This article was originally published in the Faculty of Arts Co-op Connect Newsletter in Summer 2012.
This January I started my second co-op work term as an Informational Management Specialist Assistant with the RCMP. I worked in the Operational Information Systems Department where I maintained and updated police files and records. My main priority for this work term was to support the existing staff on various tasks and to familiarize myself with operational files and with the records management computer systems including PRIME (Police Records Information Management Environment) and PIRS (Police Information Retrieval System). My duties included ensuring that electronic and hard copy police investigation files were up-to-date, organized and operationally effective. I also executed search queries for Pardon Notifications and assisted with the process of archiving historical files. I will continue to work in the Information Management department over the summer 2012 semester and I will be focusing on reviewing files on the PRIME system to determine if they have archival value.
Throughout this workterm I learned a great deal of technical skills, such as operating record management programs and the organization of operational police documents. I was also exposed to the federal government work environment, a major employer of Arts and Social Science students. However, the most significant learning experience I had was the exposure to a career work environment. I had the chance to experience a workterm where all the employees, from management to the rest of the staff, were focused on building a career and were passionate and engaged in their work. This was my first time experiencing such a high level of enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism in the workplace and it helped to enhance my understanding of what a career is like and what it means to have one.
I chose to work for the RCMP because it complemented my academic focus in Criminology. I have had the opportunity to put into practice some of the theories and information I have gained from my courses on policing and criminal law and I plan to continue my studies and go onto graduate or law school. This co-op position has given me the chance to gain in-depth knowledge of policing, while also experiencing a true career environment. This workterm has been extremely valuable for my future career in the criminal justice system.
Beyond the Blog
For more opportunities like Mihai's, visit the FASS co-op page!