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A Lesson in Setting Goals and Networking.

Willeen Pun ’17

Criminal Justice

In the time since Willeen Pun ’17 graduated from Mitchell College with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, she has earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of New Haven and now works as a correction officer for the Connecticut Department of Correction, with the ultimate goal of working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She credits her path to these accomplishments with the three words she uses to describe Mitchell College: leadership, professionalism and opportunity.

“Mitchell College provided me with opportunities to expand my knowledge and experience. I completed several internships from my sophomore year all the way to my senior year. Doing hands-on work, rather than only listening to lectures and working on classroom assignments, helped prepare me for graduate school and make the right career choice.”

Over three years, Willeen completed internships at Mitchell Campus Safety, The Fellowship House, a halfway house for men, New London Teens in Action, and York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison.

Her inspiration for pursuing an MPA was Adrienne Kerwin, criminal justice professor, who was also instrumental in helping Willeen secure her internship at York.

“I took Professor Kerwin’s Probation and Parole class, and she shared how she had been a student at Mitchell College and was then a full-time student pursuing a master’s degree at University of New Haven. She made me think to myself that if she could do it, I could possibly do it, too. She also invited different guest speakers to the class, and they helped me broaden my thoughts about what path I wanted to take before graduating from Mitchell. I made the decision to apply to graduate school in the fall of my senior year and was accepted at the beginning of the spring semester.”

Active as a student leader in campus life while at Mitchell, Willeen worked as a student ambassador and desk assistant, did event planning for the Multicultural Student Union and was captain of the step and lacrosse teams. Willeen says that students can meet many different people across campus by joining clubs, working on campus and doing internships – all important ways to network.

“Current students should make the most of their time at Mitchell by networking. The majority of professors have worked in the field they are teaching and can help guide students to the right path. Or you just never know – who you intern for might hire you as a full-time employee.”

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