Hailey McMahon, Class of 2025
Advancing confidently in the direction of her dreams, Hailey McMahon '25 forges a path to professional success.
Passion and a Plan
Dean’s List student, women’s soccer player, court officer, and Nashua Police Department intern Hailey McMahon ’25 gets things done. Completing her Criminal Justice degree is the next step in her career path.
“I’ve known that I want to be a police officer since I was four years old,” says Hailey. “It’s something that I feel I was put on this Earth to do. I remember my mom brought home a police costume with a little whistle, handcuffs, and I just would never take it off.”
At 16, Hailey attended the Maine State Police Junior Academy, which solidified her decision to become a police officer and guided her to a specialty. “I love animals. One of the female officers in charge of the Academy was a canine officer. She did a demonstration with a police dog, and I could see myself really doing that. I’m interested in other specialties, but that one has really stuck with me.”
Her senior year in high school, she earned her EMT certification and took a college course in Criminal Justice. Rivier offered her major of choice and the opportunity to play on the women’s soccer team, so she made the move from Bangor, Maine, and became a Raider.
The opportunities to pursue her dream kept coming. She found an online job post for a part-time court officer position. She interviewed, passed the background check, and was assigned to Hillsborough County Superior Court South in Nashua, New Hampshire. Hailey is responsible for prisoner oversight—in-processing, searches, and delivery to the courtroom in the cell block area. Additionally, she serves as a bailiff, keeping the courtroom in order, and will also manage front desk security, checking visitors through the security system as they enter the building. Hailey became licensed to carry a firearm for this position.
Rivier’s B.S. in Criminal Justice curriculum requires the completion of one internship and encourages students to engage in others during their course of study. Hailey began her internship with the Nashua Police Department in the fall semester of her junior year.
The internship provides Hailey with first-hand experience. “My time is divided between working with patrol or detectives; I alternate each week. On patrol, I’m given a bulletproof vest and ride in the front seat of a cruiser. I’m either with a patrol officer, a K-9 officer, or the supervisor. We patrol around and answer 911 calls.
With the detectives, I’m at the station more. One week, I was shadowing the criminal analyst and worked in the Evidence Department. Another week, I was with the Problem-Oriented Policing Unit, which involves street crimes. While with this unit, I had the opportunity to take part in drone training, where we hid in a building and then trainees used drones to find us. The second part of the training had me watching heat signatures on a screen as officers went into the woods at Greeley Park. I’ve been to a death scene; I’ve been to the Missing Persons Unit. I’ve been to a bomb threat at Holman Stadium, so I got to see the EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) canine work, which was awesome.”
“I’ve done a lot of different things that I never thought I would get to experience at 20.”
Making It Happen
Hailey manages her part-time job and internship, while remaining a Dean’s List student and an active member of the women’s soccer team.
She believes a key to her success is perseverance. “I remember that I was told my freshman year, ‘You can try to get into the Nashua PD for either a job or an internship, but good luck. They take like two students from Riv every year.’ So that became like my focus, my goal. And once I was able to achieve that, I was like, ‘Well, I guess, I can do anything that I set my mind to,’ which I know sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s definitely true.”
With the encouragement and support of her mentors, Hailey plans to take the Police Officer Entry-Level written examination in January 2025. Passing the written test moves the process forward; the next steps include a background check, physical fitness exam, and an interview. Success in these steps leads to a conditional offer of employment and an invitation to the Police Academy in Concord, New Hampshire, for training and state certification.
Following this plan, Hailey will be prepared to attend the Police Academy just after her graduation from Rivier in May 2025. Hard work, determination, and actively pursuing professional development opportunities have positioned her for career success.
“Never say no to anything, or at least try not to, because that will keep opening doors for you.”