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Summer Internships: Justin Berens

Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Many students are participating in internships this summer. Meet:

Justin BerensJustin Berens

He is: a senior from Hudsonville in Ferris’ Criminal Justice Law Enforcement program and Law Enforcement Academy.

His Internships: Justin was an intern with both the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department. “I was given the chance to work alongside the Detective Unit, the K9 Unit, Special Response Team, Community Police Officers, Forensics Team, Community Outreach programs as well as Dispatch for both departments. Along with that, I have witnessed, firsthand, policing for night shifts and day shifts. Every assignment I interned with helped me learn and grow as a future police officer. They taught me the importance of communication, teamwork, work ethic and responsibility. I was pleasantly surprised how the officers were open and honest when speaking with me. They answered all my questions, showed me a tremendous amount of respect and treated me as if I was one of them. I was very fortunate to be offered two internships and profited to have the ability to work alongside so many different parts of these departments.”

Future Plans: “As of now, I intend to complete the Ferris State Police Academy and get a job. I want to work in the Holland branch of Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department. For now, I plan to put in five or six years on the road as a police officer and then apply to the FBI. Before I entered my internships, my hope was that it provided me with the proper communication skills, leadership, and work ethic that will help me become successful in my career. Since completing my internships in early July, I truly feel that I have gained a ton of knowledge about being an officer and being able to act professionally, on the job and when I am off duty.”

Other Activities On Campus: Justin is a member of the Student Alumni Gold Club. “Our mission as members of SAGC is as follows: “The Student Alumni Gold Club will foster a connection between alumni and the University to create an environment in which both alumni and students can enrich their University experiences. We will provide leadership opportunities for our members and promote activities that will build a deep loyalty and commitment to Ferris.” To fulfill this mission, we put on various events to show appreciation to the alumni and donors as well as give current Ferris students and opportunity to interact and talk with former students.

I am also proud to be involved in intramural sports. They give me the opportunity to work as a team and provide leadership to my teammates. I have been involved in four different intramural sports, and all have taught me that it is easier to work as a team, than it is to work alone. This is especially important going into Law Enforcement, so I am glad I had these experiences early to allow me to be successful in the future.”

Ferris Core Value Justin Relates Most to: Opportunity. “Before I decided on a career in Law Enforcement, I had no idea what I wanted to do as I grew up. However, an opportunity opened for me to ride along with my cousin who is a police officer. With this opportunity, I not only learned that Law Enforcement is my passion, I also was able to learn about the job, collaborate with others, and show how important diversity is. I truly feel that I relate to every Ferris Core Value, but personally I believe that all the core values are centered around opportunity.”