Kelsey Barley
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My Story

Kelsey grew up in Durham, a small town near the south coast of Maine, where she attended Brunswick High School before coming to Northeastern. While here, she double majored in criminal justice and business administration with a concentration in accounting. Kelsey was a recipient of the Cormier Scholarship during her senior year at Northeastern and graduated in May of 2019.

My Path
Choosing a path in Criminal Justice

Kelsey became interested in criminal justice at a very young age through crime shows, mystery novels, and other sources of media. Kelsey knew what she wanted to pursue as a career. The only question was: what would she choose to do within the field?

The answer came to her through one of the crime-fighting shows that she loved to watch, White Collar. Most crime dramas on TV depict guns blazing, bloody crimes, and dramatic interrogations. Instead, White Collar involved lapping schemes explained with coffee cups, paper trial investigations, and forensic accounting. One night, after watching an episode, her father suggested that she would enjoy accounting, leading her to take an accounting elective during the last semester of high school. After that, she knew she wanted to combine her newly found passion for accounting with the one she had always known: criminal justice. Her heart was set on becoming a forensic accountant for the FBI.

Kelsey graduated in May 2019 with a bachelor's in criminal justice and business administration
Why pursue your degree at Northeastern?

Kelsey came to Northeastern specifically because the university’s criminal justice program has the reputation of being one of the best in the country. She also knew that double majoring would be the right choice for her career goal of forensic accounting. When she first visited, she fell in love with the campus, and the co-op program.

“The thought of having to go through a competitive process of finding an internship and then working full-time for 6 months scared me. Instead of making me turn away from Northeastern, however, my wariness towards co-op made me want to go to Northeastern more. I wanted to face the challenge I saw and get more than a year of full-time professional work experience before I’ve graduated.”


Extracurricular Activities and Volunteer Opportunities

Kelsey gained valuable experience working part-time for the majority of her semesters at Northeastern. Her positions included working in Snell Library, as a criminal justice and business tutor for fellow students, as an editor for a mystery shop company, and as an Internal Audit temp position at IDEXX Laboratories. Back home in Maine, she also interned for the Brunswick Police Department and worked as a receptionist for TideSmart Global.

Kelsey also explored community engagement through volunteer positions at the Cary Memorial Library, Androscoggin Yacht Club, and the August Courthouse in Maine.

Club Involvement on Campus

As president of the Fiction Addiction Book Club, Kelsey worked hard to build the club’s membership. She recruited a new academic advisor and e-board, revamped the club’s social media presence, and planned fundraisers to cover fun events. Kelsey believes the book club is unique and hopes that she has given it the foundation for it to flourish even further in the years after her graduation.

Kelsey and another member of "Fiction Addiction" promoting their club at Fall Fest tabling
Exceptional Mentorship

Kelsey names Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Jake Stowell as someone who became a friend and mentor to her. She first had Professor Stowell for Criminal Statistics and found his teaching so engaging that she also took Immigration and Crime and her Senior Capstone class with him.

Mara Healy (left) and Kelsey Barley (right)
Co-op Experiences

Kelsey’s first co-op was as an Assistant Investigator in the Medicaid Fraud Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. There, she supported investigations by looking for fraud among time sheets, medical files, and health claims, as well as creating exhibits for court trials. She also wrote memos opening new investigations and started the investigative process on these cases.

For her second co-op, Kelsey worked with FTI Consulting in their Forensic and Litigation Division. While in the division, she worked on anti-terrorist and money-laundering cases as well as a major kickback case.

Both of her co-ops gave her valuable skills, pushed her to grow as a person and professional, and built up her network, all the while reaffirming that she was on the correct career path.

Post-Graduation Plans

Kelsey recently solidified her career plans after graduation when she accepted a job offer in Boston from Matson, Driscoll, and Damico (MDD), a forensic accounting firm that specializes in economic damage quantification calculations. She believes it will be an amazing opportunity for her to apply all of the knowledge and field experience gained at Northeastern to her dream career!

Would you recommend SCCJ and Northeastern to potential students?

“I would definitely recommend Northeastern to other students. For one, it is a beautiful campus, and the resources the school has are vast. For another, it will push you to grow more than most colleges will. I truly believe that had I not gone to Northeastern, I would not be as skilled and experienced as I am today and would not have the same opportunities in front of me.

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is also amazing. It’s a small school, but it has some of the best instructors in the field and a broad range of classes. I believe that the school is also currently working towards making a combined major of criminal justice and business, so students like me who are interested in white collar crime investigations will have a set course of study.”

Thank you to family and friends!

Kelsey concludes, “I could not have gotten to where I am today without my friends and family. They helped edit my papers, wished me good luck on tests, and got me through late nights studying. They have to be part of my story because without them my story would be very different. Thank you mom, dad, Makenna, Katherine, and Christie!”

Students on Centennial quad
This was Kelseys Northeastern Pathway... Where will yours lead?