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Career Services and Department of Criminal Justice Host Joint Internship Event

The Department of Criminal Justice and the Guardians Club held a joint event with Career Services, inviting New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) cyber liaison officer Melissa Pisaniello and Sergeant Brad Baylor of the New Jersey State Police to speak about their work and the internship opportunities in their respective fields.

According to Mass, 35 people attended the event, including students from a variety of disciplines. 

“The Guardians Club hosts several guest speaker events,” said Jamie Tilton, President of the Guardians Club and a senior homeland security student. “However, this is one of the rare guest speaker events that encourage all students, regardless of major, to apply for an internship.” 

“We thought it’d be important because cyber security and cybercrime is the 21st century law enforcement now,” said Nicholas Sewitch, Chair of the Criminal Justice Department and Internship Coordinator. “That is one of the key areas in terms of enforcement, particularly at the federal level. In fact, a lot of federal agencies look for students who are qualified in that area or have experience or training in that area, so we thought that this would be good for students.” 

According to Jeffrey Mass, the assistant director of career services, the NJCCIC is New Jersey’s “one-stop shop for cyber security information sharing, threat analysis, and incident reporting. The NJCCIC brings together analysts and engineers to promote statewide awareness of local cyber threats and widespread adoptions of best practices.” 

Pisaniello spoke about four NJCCIC divisions that students could apply to intern with. The areas discussed included the Governance, Risk, and Compliance Bureau, which assesses and improves the current risk posture of information management systems across the state. 

Another department, the Cyber Threat Intelligence and Analysis Bureau, is primarily responsible for fusing technical and non-technical sources to analyze the state’s cyber threat landscape and reduce vulnerabilities. 

The other two applicable divisions are the Partnerships Bureau, which uses “threat intelligence” to coordinate outreach efforts with the public and private sectors and the SECOPS Bureau, which utilizes multiple layers of security controls to safeguard the Garden State Network (GSN) from both internal and external threats. 

A specific internship mentioned was the New Jersey   Office of Homeland Security Preparedness (NJOSHP) internship, which is open to students with more than 48 credits and includes working with the four divisions above. 

Baylor spoke about opportunities within the state police, including internships in the cyber threat intelligence unit, the threat analysis unit (“Crime Central”), field intelligence officers, and the narcotics analysis unit.

According to Mass, Pisaniello also touched on application deadlines and gave students information and tips on how to stand out in an applicant pool.

“It is not every day that you have an opportunity to connect with key influencers and leaders in your field,” Mass said. “If you were to walk past them in the street you probably wouldn’t stop them; however, networking events provide the environment to approach these people and have a discussion.” 

“I think students got excellent advice on how to jump-start their careers after college,” said Tilton.

“I definitely think that students were able to gain some sense of direction in terms of work fields,” said Dally Matos, Treasurer of the Guardians Club and a sophomore homeland security major. “Because cyber security is such a new field, it has a wealth of career opportunities, so I think students also got to see what careers are hiring, and have opportunities for fast growth.” 

“I really hope that students that came got to learn about the field,” Matos added. “I made sure to ask questions because although I never really considered cyber security, the event really made me change my view on the field.” 

 The NJCCIC promotes statewide awareness of the threat landscape, facilitates the adoption of best practices in the field, and attempts to reduce cyber risk. The organization also provides services such as a weekly bulletin, presentations, threat analysis, blogs, threat profiles, and threat indicator sharing. 

Students of all majors were encouraged to attend the event and apply for internships that interested them. According to a PowerPoint presentation given during the event, students in the fields of computer science, engineering, information security, cyber security, criminal justice, and marketing fall in the range of “suggested majors.” 

“I really like it when, at these events, we can bring students together from different disciplines who are interested in a particular field,” said Sewitch. “Criminal justice is truly an interdisciplinary field, and that brings together expertise from a lot of different areas for one common goal. It’s nice for criminal justice students to interact with students who are interested in computer science and technology and things like that and to see how their interests overlap.” 

According to Tilton, the Guardians Club and the Department of Criminal Justice will also host a networking event where students of all majors can come learn about careers in law enforcement on Mar. 28.