trenhaile

Jessica Trenhaile

Degree pursuing:

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science with a track in biology; Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in chemistry and criminal justice; and a crime scene investigation certificate; Columbia College Day Campus.  

Expected graduation: 2013.

Extracurricular activities at Columbia College:

President, Forensic Science Student Association; member, Presidents Club; member, Sigma Zeta Honor Society; member, Criminal Justice Club; member, Science Club; member, Student Support Services (SSS).

Employer name:

Columbia Police Department, Columbia, Mo.

Internship title:

Crime mapping intern.

What did you do in that position?

While interning for the Columbia Police Department, I read and pulled vital data from numerous crime reports about suspects, vehicles, stolen property and other important criminal information to place in a centralized database for police to research. I then evaluated that data for connections between suspects to try to link crimes together and gain more details on the individual crimes. I also started learning the process of crime mapping procedures, as well as how various detective and police shift meetings work. The department also allowed me to go to the shooting range with them for ballistics training, so I was able to observe how different caliber guns penetrated different objects.

How was that experience?

The experience was excellent! I am so glad I decided to do the internship this summer. I had a great time meeting new people and making new connections, as well as new friends. The internship even led me to an amazing part-time job offer with the police department. This job will help me build my resume by giving me greater experience in police work, and since it is part-time, it will allow me to continue school. The job couldn’t be more perfect and I have my internship to thank for that.

What have you learned?

I learned a lot of valuable information throughout my internship. I learned how a police department works and how the different departments operate, as well as many procedures and policies. I specifically learned how policing in Columbia works and why some of the policies are the way they are. I learned an extensive amount about crime mapping and why it is so useful to police, as well as how it is done. I also learned that connections within any department are extremely important, if not the most important part of the entire position. It helped me understand that even when you are doing tedious work that no one else wants to do, it will still pay off because the connections you make see how hard you work regardless of the type of work you are doing.

Did you use the Grossnickle Career Services Center?

Yes, and I also work at the Columbia College Career Services Center, so I know how useful the staff can be. The staff helped me draft my resume and complete all of the necessary steps for setting up my internship.

What Grossnickle Career Services Center resources did you utilize?

I made several individual appointments to go over my resume, making sure it was absolutely perfect before I submitted it to my employer. Through these appointments they also helped me fill out my college paperwork, applications and background check correctly. Overall, the staff was extremely helpful in the process.

What would you tell other students about your experience with the Grossnickle Career Services Center?

The Grossnickle Career Services Center helped me throughout the entire process of getting hired at the police department for my internship. Without them I would not have been prepared to apply at the police department and it would have taken me much longer to get an internship—an internship that ultimately led me to my job offer at the police department. I have many people to thank for helping me obtain my job, and the Grossnickle Career Services Center is definitely at the top of that list!.



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