Internships are a superb way for students to gain familiarity outside the classroom in their chosen area of study. The Washington, D.C., internship program is available to students who are in good academic standing within the College of Applied Science and Technology every summer.

The internship experience lets Illinois State University students see what it is like to live away from home for a summer while interning with government agencies. During this opportunity, students are able to obtain credit hours towards graduation, along with an exceptional education that cannot be acquired from a classroom.

Joseph Lopez, a criminal justice major at Illinois State, interned at the Metropolitan Police Department. During his internship, he was placed with the Investigative Services Bureau, Office of the Assistant Chief. Ryan Crackel was an intern at the Securities and Exchange Commission, while part of their Summer Honors Program. Crackel studies technology at Illinois State.

Lopez said his favorite part of the internship was getting ride-along experience with officers while participating in unique events such as, riding in the police helicopter, going through the agency’s tactical village, simulation training and shooting range.

“This internship definitely solidified my belief that I still want to become a cop. However, I was also able to meet others who are involved in different law enforcement agencies who showed me different paths I could take, such as working with the capitol police or on a congressman security detail,” said Lopez.

Crackel mentioned the most surprising lesson he learned throughout his internship experience was simply uncertainty can be intimidating in the workplace because people want to perform well and satisfy their employer. He then went on to say how he learned not to be afraid of the unknown when it comes to a work place and a new challenge is something to look forward to as it broadens your expertise, which will ceaselessly grow throughout an employee’s lifetime.

“A few years back, if I was asked the question, ‘What do you plan on accomplishing at college?’ I would have never imagined that an opportunity to live in Washington, D.C and work with some of the most prestigious organizations in the nation would be an answer to that question. Being able to temporarily live away from home and work with a federal agency was incredible and I will never forget what I’ve learned in those short three months,” said Crackel.

Be sure to apply for the Summer 2016 CAST Internship by November 2, 2015, for your chance at a life-changing internship experience!

Contact Kara Pool Snyder at (309) 438-3986 or by email for more information about CAST internship opportunities.