Select Page

Student Success Stories: Mackenna Pribek

Meet Mackenna Pribek, a junior at UWO. Mackenna is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice and Spanish. When asked what some of Mackenna’s favorite classes were, she said “Some of my favorite classes I’ve taken are Women’s Literature, Philosophy, Astronomy, and Cognitive Psychology. I think the reason I enjoyed these classes was because they were all classes that I never would have expected myself to like, so I was happily surprised by how interesting I found each of these classes.” Mackenna has also been involved with UWO’s Sign Language club and Spanish club.

Throughout Mackenna’s time on campus, she has also worked as a Peer Mentor and had the opportunity to mentor first year college students as part of their USP experience during their Quest 1 class. In addition to that role, she also worked at a restaurant in her hometown where she has had the opportunity to connect with a lot of amazing people. Mackenna has also recently landed a pretty awesome internship with the Winnebago District Attorney’s Office. When asked what steps she took in landing her position she said “My internship opportunity was presented to me very unexpectedly, as I wasn’t actively searching for internships. I first learned about the internship position at the Winnebago District Attorney’s Office during my time as a Peer Mentor for Professor Matthew Richie’s Quest 1 Introduction to Criminal Justice class. One day during class, the Winnebago District Attorney, Christian Gossett, came in to do a presentation, and at the end of class Professor Richie introduced me to him. In our conversation the District Attorney informed me about an internship opportunity available in his office. From there, I decided I was interested in the opportunity as I thought it would be fitting since I am earning a minor in criminal justice. Ultimately, I was able to secure my internship position because of the continued encouragement and support from Professor Richie from the Criminal Justice Department. I’m very thankful and appreciative that I was presented with this unique opportunity.” Mackenna has now taken on her new internship role in which she stated that “In my current internship at the Winnebago DA’s Office, I work as an intern for the diversion unit. As part of my internship, I get to watch court hearings and occasionally criminal trials. Recently, I’ve spent time searching for and entering data into spreadsheets. Then I work closely with a data analyst to find trends in the data. As part of my duties as an intern, I also assist the paralegals and attorneys with any projects they need completed.”

In preparation to landing her new role in the diversion unit at Winnebagos District Attorney Office, Mackenna has utilized her resources at the Career & Professional Development Office to prepare her for securing her role. She said that “ I’ve used the Career and Professional Development Office multiple times to help me prepare for working in a professional setting like my internship. I first used the Career and Professional Development Office to get feedback on my resume. I was able to use the feedback I received to make adjustments to my resume and I now feel confident sharing my resume with employers. Last year I also participated in a mock interview through the Career and Professional Development Office. My experience and the feedback I received from the mock interview helped me with interview anxiety, which in turn helped me succeed in my real interview for my internship.

When asked where she sees herself in the next five years, Mackenna said, “I hope to have a master’s degree in professional counseling. I expect myself to be working in a career in which I can use my psychology/counseling degree to help individuals struggling with mental health issues within the criminal justice system.” We asked Mackenna what would be one piece of advice she would give other students at UWO and she said “If I could give students one piece of advice it would be to take risks. Don’t turn down exciting opportunities because they appear challenging or intimidating.”

Mackenna is also getting credit for her internship through INTRDSCP 399 L&S Career Internship course. Students can get upper level elective credit for their internship experiences. The course does require a pre-requisite professional skills course: BUS240, INTRDSCP 208, INTRDSCP 209, EGRT 284, or PRF CNSL 202. L&S Internship is offered in the fall, spring, and summer terms for variable credit – 1 credit (47 hours), 2 credits (94 hours) or 3 credits (140 hours) and can be repeated up to 6 credits. If you are interested in getting credit for your L&S internship, schedule an appointment with Chrissy Lambie via Handshake for more information.

Congratulations, Mackenna on all your successes so far! We are proud of everything you have accomplished and are excited to see where this next year will take you!