“Use the Resources Provided” By: Guest Blogger, Raquel Muscioni

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District Attorney, Stephen Zappala and Muscioni at her internship site.

In part two of our series about seeking experience and building your resume as it relates to a liberal arts education, I enlist the help of a student currently interning in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. The take away from today’s post is simple: use the resources provided to further your level of experience and marketability as a student.

“My name is Raquel Muscioni and I am in my junior year at Duquesne University, studying Political Science and planning for Law School.  Going to Law School has been a dream of mine since Junior High.  I have to admit that the Hollywood depiction of law has always intrigued me from an early age; yet spending countless hours in formal debate, through Model United Nations, is what truly led me to love laws and jurisdiction.  After studying abroad at Duquesne’s Italian Campus, I was determined to follow my dreams, and I knew that the only way to find my passion – or not – was to acquire an internship in the field of law.  My instinct took me to Duquesne’s Career Services Department where I knew I could reach out and receive some professional advice.  I also spent time speaking with my grandmother who happens to have connections with a few lawyers in the Pittsburgh area.  After doing some research on different opportunities and meeting with Career Services, the next step was to polish my resume and start applying for internships.  Once I completed the interview process, I was lucky enough to acquire a position at the District Attorney’s Office in the Forfeiture Unit of Allegheny County.

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Muscioni outside of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

On a daily basis, I am actively involved in the every day functioning of the office while clocking in court orders, reading web docket sheets, and finding files.  These tasks may sound tedious and unconventional to law, but in reality I am able to gain first hand experience of what an attorney’s job description entails.  During slow days, in my unit, I have the privilege of observing trials, which is an incredible experience in itself.  It is very interesting to see all of the information that is presented and the extensive work that goes into the production of a trial.  Through working at the District Attorney’s Office, I have already gained so much knowledge and acquired helpful experience, which has led me to truly enjoy the atmosphere that I work in.  While working amongst professional attorneys and current law students, I am able to receive first hand advice from people whom I trust and respect.  I have learned that networking is not just about making connections, but it is of great benefit to learn from fellow colleagues and superiors.

My advice to any student, especially those in Liberal Arts, is to use the resources offered by Duquesne and the College of Liberal Arts and find an internship that suits your needs.  Through working at the District Attorney’s Office, I found that it is important to understand the field in its entirety; while working in the Forfeiture Unit, I am also able to observe other parts of the office, such as the Homicide Unit.  My internship has also taught me a thing or two about time management as I juggle rigorous courses, being involved on campus, and working part-time.  Regardless of your major, internships allow students to be given the chance to solidify career goals based on the enjoyment or indifference of their internship experience.  Especially in the field of Liberal Arts it is important to realize that as students, we have ownership of our education, and that learning is not just about sitting in a classroom taking notes, it’s about being proactive and gaining experience.  Overall internships teach students how to use their education as well as insight to achieve their future goals.  I have learned that if your will to succeed is strong enough; you will need to work hard.  It may be intimidating at first, but gaining experience is the first step in achieving these goals, and will prove to be worth it in the end.”

Thus far, we’ve examined a student who was looking for an internship, a student who currently has an internship, and in our final installment we’ll take a look at two students who had internships and what that experience was like for them.

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