Cary Beahm is a senior here at Roanoke College and is a member of the Varsity Women’s basketball team, but I’ll save some of that spotlight for later. Beahm is a Criminal Justice & Sociology double major with a minor in Psychology (try to say that fast three times). The combination of these fields of academics could certainly offer Beahm with a variety of potential career paths; however, she has had her heart set on a field of work for quite some time: law enforcement. One could certainly agree that degrees in such areas of study will qualify her to compete for her future endeavors, but Cary didn’t settle in any shape or form. In fact, what is most interesting about Beahm’s four years at Roanoke in my opinion is the opportunities she is taken advantage of with internships at Roanoke College.
Beahm’s first internship occurred during the fall semester of her junior year, which was a position with the Roanoke Probation and Parol Office. With this position, Cary shadowed a probation officer as a gang specialist. When I asked her about her experiences, Beahm mentioned that she had a great deal of respect for the people that do that line of work because, and I quote, “You see the same people over and over again, and sometimes, they can’t even recall how many times they’ve even been arrested. It’s like they never really get it.” Beahm described this aspect of her work “disheartening,” to say the least. With that being said, Cary felt strongly that this internship as a whole helped her realize that her heart is truly in the work she has always aspired and she began to take a different route.
Cary’s next internship came along this semester with the Roanoke City Police Department. Although Cary was very appreciative of the lessons she learned with her first internship, she easily came to the conclusion that she has enjoyed the nature of this job more than the probation and patrol field. With this position, Cary gets to sit in on ride alongs with Patrol police officers and experience first hand what officers go through on patrols. Her experiences have been heightened as of late, because she has been selected to work with the crime investigative unit, which is the field she finds most fascinating. When I interviewed Cary, she was days away from beginning this opportunity; so, if you pass her on campus, see her in commons, or even just have class with her don’t be scared to ask how it went because she was itching to begin.
Beginning to work with the crime investigative unit is not the only thing Cary is ready to start. In fact, she is currently in the final stages of the extremely vigorous background check with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). With dreams of beginning a career in federal law enforcement, an internship with the DEA while still in college is without a doubt a step in the right direction.
Academia is not the only thing interesting about Cary Beahm. As I mentioned, Cary is a member of the varsity Women’s basketball team. People often isolate sports culture in such a way that they forget that it can have an impact on your life in a variety of ways, and Beahm was conscious of noting that basketball has helped elevate her academic lifestyle and devotion. Beahm said “sports have taught me the discipline and work ethic that are necessary to do well in the classroom.” This type of attitude has clearly transpired into her academics, and even stretched as far to present her with the opportunity all athletes desire: a chance to represent your country. Beahm, along with a former teammate from last years maroons Kelsey Smith, were given the chance to play for the American International Sports Team — an Olympic Select Team in Italy. If you have learned anything about Cary so far, there is no chance she’d pass on this opportunity. Beahm described this experience as “easily the best 10 days of my life.” I would say, it just goes to show that the work ethic she has developed in sports and in the classroom has paved the way for her experiential learning opportunities, which is a lesson we can all take away with us.