Thursday, April 17, 2014

Career Panel Reflection from Usher Gabriel Fortuna

Note from the editor: Each season the New Victory Usher Corps participates in several career panels. Based on suggestions from the ushers, a panel of professionals are gathered by staff and the New Vic Council in order to answer questions and network with the students in our Usher Corps program. 

By Gabriel Fortuna, New Vic Usher

I have attended three Career Panels, but this most recent one opened up my eyes a bit more than the others. The panel included Police Officer Supervisor in Child Homicide/Assault Prosecution at Queen's County District Attorney's Office and Chief of the DNA Prosecution Unit/Mayor Crimes Division at the Queens County District Attorney's Office. I've never felt interested in being a police officer or working in the Criminal Justice field before, but listening to these three successful people was incredible in so many ways. All three spoke professionally and intelligently. They inspired me to look more into those careers because of the way they shared details about their daily duties and information about their careers.

Gabriel, working on this blog post!
First on the panel was Jeffrey Zambrano. Office Zambrano is the Police Officer in the 43 precinct. He works for New York City’s Police Department in the school unit, in the 43rd precinct located in the Bronx. I pulled him aside after the panel to talk to him more since the precinct where he works is near the neighborhood where I live. It was interesting to get to know a bit more about how things go for him as a cop and to learn more about his personal life and journey. It was awesome to learn more about this person who serves my community every day.

When I asked him about the best part of his job, he answered by saying that it's important to him to get all of the guns out of the streets. He sees how dangerous they are to citizens. That stuck in my mind because I couldn't agree more. Guns bring a lot of destruction to our city and the world. Others might disagree, but people that have lost family due to gun violence would agree with me. It is important to take guns out of the streets now so that people could live their life peacefully and I admire the work that Officer Zambrano is doing to change people's lives in this way.

Next, there was Leigh Bishop. Ms. Bishop is the Supervisor in Child Homicide/Assault Prosecution at Queen's County District Attorney's Office and a mother of two. Hearing her speak about her career was wonderful. It was clear that she is hard worker and my main takeaway was her discussion of how people perceive her in the workplace. She said that others sometimes think of her as a mean person at work, but she said that if she didn’t act that way, people might not understand how seriously she takes her job. That idea stuck with me because it showed Ms. Bishop's passion and fearlessness.

Last was Eric Rosenbaum, Chief of the DNA Prosecution Unit/Mayor Crimes Division at the Queens County District Attorney's Office. Eric and Leigh work together and it was particularly interesting to hear them speak about their relationship as colleagues. They helped me to realize the value of having a good team and working together because they both talked about the skills that that helped the another. They both work in the same place but in different roles and it is wonderful because they seem to have a good friendship and love their careers.

There was a lot of things that stuck with me that Eric spoke about. One very interesting story was when he described working on files that were never solved. The files has been left alone for a long time because there wasn't any way to get DNA, but in the years since 2000, a DNA database has been created that investigators can use to find anyone's DNA. He has already solved six cases that had previously been left unsolved, giving victims from years ago reassurance, and allowing them to live their lives knowing that criminals had been caught. I can tell he has a good heart, because of how passionately he spoke about solving crimes and helping crime victims.

Any time there's a Career Panel, I will attend it because I get so much information about wonderful people in our community. In the future, I want to become a Civil Engineer. While we didn't speak with a Civil Engineer, attending these panels helps me to see how my career might tie into other industries or organizations. I took all the positive feedback and advice that all three gave me and I will take it with me wherever I go. The main thing I learned from these three professionals that affected my thinking is that I should never give up on anything that I want to do and I should take advantage of every opportunity that heads my way.

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