Not your average internship: FSU senior trains with Homeland Security

Legere is pictured introducing himself to Jeh Charles Johnson, the fourth secretary of Homeland Security of the United States of America.

On the morning before his first day interning with Homeland Security in the nation’s capital, Frank Legere’s supervisor told him to get on the next train, head to the heart of the city, go to the water fountain and wait.

For a second, Legere wondered what he was in for before he headed for the nearest Metro station.

Following a nerve-wracking Metro ride into the city with no idea of what to expect, Legere was greeted by navy blue government official vans which took him and other interns into what appeared to be office buildings. There, Legere found himself finally at ease at his first security briefing and promised to keep certain hush-hush business “hush-hush.”

This was just the beginning of a semester as an intern at the Washington Center, working for Homeland Security of the United States of America.

Frank Legere is a senior criminology major from Swampscott. When asked what drew him to criminology, Legere said, “Well, my uncle was a cop, and you can’t forget all those hours of watching CSI and NCIS.”

After three years of studying hard, Legere wanted to expand his horizons as well as earn internship hours. Research brought him to The Washington Center, which offers internships to those who demonstrate commitment to and passion for law enforcement.

Dr. Vincent Ferraro, a sociology professor said, “Frank’s success in the major is a product of his being committed to producing high-quality work and being willing and able to put in the often long hours.”

Once Legere got accepted into The Washington Center, he chose to work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The department was officially created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The department’s goal is to keep America safe and from both foreign and domestic terrorism.

Legere told his story of a typical day at The Washington Center.

At 5:15 a.m, Legere would get out of bed, shower, and prepare to take on another day in the nation’s capital. He admired the view of D.C. from the window of the train.

Legere would then be checked by security officials before entering the Homeland Security building for his 7:30-4:30 shift.

Legere dealt mainly with current affairs, such as the Paris attacks and cybersecurity. He had to research topics based on information he received from employers higher up on the Homeland Security ladder.

Although Legere was not in the so called “line of fire” with his work, he played a crucial part in helping keep this country safe from domestic and foreign threats.

Since Legere has been back on campus, he has played a significant role in recruiting other criminology students to take part in The Washington Center internship program.

Dawn Ross, director of Career Services and Employer Relations, said, “[Legere] is currently working with our office to promote TWC opportunities to current students by providing first-hand knowledge of his experiences.”

For the past 35 years, TWC has helped college students globally obtain real-world work experience in Washington, D.C. More than 50,000 participants have developed strong leadership skills through TWC, Ross said.

Ross encourages students to apply to the program. “Ten FSU students have completed a TWC internship experience during the last 10 years,” said Ross.

Overall, Legere believes, “TWC was … a worthwhile experience. D.C. is an awesome city.”

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