NCSP Graduate Internship Program

September 3, 2014

Meet Alison Delgardo, one of the NCSP Graduate Interns from the Summer 2014 cohort.

The National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) Graduate Internship Program varies most in comparison to other internship programs in the amount of direct hands-on experiences afforded to student assistants. The NCSP puts students in a position to use the skills taught in their graduate courses and gain the knowledge and network needed to advance professional development. I have only been at the NCSP for two months, but I have already been exposed to many great experiences as a Student Assistant in the Training & Project Management Section.

Since I am directly involved in the activities of the NCSP I am able to use the methods taught in my courses quite often in my work. My primary responsibilities are coordinating course development for both Law Enforcement and EMS related courses. In the process, I utilize skills taught in Rockefeller courses. For example, I had to use the research skills I acquired in classes to write literature reviews on various works on emergency management and to gain more insight when developing a course on an unfamiliar subject.

Rockefeller College emphasizes the importance of networking and interpersonal skills and the NCSP Graduate Internship Program allows students to develop both. The professional skills discussed in classes prove useful and accurate when interacting with coworkers, as well as subject matter experts (SMEs) in such fields as law enforcement and EMS. The SMEs' insight and knowledge is not only essential when generating content for a new course, but our interactions will surely be useful throughout my future career path. My network has greatly expanded by having new contacts in many organizations.

Not many other graduate students can say they "dispatched officers to a scene" in their summer internship.

Another beneficial aspect of the NCSP Graduate Internship Program is the ability to see my work in action. Student assistants have the opportunity to see their project evolve from a conceptual idea to the pilot course. Rather than just doing a section of a project, student assistants are able to work on them through various stages and get a fuller experience. There is also the chance to work on projects in multiple areas, allowing me to have a more well-rounded understanding of the Emergency Management sector.

I also enjoy attending course pilots at the State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC). Besides viewing classes, I have assisted with dispatching in the SIMCELL. The SIMCELL is a simulated dispatch center for students during scenario-based training.

Overall, the NCSP Graduate Internship Program has been invaluable to be by giving me new hands-on experiences. I look forward for the future opportunities the program has to offer.