When Samantha Buglewicz started her college search, she knew she wanted a small school. She discovered Heidelberg online and decided to take a closer look because it was different from any college she had seen before.
That’s because Samantha is from Tucson, Ariz. “I never thought I would end up in Ohio,” she said. It’s a brave move, traveling across the country to attend college. It’s even braver to do so sight unseen.
“Even though I couldn’t make a trip out to visit, there was always someone to call and talk to,” she said. “Everyone was so helpful that I knew I would be OK.” The day Samantha moved into her dorm room was her first day on campus. Her entire family came with her to help her get settled.
Samantha has a close relationship with her family. She marks the sixth generation to head into criminal justice and law enforcement. Her grandfather was a ranger then a deputy and her father started out as a detective before becoming a deputy. This spring, Samantha will graduate with majors in criminal justice and psychology. She had the history and the passion. Heidelberg gave her the experience.
Her interest in criminal justice and the education she was receiving at Heidelberg opened up internship opportunities for Samantha during the summer while she was back in Arizona. Her first summer, she interned with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. She completed paperwork, shadowed detectives, filed misdemeanor and felony packets and watched interrogations. “Seeing the human aspect of everything was eye-opening,” she said. “You have to communicate with a lot of different people to get things done.”
The following summer, she decided to apply again. This time she was offered a more interactive position. Pima County is one of the largest in the state and Samantha spent the summer moving around divisions like assault, burglary, night detectives, common problems, financial crimes and robbery.
During her junior year, Samantha worked with the Metrich Drug Force Task Unit in Seneca County. She followed along on drug busts, used search warrants, cataloged evidence and shadowed police. Though Ohio is far removed from Arizona, “the policies and procedures are very similar,” she said.
This past summer, Samantha was accepted into the Pima County Attorney’s Office internship program, a coveted position. She worked with investigators, picked up evidence and delivered subpoenas. It was this internship that piqued her interest in attending law school.
“I like the analytical side of criminal justice,” she said. “I want to look into careers such as a profiler or victim’s advocate service.” With graduation one semester away, she has already taken the GRE and LSAT, and is applying for jobs. “I like having options,” she said. “It’s exciting not knowing where I’ll be.”
Going to college 2,000 miles away from home can be hard. Samantha found support through involvement and the Heidelberg family. “The connections I made on campus kept me here,” she said. “I was never lost in the crowd.”
With her family’s support and her strong career preparation, she never will be.