Criminal Justice Networking Event

Annual Criminal Justice Networking Event to be Held

Annual Networking Event to Include Brookdale Students; Inclusive of all Years, Majors at Monmouth

Criminal Justice Networking EventOver 50 different career fields will be joining the criminal justice department at their sixth annual networking event  in an effort to help students of all majors build mentorships, inform themselves on careers they wish to pursue, and establish professional relationships on March 28 in Wilson Hall from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Of the over 60 different presenters of federal law enforcement, homeland security, local and state law enforcement, victim advocacy, and many others, roughly 60 percent of them are Monmouth University alumni. 

The event will host different types of criminal justice related areas of work such as members representing postal inspection, Secret Service, the Fire Department City of New York (FDNY), and victim witness units from county prosecutor’s offices. A new addition to the list of organizations is rehabilitation resources, along with many other dedicated individuals from the area.

Nicholas Sewitch, Internship Coordinator and instructor of the criminal justice and organizer of the networking event, said, “The number and percentage of Monmouth alumni at this event has been a big improvement for us. My goal one day is for all of the presenters to be previous students.”

This networking event has been specifically designed to be unlike an internship or career fair in the way the event will be set up–the layout of the event will be completely interactive with the officials in each category via sessions instead of walking around table to table.

After an opening statement, two breakout sessions will commence on the first floor of Wilson Hall. Each of the 100-level rooms holds a different form of law enforcement, victim advocacy, rehabilitation, security, and similar organizations. Each of the two sessions will be about an hour and 20 minutes long; previously, there were three sessions – the elimination of the third session provided additional time for presenters to fully inform guests.

The newest addition to the event is the inclusion of Brookdale Community College criminal justice students; students from Brookdale are invited to join our community at the networking event.

“We have a fair amount of diversity in our department, a lot of students come from Brookdale and we haven’t invited them in the past, it’s something new we’re trying,” Sewitch said.

Annabel Lamb, a senior English student said, “Monmouth does a great job of providing open and inclusive experiences across all departments. There’s some great, realistic education to be gained from learning about criminal justice and victim advocacy to be a better citizen as well as a better student.”

“I definitely feel comfortable attending networking events outside my major—opportunities are everywhere, and it’s never a bad idea to fain new experiences and learn about other career paths,” she continued

Conor Scott, a senior homeland security student said he is looking forward to attending the event. “I have gone to the networking event every year since I became a student,” he said. “I think it’s very beneficial to make this event a networking event as opposed to a career fair. By making it a networking event, the criminal justice department is allowing students to have more in-depth interactions with professionals who have experience in the field.”

“We always like to hear feedback from our guests who attend the event. Generally, it was all positive, but the one consistent piece was that there just wasn’t enough time to really ask questions and network. So, we decided to change the number of sessions, this provided us with extra time at the end to reconvene and for students to speak with presenters,” Sewitch explained.

Jennifer Sarnataro, a junior homeland security student said, “I hope to make some connections with the agencies I am interested in working with such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and others. I feel like with this set up, I will get to see and learn more than if I were just walking around a room.”

The criminal justice department made it a point to emphasize that the event is inclusive to all students regardless of their area of study. Sewitch said that there is a criminal justice aspect that can be applied to every single major. The idea or stereotype that this type of an event would just end up being a ‘cop-shop’ is something the department works hard to dispel. Criminal justice being interdisciplinary is something the department works tirelessly to instill in students at Monmouth.

Maryam Srouji, a senior psychology student, although unable to attend the event, said, “Even though the event is a criminal justice event, I would still love to go just to see if I can find my niche. It’s always better to get informed on how to help people, even if it’s not my major.”

By giving students this immersive experience of meeting some of their most coveted role models, students are able to not only understand their potential career fields and see just how attainable they are, but they are also able to mingle with likely employers.

“What is important to note is that the diversity of this event has not meant to become our focal point, but, all genders, sexes, all walks of life, and backgrounds come together at the event,” Sewitch continued. Men, women, people of color, and professionals with all types of educational and experiential backgrounds are found at the event.

“Being that it is open to all majors, I am very willing to attend the event. I think by making it so inclusive and hearing how diverse the crowd and presenters will be definitely entices students to attend the event,” said Hayley Bray, a senior health studies student. 

“I would personally like to gather more information from professionals in the homeland security/criminal justice fields. I’ve found the event to provide a great opportunity to directly ask questions about the field and receive quality answers from professionals. I also use it as a means of keeping in touch with recruiters that I am currently in contact with,” Scott added.

Alyssa Corea, a sophomore homeland security student said, “It is a great opportunity to make a name for yourself especially if you are set on something specific. I hope to meet people and make more connections to put myself in better standing for a job.”

In preparation for the event, Sewitch recommends business casual wear is acceptable; the event isn’t suit and tie formal but looking presentable is key to a good first impression.

“We strive to let students know it’s more than okay to come to the event in whatever they are wearing because this isn’t meant to be a career fair. But, first impressions can be the most important.”

Although the event is rather relaxed and primarily focused on open conversation, Sewitch recommends coming with a notebook and pen handy. “This is the focus of the event, come in with questions you need answered and be ready to understand what your career may entail.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Nicholas Sewitch