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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    112

    How to Find The Best Internships?

    Hello, where should I begin looking for federal internships for the best gains? I know obviously I can seek them out from the agency/force itself; however, where are other places to look? If I ask college professors/counselors, what questions would prompt them to better help me?

    Basically, is there a good website that has helped anyone reach their foot in the door? I would become a Police Officer, but because my state requires 21 years or older requirement and I'm not even 20 years old yet, I am looking to kick-start towards my career. I am a sophomore in college so I also do not know if it is a wise option to seek an internship as they are focused more towards the upperclassmen (is this correct?). I only have 28 semester-hour credits.

    On a side note: I am looking towards working as a security guard, at least to do something... but will that have any impact on an 1811 job? Any suggestions would help, thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    The best way for you to kickstart your career is going to be to focus on your studies, getting good grades and keeping your nose clean. Breaking your studies to start as a police officer or just to work as a security guard part time, unless you need the income, is absolutely the wrong path if your goal is an 1811 position. There is no benefit in terms of eventual employment as an 1811 to working security other than as a job held with nothing negative on your employment record. Hard to face up to but you are something like 6 or 7 years away from the age that is the average for successful 1811 applicants and you would do better focusing on job 1, your education, rather than a jump start.

    That said, Fed LE internships are pretty rare these days, but you can go to usajobs.gov and use the Student and Recent Graduates link to look at internships. Probably the most useful website across departments and agencies. You'll want to talk to your school counselor or placement office about internships in law enforcement. Sometimes there are agreements in place between schools and agencies in the area. You'll also want to ask about types of internships. Some are just workplace experience opportunities, some may result in credit hours, some are paid and some have potential for employment (those are most likely for upperclassmen). Your question doesn't have to be more sophisticated than asking about internships or other cooperative arrangements that might help you in seeking employment in law enforcement and advance your studies.

    Again, a word of caution. Do not be so impatient to do something additional that you fail to do your best at the most important thing in front of you. For most Federal agencies a good GPA can result in being considered for a higher starting pay. You can complete that in a couple of years. Any other path is only going to delay that. You should know that police experience can be a plus, but that what really counts is relevant experience which in general terms means work as a detective. Most police or sheriffs' departments your going to do several years in patrol before becoming an investigator and then the Feds are looking for something like 3 years of that. Easier and better to have strong academic credentials so you are not relying on relevant experience to close the deal entirely. Also easy to see why there are probably a number of years in front of you to position yourself as a competitive applicant.

    What's important now is cracking the books. A year or so out an internship can be helpful. Diploma in hand you can look at the options of work experience and or post graduate work (a Masters can result in an even higher starting pay). Then it will be time to be applying. The right internship might yield a kickstart, but they are just not as common these days. The mantra around here for qualified applicants working through the process is "Patience is a virtue." Probably time to work on that as well. Apply that get up and go to really looking at the various agencies, their mission and requirements and making some decisions about where you might be aiming up the road.
    Last edited by ATF SAC; 11-18-2014 at 17:29.
    ret.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    112
    Thank you for your reply, I will highly regard it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    112
    Additional information: I am actually going to pursue a doctrine (at least one). ALSO I heard that especially for agencies they are looking for individuals with at least 2 math classes so they know how to calculate degrees on their own and stuff like that. Are there any other hidden knowledgeable classes that can help in the survival/self-known tactics and specialties? Like beyond analytics and tactics.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    27
    Dude, you're asking the wrong questions.

    Take a major. ANY major you like, history, political science, foreign language, whatever along those lines. Don't do CJ.

    Take a lot of Spanish classes, unless fluent in some exotic XYZ, or superbly motivated to become so. I say this as an enlisted linguist in a very-complex-"hard" language as a guy who will always sound gringo to natives and who is of limited value to any future employer due to simply not having the background. Spanish+BA--->BP 1811--->ATF/FBI/DEA whatever...

    You aren't going to learn how to be a great cop, investigator, intel pro, etc. in a civilian uni/college class, and you won't learn it at a military academy or even a police academy, either. Sign up for an academic field you like, kick ass at it and show initiative, learn the cop/1811/military/whatever job you take at the time you sign up for that job... no one will teach you better than they can/will, so don't worry now.

    Also, ATFSAC's advice on career path is sagacious. I enlisted on the following assumptions:
    1) I was in a position not to get any more fit, intelligent, or educated, a dead end of sorts, and going to the Defense Language Institute was a great alternative to that.
    2) I believed 'exotic language XYZ' would be my salvation and insta-hire into FBI via the language track.

    The first conclusion was on point, the second was wrong. If I'm smart and take my 'exotic language' to Washington or Columbia University post-enlistment as a veteran Undergrad student and nail an awesome GPA in International Relations/Foreign Language, having had the 'exotic language' may prove especially usefully. Failing that, having spent my GI Bill on my BA, I may be best served getting an MA in the same field to be more competitive, and might reenter the military as a Reserve Officer to facilitate paying for it and to buff the resume further. If I had been really smart I could have gone Academy or ROTC, graduated with a BA at 22 and been ready for 1811 hiring years sooner with basically the same experience.

    tl;dr lesson: Don't do something unless you know that it's exactly what you want. Plan out consequences to current decisions (you may be wrong, but the process of thinking about things deeply benefits you.) If you aren't certain right now, keep going to school and doing well since that can NEVER hurt you under any circumstance. Stay physically fit. If and when you start applying, you'll be doing so from a seat of power instead of stressing about what you need to add to your repertoire to compete in a hiring process.

    To the mods: I know this is almost 2 months old, but I figured I could add a little something after reading the interactions here. If you deem otherwise, sorry for necroing guys.

    Thanks,
    MAA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    112
    I really appreciate the response. 2 months or 2 days, the advice is timeless. Thank you MAA.

    P.S. replied via PM.


 

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