Caolinn Sullivan
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My Story

Caolinn always knew she wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement but it was not until an FBI Special Agent’s visit to her high school that she knew exactly what career she wanted.

Here is Caolinn’s story…

My Path
Why Criminal Justice?

“I chose the criminal justice program at Northeastern because I aspired from a young age to be a part of the law enforcement community, in particular federal law enforcement. I knew Northeastern would be the smart move if I wanted to pursue that particular career path because of the enormous network of Northeastern criminal justice alumni in the northeast federal agencies. From there, my academic and professional career at Northeastern really evolved, and I had the opportunity to explore many career paths within the federal government.”

Eric Winter/ Northeastern University
Transformative Coursework

Throughout her time at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ), Caolinn established both academic and professional relationships with many faculty members. Among those faculty members are Jean Egan and Amy Farrell, both of whom teach co-op integration courses. They helped Caolinn navigate the co-op job application process and pushed her to pursue the most competitive jobs.

Caolinn credits Professors Roderick Ireland and Carlos Cuevas, each of whom are experts in their fields, with providing unique classroom experiences.

“It was always helpful and enlightening to hear the real-life experiences that our faculty had to share and thoughtfully weaved into our curriculum.”

Volunteering in Boston

Volunteering became a large part of Caolinn’s experience at SCCJ. She participated in the City of Boston Police Department Active Scene Practical Learning Exercise as an actor, during which she played a victim of robbery and assault. This unique exercise, a collaboration between many units, provides detectives with a mock crime scene and an opportunity to make investigative decisions and receive constructive feedback without jeopardizing the outcome of an actual criminal investigation.

Caolinn volunteered at the annual Middle East and North Africa conference hosted by the U.S. Department of State at Northeastern’s Fenway Center, which, as she pointed out, “was a great networking opportunity and provided an excellent panel of distinguished experts.”

She also spent time volunteering with the Prison Book Program in Quincy, the New England Center for Homeless Veterans downtown, and the Boston Public Health Commission’s homeless shelters and methadone clinic. As an upperclassman, she devoted much of her research to studying the opioid crisis in the United States and tried to interact with those touched by the epidemic on a personal level to better understand its devastating effects.


Cooperative Education

Caolinn’s first co-op was with the medical malpractice and personal injury law firm Jones Kelleher. She helped facilitate daily interaction with clients, research potential cases, gather and produce medical bills and documents to defense counsel, draft demand letters, and create corresponding trial exhibits.

“It was an incredibly rewarding and hands-on experience because of the relatively small size of the firm and the amount of work they earned because of their excellent reputation. This co-op piqued my interest in attending law school in the future and prompted me to join the Northeastern chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity, of which I would eventually serve on the executive board for the remainder of my undergraduate career.”

“For my second co-op, I decided to test the waters of working for the federal government, first for the Department of Defense at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. There, I started as the L.E.A.D. (Leadership Enrichment and Development) student in the Security Services Department, where I was exposed to every aspect of the industrial security arsenal, including personnel, physical, communications, information and special security. The Laboratory kept me on part time for the remainder of my academic career at Northeastern, where I worked on various continuing projects throughout the department and continued to grow my professional network.”

“For my third and final co-op, I would spend close to a year with the Department of Justice, finally living my long-awaited dream of working at the Drug Enforcement Administration. I became immersed in a team of special agents, task force officers, intelligence analysts, and diversion investigators, all working to achieve a common goal of providing a safer nation. I helped them work tirelessly on local, national, and international drug cases and would come to idolize their work ethic and all that their careers represented to me at the tail end of my undergraduate experience.”

Next Steps

Caolinn graduated from Northeastern in January 2017 and secured a job at MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a special security representative in the Special Security Management Office.

Northeastern University/ Eric Winter
Krentzman Quad at Northeastern University
This was Caolinn's Northeastern Pathway... Where will yours lead?