The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center provides selected students with opportunities to work and learn in Washington for academic credit.
Justin's internship includes on-the-job experience working with the Marshals Service's Fleet Department, where he's managing daily information about the 115 vehicles used by deputy marshals.
A crime and justice studies major, Justin is planning a career in law enforcement, perhaps as a police officer. He's had prior experience working in law enforcement as an auxiliary officer for the police department in his home town of Newton, MA.
But his DC experience is opening his eyes to new career possibilities in law enforcement at the federal level.
"I was surprised by how many law enforcement branches are represented in DC—and the security level is extremely intense," said Justin.
This is such a great opportunity to learn about the various branches of law enforcement at the federal level. There’s so much to learn and do, and so many people to meet. DC is the place to be if you want to explore career options at the federal level.
"Through the internship I’ve already been able to meet with special agents and other professionals at agencies such as ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and Interpol. I want to make as many connections and learn as much as I can while I’m here."
As part of his internship experience, Justin has observed trials and hearings at the Superior Courts and is taking an academic course called Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.
Meaningful community service
Washington Center internships include a community service component, and Justin’s placement choice, at the National World War II Memorial, has personal meaning.
"My grandfather, Sy March, served as a medic in the US Navy during World War II, with the 5th Amphibious Corps, US Fleet Marine Force. They were honored for outstanding heroism for support of military operations during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945."
Justin has been volunteering to greet and assist veterans and their families who visit the memorial as part of the Honor Flights Network, which transports veterans to Washington.
I'd encourage more UMass Dartmouth students to explore this program. I appreciate the assistance I received from Gail Berman of the Career Development Center, who guided me through the process of attaining my internship with The Washington Center.
"While I'm here, I’m going to try to volunteer at every Honor Flight visit I can," he said.
"It’s been so satisfying to meet the veterans and talk to them about their service."
DC: the place to be
Justin appreciates DC’s dynamic atmosphere—and the conveniences that come with his internship, such as his accommodations at The Washington Center's apartment residence at NoMa (north of Massachusetts Ave.), right in the heart of the Capitol.
"I've been going to lots of museums, such as Crime and Punishment and the DEA Museum. There's always something to look forward to doing, and people to meet. "