Article by Cox Odia, COSS media assistant
Forty agencies attended the 32nd Annual Criminology Networking and Mentoring event to present career opportunities, internships, information about the application process and more.
Sam Singh, the organizer of the event and president of Phi Omega Alpha, the American Criminal Justice Association created an atmosphere for all students to enjoy while meeting representatives from various agencies.
“In the field of criminology whether you’re chasing law enforcement, corrections, victimology, or the forensic sciences, it‘s not very easy to get a job right upon graduation,” Said Singh. “The process by nature of background checks, they can take very long so a lot of times making that networking while you’re a student is going to be what sets you apart and when you do graduate, you are ready to go.”
Criminology major Naila Estrada attended the event for the first time in hopes of seeking more information on her bachelor‘s degree in law enforcement.
“I think it‘s helped a lot, I just got here and I’ve already got a lot of information that I like. My sister is here and she is a police cadet, so I talked to her about it and she’s been getting me to talk to everyone.”
Several alumni participated and voiced their support for the networking event, its impact on the students and on them as former students.
“It‘s good to come back and be here on campus and to give back,” said Sargent Paul Cervantes of the Fresno Police Department. “I see the benefits behind being a Fresno State graduate and I see how education and law enforcement experience together is probably the best of both worlds.”
Other alumni such as Deputy Probation Officer Arthur Ortega participated in the event hoping to inform others of what he didn’t know during his time on campus as a student.
“I didn’t even know something like this existed when I was a student here so this is actually a great resource for all students to know what is out there other than police and sheriff,” said Ortega. There’s FBI, there’s probation and parole. There’s all sorts of different entities in the law enforcement spectrum that a lot of people don’t know about.”
Singh believes there are various opportunities in the criminology field in which the networking and mentoring event allows students to observe.
“The simple fact of the matter is the criminology field is all encompassing, it‘s not always just catch the bad guy, there is victim services, there is the sciences behind it, the forensics side of it, there‘s rehabilitation, there‘s therapy, counseling. There is a whole slew of things you can do in this field, it’s not just for the criminology student and the connections you can make here you can go a long way and it might actually change your life.”
Several students were first time attendee’s and wanted to see what opportunities the event had to offer like Julian Herrera.
“I am a business major but I have always been intrigued with law enforcement, actually attending this fair helped me out because there’s FBI, Fresno Police Department, Porterville, San Jose, their environment and how they run their department, and where they stand in their salaries and benefit wise, they helped me out a lot.”
Eddie Lozano, a senior at Fresno State plans to go into the Police Academy upon obtaining his degree but came to the career fair to learn about the different agencies it had to offer.
“I wasn’t planning to come because I had work, but I‘m actually happy that I came because I learned a lot from all of the different agencies there are. All of the ups and the downs and the information they give you.”
Students like Lozano epitomize the outreach efforts of Singh and his push to promote and advertise the importance of the networking and mentoring event.
“I think we are just going to keep doing what we are doing and just keep striving to get more agencies out and more students through the door and solidify some of these new relationships. We’ve had over five agencies who have never been here before and we‘re working to cement that relationship so they’ll come back next year and the year after, and that‘s how this process will continue to grow.”