Genoa Cole ’13 had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity this summer when she accepted an internship in Washington, D.C.

A Department of Criminal Justice Sciences student, Cole was one of four interns from the College of Applied Science and Technology that spent their summer in the nation’s capital. Ten interns from four different colleges represented Illinois State University in Washington, D.C., this summer through the Washington, D.C., internship program that is coordinated through the office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Cole interned in the recruitment division of the Metropolitan Police Department. One of her main assignments was doing background investigations for police applicants. Cole ran traffic checks, assembled files for medical and polygraph checks, helped with the physical testing, and proctored the writing portion of the applicant exam. In addition, she had the opportunity to create interview questions as well as writing sample prompts for background investigator interviews, which were used in the hiring process.

“Because of my position and success as an intern, I was granted a lot of opportunities this summer,” Cole said. “I have visited the police academy multiple times, which allowed me to observe the academy, the area, and the recruits. I also got to visit the polygraph unit in Reston, Virginia. My supervisor even arranged for me to experience part of a polygraph test so I could learn how the polygraph works and how they monitor physiological responses.”

Another field trip opportunity landed Cole at a recruit graduation, where 30 recruits graduated to full police officers. “This was a truly amazing and personal experience for each one of those officers,” Cole said. “After seven months in the academy, they were finally finished and their hard work had paid off.”

One of the most valuable experiences for Cole was having the opportunity to assist the department with building their new Tactical Village and to provide feedback on the process. “I had the opportunity to sit in on interviews for the full-time positions, as well as assist with photo shoots for the marketing campaigns,” Cole said.

Cole loved living and working in Washington, D.C. “There is so much culture and history in D.C.,” Cole said. “Experiencing that on my days off really added to my internship experience. There was so much to do. From free concerts, to museums, to trying to restaurants, as interns we always had something to do and something new to explore.”

“If any student is thinking about applying to the Washington, D.C. internship program, I would tell them to go for it,” Cole said. “It was truly the best experience I have had in college. It was difficult to move away, but in the end, the experience was definitely worth it.”

If you are interested in participating in the Washington, D.C. internship program, please contact Ashley Ellefritz, associate director of Development and Government Relations, at or (309) 438.1816 for more information.

2 thoughts on “Criminal Justice Sciences student has successful summer interning with Washington, D.C. police

  1. Cassie says:

    So proud of you, Genoa!

  2. Cayla says:

    Way to go Genoa! Really proud of you!