A Summer at FBI Jacksonville
Getting a job as an FBI intern is not an easy thing to do. But as four students from across North Florida will tell you, it’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else.
“It gave me a real perspective on the FBI,” said Josh, a criminal justice student from the University of North Florida. “There’s a lot more to it than what you see on TV.”
The Jacksonville Field Office hosted the students as part of the Bureau’s highly selective Volunteer Internship Program. Every fall, thousands of students from around the country apply for a limited number of openings. And the application is only the beginning. Students who meet the rigorous academic requirements must also do well in a panel interview, then undergo a full background investigation that includes a polygraph exam. By the time they start work, they have qualified for a Top Secret security clearance. Out of 5,000 applicants this year, only 263 were selected.
Jacksonville’s interns were exposed to a wide range of life in the Bureau this summer—from the ordinary to the exhilarating. For one case, they worked alongside some of the FBI’s forensic canines. After the serious business of observing the dogs and their handlers work a potential crime scene, the interns got the treat of rewarding the dogs with a run. During a training session with the Evidence Response Team, interns learned the ins and outs of using a variety of specialized search and evidence recovery tools, including an alternative light source device that reveals previously hidden trace evidence. And in the courtroom, they witnessed the culmination of months of casework in an afternoon motion hearing.
For Natasha, a University of North Florida undergrad, working daily alongside many of the special agents at the Jacksonville Field Office solidified her desire to work toward becoming an agent herself one day. Seeing just a portion of the tireless work being done behind the scenes piqued her interest in investigating potential threats and working toward justice for those who are victimized.
“It’s a very long road to become an agent,” she said, “but it’s something that seems attainable now.”
To qualify for the FBI’s Volunteer Internship Program, students must be:
■Attending a college or university that is accredited by one of the regional or national institutional associations recognized by the United States Secretary of Education;
■Classified as a sophomore, junior, or senior (not graduating before December) attending a college or university; or a graduate student enrolled in a college or university at least part-time;
■Willing to participate for a term of at least 10 weeks, 40 hours per week (subject to change). Interns may be able to continue in year round program, working 16 hours a month at Headquarters or at the field office closest to their school;
■In possession of a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale and be in good standing with his or her academic institution (subject to change);
■A U.S. citizen; and
■Able to meet all FBI employment requirements and able to pass an FBI background investigation and receive a Top Secret security clearance.
If you or a student you know would like more information about the FBI’s Volunteer Internship Program, including a full list of qualifications and details on the selection process, visit www.FBIjobs.gov and click on Internship Programs.