Kayla Kenehan ’20
Fires and Explosions: a Thrilling Career Path
With her eyes set on a career in law enforcement, political science major, Kayla Kenehan ’20 did her senior internship with the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) Fire and Explosions Unit. Her experience involved working with highly-trained K-9s in situations such as a New England Patriots game at Gillette Stadium and working at Logan International Airport. Kenehan’s hands-on experience provided her with useful knowledge and valuable connections that will carry into her future career.
What is a day in the life of your internship like?
My roles and duties for my internship with MSP differed day-to-day. The internship involved working with multiple units of the Fire and Explosion section in different parts of the state; going to actual fires, K-9 training, working with troopers involved with fire investigation, observing court appearances, assisting with reports, office work, etc. While mainly training with the accelerant and explosive detecting dogs, I worked as a hands-on assistant in all aspects of training, such as set up and clean up of training aids, handling the dogs, and more.
What is the most significant project you have worked on?
Although I worked on many significant projects, like working with the highly-trained vapor-wake K-9s at Logan Airport, the most significant project I worked on was working the security operation for a Patriots game. When there are such big crowds and a large amount of high-profile personnel, there is always heightened security to make sure that everyone is safe. Although I cannot go into details of the security operation protocol, it will be helpful to bring my newly acquired knowledge into my future career in law enforcement.
Does your internship relate to your major and desired future career (what is that)? Do you think it got you a step closer to that end goal?
My internship does not relate to my political science major, but it does relate to my Fifth Year Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies. Although I have decided not to pursue a career in politics, my degree is very valuable because of the critical thinking and communication skills I have obtained. My desired future career is law enforcement, whether it be federal, state, county, or local. This internship most definitely has moved me a step closer to my end goal because it allowed me to make connections with those in law enforcement. Additionally, I learned hands-on skills that I will hopefully use in my career, specifically the K-9 handling and training ones.
What is your best tip for networking with site supervisors and internship colleagues?
My best tip for networking with site supervisors would be to ask them their story. For example, how did you get to where you are today? What is your favorite part of your day-to-day activities? This will show them that you are interested in their field and may lead you to gaining new connections.