Kelly Chandler shares her internship experiences
“I wanted to be a superhero,” Kelly Chandler states, “Or a lawyer – someone who could save the world.” Kelly is certainly on her way to achieving her childhood aspiration, thanks to her recent internship, which confirmed her initial career thoughts about her future and gave her the opportunity to see the inside view of her prospective occupation.
Taking the initiative, Kelly found the process of applying for an internship to be fairly simple, and, having an interest in probation and parole, she took a position with the Marquette Probation and Parole Circuit Court.
At her internship, Kelly was given responsibilities that included performing background checks, working with pre-sentence investigation reports (PSI), participating in home calls, and assisting with paperwork. In doing these tasks, Kelly learned many valuable skills, such as how to operate in a courtroom and how to help others through honest and open-minded communication.
Out of all the situations that Kelly saw while at her internship, she mentions that seeing “juveniles on bath salts” and “the people that don’t want the help” as one of the most difficult components of her internship. On the other hand, Kelly states that one of the best parts of her internship with Marquette Probation and Parole was having the opportunity to help a man successfully go through the transition from prison into society. She realized that judging people is futile; that one has no idea what another person has experienced in life.
As for the work atmosphere, Kelly found her internship environment to be comfortable and easygoing. She comments that “the officers were great, and laughed and told jokes often. I enjoyed going there every day.”
For students who might be considering an internship, Kelly thinks they should “absolutely intern.” Seeing how beneficial it was for her, she says, “Stick with it, even when it gets tough, keep going.” For herself, Kelly states that her internship “confirmed that that was what [she] wanted to do.” She anticipates having a career in probation and parole after earning her degree.
“Because of my internship and my education I am now employed at the Marquette County Sheriff's Office as a Deputy in the Jail; I think that might be a good ending as to why students should intern, it pays off in the end.”
Originally, Kelly came to NMU for several reasons, such as the noteworthy reputation of the criminal justice program and the one-on-one environment with professors. It also helped that it was closer to home.
Since coming to Northern, she has been involved in student government; Live, Learn, Lead; and Superior Edge, all of which she feels have helped her build a better resume for after graduation.
In assisting her to come this far at NMU, Kelly recognizes Captain Jeff Mincheff as a mentor figure to her, remarking “he was an awesome professor, and a great boss” as well as a great influence on her life.
Kelly is proud of the fact that she has been able to continue her education to this level and has been able to balance a job, school, and life in general on her own. She mentions that her brother Michael has really supported her throughout her life. She also notes “my adopted mom has helped shape the person I’ve become.” She declares she is grateful to have these two important people, in her life. “My family has helped shape the person I have become because of their support, motivation, and advice.”
Story by Shannon Smith