Recent Graduate Completes Three Internships While at Averett

Posted on June 7th, 2021 by Matt Bell

Jasmin Tinnis wasted no time – literally – during her four years at Averett University. She graduated Saturday, May 8, after triple-majoring in aviation, business and criminal justice/sociology. She also completed three internships, hundreds of volunteer hours and several service-learning projects.

“I completed all three of these internships while maintaining a full course load,” Tinnis said.

Tinnis completed her internships – one with the Danville Police Department (DPD) and two with the Danville Life Saving Crew (DLSC) – all while taking the maximum number of credit hours possible each semester for her majors. She was also a member of the Averett Bonner Leader Program.

In addition to her coursework and internships, she completed over 200 hours of service at the DLSC per academic year, which included several different projects and certifications.

“Jasmin has been an integral part of Averett’s Bonner Leader Program since the beginning. She has been a mentor for younger students while also positioning herself in the Danville community to pursue her passion. I am so proud of her achievements and I can’t wait to see what she does in the future,” said April Love-Lovelace, director of the Bonner Leader Program and coordinator of volunteerism at the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness at Averett.

Her first internship was during the spring 2020 semester, where Tinnis worked at the Danville Area Training Center (DATC) and said she spent most of her time working in finance. She also served as a Bonner leader during that time working as a medical technician.

“I was nervous in my first internship because I didn’t know anyone there. I had no clue what to expect because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” Tinnis said.

The DATC is a part of the DLSC. Those at the DATC work to train not only paramedics, but also private citizens with emergency response skills like CPR and first aid. Through that first experience, Tinnis said she built skills that she otherwise would not have gotten in the classroom.

During the fall 2020 semester, Tinnis completed an internship with DPD, which she found to be the most interesting of her three experiences.

DPD Lieutenant Michael Wallace said the internship with Averett was new and provided an opportunity to collaborate with Tinnis and three other students.

“Each brought something different to the table. Jasmin brought an eagerness to learn and an open mind into the mix. She showed up every day ready to go with valuable input and super questions. She and all the interns represented Averett with integrity and professionalism,” Lt. Wallace said.

Tinnis had a choice between interning with detectives, the crime scene investigation unit or with the community policing unit.

“I did the detective department because I like solving puzzles,” Tinnis said. “For the police department, I was more nervous than anything else. With three departments, it was like, which should I go into?”

While in the police department, she worked to cross-check evidence against information police had already gathered on cold cases.

“I’ve been all over. It was interesting,” Tinnis said. She was able to listen in on interrogations, review evidence and ride along with officers.

One of the skills Tinnis said she learned from watching the detectives work was to go into a case with an open mind.

“Over the last year, with people saying police are bad, people aren’t seeing the inside. They treat everyone in this area with respect. They’re here to protect and serve. From my experience, it was great,” Tinnis said.

She returned to DLSC during the spring 2021 semester to complete her final internship in the administrative offices.

“I did finance work and some research, as well. I was also able to finish writing a grant for them,” Tinnis said.

The grant was part of a capstone project for Averett’s Bonner Leader Program in which she wrote a grant alongside DLSC Battalion Chief of Training Tommy Barber.

From her experience, Tinnis said she learned more about what work is going into recruiting people to be EMTs and retaining them for the future. She was also able to work with insurance companies.

“People aren’t going to come to you. You have to go to them,” Tinnis said of the strategies surrounding recruitment efforts. She even took time to hand out flyers and information to community members.

With each internship, Tinnis said her goals changed.

“Active listening and patience is what I hoped to learned at the police department. I learned to be a good interrogator. At the life saving crew, my goal was to be better with money and insurance companies,” Tinnis said.

Tinnis had no connection to the area prior to attending Averett. Yet, the overarching goal for the Guyana native was to help the Danville community.

“The area is very small, and the people here are magnificent,” Tinnis said.

“Jasmin utilized the services the CCECC has to offer to the fullest and as a result, she is highly prepared for her future. The CCECC houses career development, internships, service-learning, volunteerism and the Bonner Leaders program. She is a shining example of how students should become career ready,” said CCECC Director of Career Development Angie McAdams.

Currently, Tinnis is undergoing EMT classes, which take six months to complete. She will be joining the United States Air Force as an officer to work in the aviation field.