August 18, 2016
Claire-Marie Maillot ’18 interned this summer with the Forensic and Criminal Intelligence Agency of the French Gendarmerie outside of Paris.
Claire-Marie Maillot ’18 is used to traveling with her parents back to France each summer, the country where her father was born. But this year, she went without them and spent a month with the French military police.
Maillot had an internship with the Forensic and Criminal Intelligence Agency of the French Gendarmerie outside of Paris. She explored the many divisions within the agency and delved into closed and cold cases, studying the details and analyzing potential motives — learned from her criminology courses at UT — that she’d debate with the officers familiar with the cases, who would reveal if she was right, providing further investigative insights.
“Ever since I was 15, my passion in life has been to help people,” said Maillot, a criminology major in the Honors program from Mandeville, LA. “I’m interested in solving problems. I love going into a crime scene and seeing how I can analyze all the clues and how they all come together to a single person or group of people.”
Maillot toured the criminal intelligence central department (SCRC), which specifically concentrates on data processing and runs criminal databases for the French military police, and learned how intelligence for all types of crime that are committed in France is produced, said Cedric Michel, Maillot’s internship advisor at UT.
“This internship was the perfect vehicle to determine whether such a career was a good fit for her,” said Michel, assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “Criminology internships provide an exceptional opportunity for students to apply theoretical concepts that they have learned in the classroom to a more practical setting. They also become familiar with the workings of a criminal justice agency.”
Maillot, who has a French minor, said the staff she worked with asked her just as much about the American legal system, eager to know more about the similarities and differences between the two countries and cultures. In addition to her research, Maillot was able to translate as needed, such as when Polish law enforcement made a visit to her office and she was called upon to assist in the translation of the English language of the meeting.
“Claire-Marie had a chance to intern at a foreign criminal justice agency unlike most of our students,” said Michel. “This approach is in keeping with the criminology department’s emphasis on comparative justice and, more broadly speaking, with The University of Tampa’s mission to expose its students to global issues.”
In addition to affirming her career aspirations to become an investigator or profiler of violent crimes, Maillot said the internship gave her more confidence in working in a professional setting and being more assertive. It was a summer experience for which she is grateful.
“Anyone who is really passionate about their work is happy to show you what they do,” Maillot said. “I would encourage students to look for internships in any major to determine that it's the right career choice for them."