CLS Undergrad Interns with NCIS Special Agents

by Stephanie Barnett, CLS Undergraduate Academic Advisor

CLS Undergrad Interns with NCIS Special Agents
Seve Cordova, B.S. Criminology, Law and Society, Spring 2014

One of the first questions posed to new CLS undergraduate students is, “What interests you about the field?”  The responses range from, “I want to work for the FBI,” “I want to go to Law School,” to, “I want to work in criminal profiling,” and more. So, where do these ideas of potential career paths come from?  For many students, it is what they’ve seen on television.  Whether it is Law and Order, Bones, NCIS, Covert Affairs, or something similar, visual and popular culture paints the picture of what it might be like to work in the exciting and growing fields of Criminology, Law and Society.  

An opportunity for students to explore potential career paths and gain a more realistic view of their field of interest is the CLS Internship Program.  This two-course program assists students in identifying their strengths and interests in the field, developing effective job application skills, examining ethics and conflict resolution on the job, and ultimately, completing an internship and an original research project related to the student’s internship experience.  

For many CLS students, an internship with the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) is at the top of their wish list. Seve Cordova’s dream became reality when, through the CLS Internship Program, he was offered a highly competitive internship placement with the NCIS Headquarters in Washington, D.C. for Spring 2013.  In the profile below, see what Seve had to say about his experience and what prospective CLS interns have to look forward to.


  • Student: Seve Cordova, Senior, B.S. Criminology, Law and Society, Concentration: Homeland Security and Justice
  • Organization: Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), an elite worldwide federal law enforcement organization.
  • Semester: Spring 2013
  • On-the-Job: Throughout the semester, Seve worked 40 hours a week with a team of 9 NCIS Special Agents in the areas of intelligence analysis, fraud, and criminal investigations.  Some of Seve’s regular duties included the planning and logistics of arrests for high profile cases, conducting autopsy investigations, and typing transcripts of important 911 calls.  In addition to these work experiences, Seve also completed an original research project, required for the CRIM 480 course, titled Restricted versus Non-Restricted Sexual Assault cases and the differences and outcomes of changes in the law.
  • Best/Worst: When asked about the best and worst parts of his internship experience Seve remarked that first-hand participation in the investigative processes and being able to be directly involved in work relating to high profile cases is what he found most rewarding.  His least favorite part was the “administrative” aspect, but he understood how those duties, although not as exciting, were just as essential to achieving the mission.  
  • Building a Network: Next to the work experience itself, Seve found the opportunity to work alongside various leaders in the Washington, D.C. region to be the most valuable part of his internship experience.  The relationships he developed while at NCIS are part of a growing network of professionals that he may encounter when he embarks on his chosen career path post-Mason.

Overall, Seve feels that the CLS Internship Program provided an opportunity to grow professionally and personally, saying, “You wouldn’t be in this program if you didn’t want to be a professional one day.”  Although the completion of his internship in May did not result in a job offer, it did open doors for other opportunities as he works to complete his degree requirements and graduate in Spring 2014.

So, where will the CLS Internship Program take you?