Kurt Kanazawa takes a journey into the realm of one of Career Services’ less orthodox clients.
On behalf of a dare, from myself mostly, I decided to actually open and critically consider a “Career Services” email. The Gmail crystal ball spun, and lo and behold I found myself staring at the career event of a lifetime — “FBI Information Session, TONIGHT @ 6 PM!” In the heat of the moment, I truly felt that Fate was beckoning me to take this epic journey to EC/Career Services. In a sense. Really, I shamelessly beckoned myself.
But, on a rainy Wednesday night, I descended the stairs of the Career Services inferno and quietly slipped my way into the conference room. After positioning myself next to the extremely active radiator, I first began to take in my surroundings. Up at the front, standing ominously by the slide projector, were three middle-aged women, all wearing stately black suits. With my acute deductive skills, I deduced that these were the recruiters from the FBI, and presumably another attempt by our wonderful government to downplay the image of male-dominated workplaces — truly admirable.
I first realized how out of place I was with a glance at the sign-in sheet. Under “Graduation Year,” I came across mostly 2008s and 2009s and the occasional MA 2008, and even a PhD or two. Casually, I didn’t sign-in.
My second realization came as I scanned and judged the people sitting around the room. Suits were present, a couple ties were present, and classy black leather soles were very present. All that was present on your brave writer was a yellow rain jacket, a high-school Jansport, and ripped tennis shoes. To be honest, I looked great.
The presentation began, and my attention was directed to the front. I must say, as cynical and embarrassed as I was about attending the event, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. The first woman, blond and bird-like, was a specialist in Albanian Organized Crime in the United States. The second woman, Sandra Bullock’s face crossed with Hillary Clinton’s voice, was an analyst who had traveled all around the country (the FBI has a base in almost every state, and at least 4 affiliates in each state, including Montana?), and around the world (they have at least one base in every European/Asian country, and more than 10 on Africa and South America, respectively). The third woman had worked for the FBI for 25 years, starting right out of high school. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the first woman presenting to us an ongoing case she is working on to bring back fugitives within Albania. She went into great detail about her initial assignment, her intelligence gathering, and her relationships with her field agents, all culminating in a trip to the Ukraine last month to bring back fugitives to be tried in US courts for theft and murder amongst other things. (If you’re wondering, as one smart-ass kiddo in the back did, she did not carry guns in Albania — FBI agents can’t carry weapons in foreign countries. Trivia!)
For all you seriously interested in the career, the members of this particular recruitment team, and the FBI in general, have been actively seeking to recruit college grads and undergrads with no experience, majoring in fields applicable to the job — International Relations, Engineering, and Critical Languages amongst others. If you apply and are accepted, you must also undergo an intensive background check lasting from six to twelve months. Of the more uncomfortable restrictions, and of greater concern to most students that I passed judgment upon in that room, you cannot have smoked marijuana for three years, used any illegal drug for 10 years, and have no record of dealing. But, if you haven’t been partying for three years, don’t have Communist parents, and speak some rare language, then consider the FBI! They want you. In a non-Valentine’s way.