Back to news
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Mail

The most rewarding part of Kayla Baca’s summer internship with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was attending criminal trials.  The criminal justice and political science major appreciated “getting to see first hand how the accused gets their right to a fair trial and all the steps to a trial that aren’t common knowledge like jury selection and plea negotiations.”  Learning about criminal prosecutions and trials has convinced Baca, a senior, that she wants to become a criminal defense attorney.  She appreciated having the experience of speaking with the prosecutors and defense attorneys and learning their reasons for asking witnesses questions or why they chose to use a certain piece of evidence. Baca learned about the training detectives need for forensic interviews, how evidence is collected and stored, and how victims are supported by the prosecutor’s office.   

Baca is one of many Caldwell University students who had valuable summer internships. Her academic courses prepared her well for the internship. She came on the job knowing how the court system functions and how crime scenes are investigated and processed.  She said her Caldwell courses gave her a good foundation including the classes: U.S. Courts: Structure and Functioning; Crime Scene Processing and Investigation; Criminology; Police and Law Enforcement; Community-Based Corrections, and Juvenile Justice.  At the same time, Baca said there were aspects she needed to learn in the workplace, “things that you can only learn by experiencing it hands-on.” She is grateful for the internship which gave her a clearer vision of her academic and career plans which includes attending law school. “This internship has furthered my passion for becoming a civil rights attorney or a criminal defense attorney,” said Baca.

CU criminal justice and political science major Kayla Baca (2nd from right) on the last day of her internship at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office with interns from other institutions.

Caldwell University’s Career Planning and Development Office provides students and alumni with tools to explore and choose academic majors and career options, obtain career-related experiences such as internships and shadowing opportunities and pursue post-graduation career plans including employment and graduate school.  If you would like to find out more about an opportunity in your field, contact: