Obtaining an internship with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proved beneficial for La Salle senior Marina Hansen even before she started: “If there’s one thing that I have learned going through this application process, it would definitely be patience, which is a good thing considering I have none!” she said.
At the end of February, Hansen was interviewed at the ATF’s Philadelphia office, and a week later learned she had been selected as an intern pending background investigation and position availability. The required background check was extensive, and took several weeks to complete.
Hansen is assigned to the ATF Violent Crimes Task Force and the ATF Arson and Explosives Task Force as part of her summer internship.
Hansen had grown up wanting to help people and planned to be a doctor. She entered La Salle University as a biology major, but a few weeks into her first semester she wasn’t sure if she had selected the right path. She reflected on what she wanted to do, and realized the answer was already there – law enforcement.
“One of my best friends’ father was a police officer, and I had family who were officers, too,” said Hansen, who lives in Franklinville, N.J. “I always thought what they did was so fascinating. I took forensics in high school and this helped me come to the decision that I wanted to become a criminal justice major. I began taking classes and fell completely in love with the criminal justice system and how it works. With wanting to help people, growing up with police, and loving the classes I was taking, I realized I was finally doing what was right for me. I plan to become a special agent working in federal law enforcement upon graduation, and I can’t be happier with my decision.”
When she decided on her new career path, she started majoring in criminal justice.
“I’m ecstatic to start my internship with the ATF to gain the necessary experience to achieve my goals. I will be going back to school to get my master’s in criminal justice once I start working after graduation,” she said.
Before deciding on law enforcement, Hansen changed her major from biology to chemistry, a topic she had enjoyed in high school.
“Being a chemistry major is no walk in the park. It involves self-discipline, endless hours of study, and if I were a coffee drinker, probably a great deal of caffeine. While it may seem like torture to someone else, chemistry has helped me grow as a person. It allows people to think in ways that other majors don’t,” she said. “The analytical way of thinking that I have learned at La Salle will definitely be an asset in my career.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives is a principal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice dedicated to preventing terrorism, reducing violent crime, and protecting our Nation.
The men and women of ATF perform the dual responsibilities of enforcing Federal criminal laws and regulating the firearms and explosives industries. ATF protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.
ATF partners with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research and use of technology.
Interns serve as a student volunteer in the ATF Philadelphia Field Division. Interns interact with Special Agents on a daily basis, providing case support related to on-going criminal investigations. Interns are exposed to the investigative process that leads to the prosecution of individuals and organizations that violate federal firearms and explosives laws.
ATF encourages students to take full advantage of this opportunity to learn about ATF’s commitment to public safety and federal law enforcement.
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 30 schools in the North Region and among the top 10 Catholic schools in the region.