2018 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award
Interned at U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
I will be going into my junior year here at UW Madison in the Fall and in May of 2020 I will be graduating with degrees in Legal Studies and Psychology and with a certificate in Criminal Justice.
I began interning with the Drug Enforcement Administration at the Madison Resident Office in January of 2018 and I was given the opportunity to continue my internship through the summer. The DEA is responsible for enforcing the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States as well as reducing the accessibility of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. Our office consists of special agents and task force officers (TFOs) who work together to build cases against and apprehend individuals who are involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances destined for unlawful traffic in the United States.
Before starting this internship with the DEA, I was unsure about what I wanted to do after graduation. I have always had my mind set on law school but I was unclear on whether I wanted to practice law or go into law enforcement. However, after just a few months of interning with these remarkable special agents and task force officers, I am certain I want to become a DEA agent one day.
During the past few months of my internship I have learned how drug trafficking organizations (DTO) are identified, the different types of surveillance techniques used, and the importance of communication between our office, the Assistant US Attorney, and other agencies when working a case. I was able to see one of our agents testify in court, witness the arrest of a suspect firsthand, and assist our agents along with FBI agents in a surveillance operation. I have learned more about the role and responsibilities of a DEA special agent as well as the duties of other individuals we work with such as the US Postal Service investigator, the Assistant US Attorney, confidential sources, and more. Some of my duties include listening to jail calls, watching video surveillance, communicating over the radio and helping with identifying suspects. One of my favorite parts of my internship has been being able to build such strong relationships with the agents in the office and to hear about their personal experiences on the job in addition to what got them to where they are today.
I am so honored to be one of the recipients of the Audrey J. Harris Award, and am extremely grateful for the opportunities that it has given me. This scholarship has enabled me to stay in Madison for the summer to continue my internship. I will be staying on board with the DEA as an intern for another six months as well. I would like to thank the family of Audrey J. Harris for your investment in my education.