A CAREER AS AN FBI INTELLIGENCE
Here's What It's Like: Up Close and Personal
Catherine G. joined
the FBI on a Critical Skills Scholarship when she was just starting
college. She worked at HQ during summer vacation, then reported for
full time duty in 2001 after graduation. Catherine started in the foreign
counterintelligence field on espionage matters. After the 9/11 attacks,
she transferred to counterterrorism. Recently she has been working
in the FBI's Indianapolis office with its Joint Terrorism Task Force
what's a typical working day like for you?
always interesting, that's for sure. Generally, I spend my time analyzing
new intelligence from FBI and other sources, assessing its reliability,
seeing how it fits into the bigger picture of what's going on in the
world. As a strategic analyst for HQ, I'm responsible for a particular
area in the terrorism arena, and I monitor it all day, every day, to
identify trends in activity, methods, etc., as well as to look for things
that DON'T fit the trend, to try to put these in context and identify
what they mean. My assessments and recommendations go to national policymakers
and also to agents in the field. Working with the JTTF in Indianapolis
is more tactical in nature. I may help an agent put his or her case into
a national or international context--supplying intelligence information
or expertise on an issue or group, making connections between individuals
or particular groups, or going on a source interview. I also make suggestions
for case strategies and identify the knowns and unknowns in a given case
so that investigations can be targeted and streamlined more effectively.
It's fascinating. I wake up in the morning and can't wait to get to work.
Q: Have you
ever traveled overseas or in the U.S. on a case?
sure have. After 9/11, I worked on an inter-agency task force that, among
other things, focused on how to make the visa issuance process in U.S.
embassies and consulates more secure. I took a month-long trip to London,
Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Jakarta to study the process, talk
to the people on the front lines, and come up with solutions that would
enhance security without complicating the process. I learned a lot, and
I got to see my recommendations implemented as the programs developed.
Q: What do
you like best about the job?
A: For me, it's knowing that what I'm doing is really making a difference
in national security. It's neat to work with top secret information and it's
fun to know things that most people don't, but at the end of the day the best
thing about working here is the fact that in some small way everything I do
helps to protect America.
Q: Any advice
to prospective FBI recruits?
A: Yes--jump in with both feet, be enthusiastic, and don't be afraid
to ask questions! You'll be surprised at how quickly others will start coming
to YOU for answers!
in applying? Go straight to www.fbijobs.com