How to Intern with the FBI

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is at the forefront of national security and criminal justice. From intelligence to terrorism, the FBI has a long tradition of service to both the United States and its citizens. The organization offers hundreds of career opportunities, but each is exciting, challenging and life-changing. One of the best ways to explore the FBI is through one of its internship programs, especially if you're determined to one day work on the cutting-edge of law enforcement

  • Attend college or graduate school. While some of the FBI's internship programs are designed for high school students, most are intended for college undergraduate or graduate students interested in working for the FBI after graduation.

  • Choose the right internship. The FBI offers countless internships spanning its entire mission, so you'll want to make sure you pick the internship most closely related to what you want to do. Many of the internships require a specific undergraduate or graduate major, so you're options may be limited, especially if you're not studying in a crime or law-related field.

  • Get good grades. Every FBI internship requires that you have a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, the programs, especially the Honors Internship Program, are highly selective, and in reality you'll need much higher grades and an impressive resume as well.

  • Apply. The application process for an FBI internship is long. Aside from filling out an application, you'll be required to submit an academic transcript, a resume, recent photographs, letters of reference and a personal statement of 500 words. You will be asked to submit your completed packaged to the closest FBI field office. Only the most competitive candidates are asked back for an interview and each field office is only allowed to submit a few names to FBI Headquarters. However, even if you are selected, the internship offer is conditional.

  • Pass a background investigation. All FBI interns are required to meet all FBI Employment Requirements. This includes a background check and a polygraph test. Since every FBI employee and intern must obtain Top Secret Security Clearance, this investigation is extensive. To increase your chances of passing, refrain from drug use, excessive drinking and criminal activities during college. If you fail to receive clearance, you are ineligible to participate in the program.

  • Arrange for transportation and housing. Whether your FBI internship is paid or unpaid, you will have to arrange for transportation to Washington, D.C. or to the appropriate field office at your own expensive. You will also be responsible for your temporary housing; once again, the FBI does not offer a housing stipend for its interns. On a similar note, if your internship is unpaid, you may need to find a second job as well to support yourself during your internship.

  • Complete your assignment. At the commencement of your internship, you will be assigned to a specific project. This project can involve anything from analyzing crime data to conducting surveys. In the end, no matter the nature of your assigned project, you are expected to work diligently and be responsible and dedicated.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always give your best effort. While FBI interns are not guaranteed a career, many outstanding interns are offered jobs after graduation.
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