News - Beyond the Badge: Dual Internships Profit Problem Solver, People Helper

Beyond the Badge: Dual Internships Profit Problem Solver, People Helper

Beyond the Badge: Dual Internships Profit Problem Solver, People Helper

If it weren’t for other people’s problems, Ryan Paine’s day would be a lot less demanding, but a lot less satisfying, too.

Paine is a problem solver, and his role as one of the newer hires of Greenville’s police force gives him plenty of problems to solve. “Everyday you are helping someone that is going through one of the worst days of their lives,” he says.

That’s a lot of “worst days” over the course of a week for the young police officer, a 2013 graduate of Greenville College’s criminal justice program. By Paine’s estimation, he couldn’t have landed in a more fitting career than police work; he likes lending a hand.  

“I think this is the most people-helping profession,” he reflects.

Paine may be a recent graduate, but he is not inexperienced. In college, he followed a growing trend by completing multiple internships as part of his undergraduate studies. 

Career specialists say today’s employers not only want to see evidence of professional experience from new graduates, they expect to see diverse experience. While one internship provides valuable skills and understanding, two internships double that value. Paine completed two internships and also worked part-time with the Bond County Sheriff’s Department.

By the time Paine walked across the commencement stage to receive his diploma, he had already spent hours in the field, observing, dialoging with law-enforcement professionals and learning on the job. He gained confidence by:

  • joining sheriff’s deputies on diverse calls,
  • learning from their problem-solving and “people” skills,
  • developing an understanding of the paperwork and processes behind the scenes, and
  • cultivating relationships with local law enforcement personnel, including those whose recommendations helped him land his current position.

Paine also credits GC’s strengths-based orientation as a valuable supplement to his internship experiences. He was able to identify his personal strengths and learn how to leverage them in his work.

Since Paine’s employment with the Greenville Police Department, he has also graduated from Southwestern Illinois Police Academy.

This story was published on January 15, 2015

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