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Molly Jackson Gains Valuable Experience Through FBI Internship

This past summer Molly Jackson, a sophomore criminal justice major, interned in the FBI's New York office.  She was assigned to a task force that investigates gangs and related crimes in collaboration with the New York City Police Department.  During her internship, she assisted the agents and detectives by searching various internal FBI databases as well as open-source databases and social media.  In one case, she found key information and then briefed the agents and created a write up that went into the case file.  She also assisted during several mass arrests by processing prisoners, taking fingerprints and DNA swabs and coordinating with U.S. marshals. 

molly.jackson.jpgIn addition, Jackson watched post-arrest interviews and visited federal court to view arraignments.  During searches of a house and a warehouse, she helped log and catalog the evidence, although she was not permitted to handle it herself.  She also helped prepare evidence for fingerprints. 

“One of the highlights of my time as an intern was the ability to sit in on the El Chapo sentencing," Jackson said. "Several employees from the squad that handled the case were going over to the federal courthouse in Brooklyn and brought a few interns along.  It was exciting.”  After the sentencing, some U.S. marshals brought the interns into their offices and showed them the cells where the prisoners are held prior to being brought to the courtroom.

Mount Criminal Justice Professor Joseph Vince, Jackson's internship advisor who also served for three decades as a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, explained, “Internships are a tool that translates what we teach in the classroom into real-world activities. At the Mount, we help students transition into professional careers by combining skills and knowledge with ethics that can change the world we live in for the better.”

The New York office also arranged for all the interns to visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, where FBI managers made several presentations.  “The 9/11 Museum was an emotional visit for me,” Jackson recalled.  “Even though I was too young to remember that day, the museum brought it to life for me.  It is definitely a place everyone should visit.” Professor Vince reflected, “It is interesting that we now have students who have no personal experience with 9/11, so Molly’s visit to the site brought historical context to this horrific event.”

As an “honors intern,” Jackson was given the opportunity to continue her internship through the school year in order to keep her security clearance, and she just visited the New York office during fall break.   “My goal is to continue this internship through college,” she explained, “and then transfer it into a permanent position with the FBI after graduation.  My ultimate goal is to become a special agent.  It is an incredible opportunity.”