Internship at ATF changes student’s vision of her future
Processing evidence. Going to the shooting range. Riding along on drug busts. Witnessing undercover deals.
Roanoke College junior Monica Weaver did all of the above during her time as an intern with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Weaver, the daughter of a probation officer, always had an interest in crime. A criminal justice and sociology double major with a concentration in crime, deviance and social control, she always envisioned a career in forensics.
Then, she went to Washington.
Just a few weeks into her internship at ATF, Weaver had a new career in mind. "I actually love it," she said of her internship. "It's been more than I ever could have imagined," she said of her time at the ATF.
Roanoke's Washington Semester Program, the product of a partnership of Lutheran colleges, allows students from participant institutions to live and work in Washington, D.C. while attending classes and performing community service work. They also take weekly field trips to explore the nation's capital.
Weaver, who originally applied to the FBI's internship program, now says, "I'm more interested in domestic work - what ATF deals with. It's also great because I've made a lot of connections."
Among the connections Weaver made in Washington were with ATF agents from Roanoke. A team of agents from the Roanoke office visited the Washington Field Division for a training session, and they offered Weaver a summer internship to follow her time in Washington.
"I like the fact that my internship is here because obviously in a bigger city there is more crime, but I think it will be interesting to compare to Roanoke," said Weaver, who is from Staunton, Va.
Weaver said she hopes that building on her first-hand experience with the organization and continuing to make connections in the field will be the key to securing her career of choice: an agent with the ATF.
-Traci Crockett '01