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Chelsea Skinner

Concerned about finding a job? Learn from Chelsea's success story…

What kinds of things did you do while in college to prepare you for your professional life after college, or to make yourself more marketable?

I decided that if I wanted a job straight out of college, I needed to fully prepare myself. As part of the criminal justice curriculum, you are required to take an internship with an agency, whether it be with a police department, DA’s office, Victim advocates, or even the FBI. I chose the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) and it was honestly the best experience of my life. I not only learned about the different stages of a criminal investigation, but I also learned what it was I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to work in law enforcement; to be out on the road where all the action is and not be in a pristine laboratory environment like I had once thought.

I then began working on my resume the fall semester of my senior year and then went to Career Services to critique it before I sent it out to possible employers. Obviously, I kept up my studies while I was job searching because a crucial part of finding a job is graduating with a degree. Around January/February, I started to apply for jobs, anywhere and everywhere. For most criminal justice positions, the process is very long and strenuous due to extensive background checks and multiple interviews. In total, I applied to over 15 agencies. Now that sounds like a lot but most of them weren’t hiring at the time, and honestly, you want a vast array so you have options and finally choose which one is best for you. Also, by the time I had first, second, and third interviews under my belt, I was confident in going into the panel interviews I had for my current job position. By the end of my long job searching journey, I had dropped out of numerous application processes with other agencies and was given two separate job offers.

How did you hear about (or find) your current position?

It is actually a story of fate. I had just been to the career fair that Career Services hosts. I met with my old internship supervisor to find out her perspective on where else I should apply. Her advice meant more than to me than anything because she was not only a woman in law enforcement, but she was a role model to me. When I went to speak with her, she started using her resources to find what agencies were hiring. She actually used to work with the Chief of Roswell and found out through him that they were giving the test that following Saturday, three days later from the time I was seeking her advice. This worked greatly in my favor because the Chief thought highly of my old supervisor’s recommendation. And the rest is history.

What advice would you like to give to current students to help prepare them for careers and/or the job search after college?

My advice is to use the resources you have at your disposal. Make contacts whether it is through an internship or from a guest speaker in the classroom because you will never know when you might need those contacts. Had I not kept in contact with the agents I performed my internship with, then I would not have known about the job position in the first place. However, this job was not handed to me, I worked extremely hard to get to the place I am today.

Career Services helped me move forward as well. That is what they are there for on campus, utilize them. My resume template actually came from the career services website. And like I said before, they helped me critique it and structure it to be more appealing to my certain career. I also, before my first interview set up a mock interview with Mrs. Dora Ditchfield. It was exactly like an interview, but in a little more set back environment. This helped me going into my first “official” interview.

I also encourage students to push themselves. One of my favorite quotes is, “Nothing worth having comes easy”. This is my background on my phone and it has been since February. So every time I turn on my phone, it is a constant reminder that I need to push myself to the limit every day if I want to achieve my goals. I have put myself out there, I have done so many things that take myself out of my comfort zone and I can’t tell you how it has only helped me. Be proactive and don’t let anything or anyone get in your way of accomplishing your dreams and desires.

Chelsea Skinner profile
City of Roswell Police Department
Police Officer

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