Growing up we all had these ideas of what we wanted to be when we got older. For me to a certain aspect of my life, my future plans were decided for me. My parents always wanted me to make a doctor out of me, so pre-med was my only option. I was always told that was what I was supposed to do, so I went on this pursuit on becoming a doctor. However, life doesn’t always go as planned, when you least expect it things usually change for the better. After a year of studying pre-med, I built up the courage to tell my parents that I no longer wanted to do pre-med. My interest was in Criminal Justice, there was just something about law enforcement that got me excited. My future plans require me to go to law school to get my JD degree as 3 years of professional experience with the NYPD. The end goal would be getting my dream job to work as a special agent with the FBI.
My career goal has been clear to me for a while now. There was something about law enforcement that always had me intrigued, and at the edge of my seat. The idea of solving crimes but not just an crime, these cases require special clearances. However, even to get there I would need 3years of professional work experience as well as a JD degree from an accredited law school. The process to get to my goal is pretty extensive. To sit in for a civil service exam one has to be at 17-35 years of age. To work for the NYPD you would have to be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old to be hired. You would also need a high school diploma and 60 college credits with a 2.0 gpa minimum. Also you would have to be a resident of one of the five boroughs or surrounding counties in order to work for the NYPD. However with any military experience, college may be waived.
After meeting all requirements and passing the civil service exam I would have to attend the New York City Police Academy for a 6 month training program. Over the course of 6 months the program covers topics such as; law, behavioral and police science, first aid/cpr, as well as physical training and firearms training. To then graduate at the end of the program I would have to pass 4 different exams with at least a 75% or higher. The starting pay for a recruits is $42,819 and after the 6 month course the salary is raised to $45,673. Once a NYPD officer the pay goes up to $78,026 after 5 1/2 years of service.
Though to apply for the FBI you really only need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4 year college, the jobs that I am looking at require a JD degree from an accredited law school and at least 3 years of experience. To apply you also need to be a U.S. citizen from ages 23-37. To be a special agent the applicant must meet qualifications for one of the five entry programs. The two programs that I am looking at and am interested in is the law program and the diversified program. The law program requires the JD and the diversified program requires a bachelor’s degree in any field with 3 years of experience or a masters, JD or PhD with 2 years of experience.
However that’s not even the beginning of the process. Yes I need experience, and yes I need to go to school for another 3 years after I get my bachelors while I work. The process to become a special agent is a much more thorough process. To start off you would need to create an account on the FBI job site and submit a resume. Then if your resume is approved you would be asked to sit in for a few written exams to evaluate your competencies. If you pass the test you will be submitted for a second round of testing which is the written and interview portion.
If you succeed in the second round you will receive a Conditional Letter Appointment. Afterwards you have to pass the physical fitness and background/security check which includes a polygraph. Also you must meet all medical requirements including hearing and vision. If all the requirements are met then you go through a 21 week intensive training program at the FBI academy in Quantico, VA.
Being a special agent is barring a huge weight on your shoulders. The FBI being one of the worlds elite law enforcement agencies, being a special agent means maintaining security within the United States. The FBI deals with crimes that violate federal laws, rather than crimes violating state or local laws. There are five career paths in being a special agent in the FBI; Intelligence, Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, Criminal and Cyber. I would like to focus on either criminal or intelligence. Criminal because the criminal activities investigated is the largest most significant function is the FBI. Intelligence on the other hand is broken into three primary categories; intelligence analyst, language analyst, and physical surveillance specialist.
An intelligence analyst gathers information from various human and electronic sources and evaluate them and circulate them as insight. The language analyst needs the ability to understand conversations in multiple different languages, some of which I am already fluent in. Languages in government agencies are always in demand because they are always looking for someone to translate, so the fact that other than english I also know Bengali, Hindi and Urdu, may come to my advantage. A physical surveillance specialists job is to work alongside all other career paths in the FBI. Their job requires them to travel, working outside of an office, working with electronic equipments, and a constantly change work environment.
Being an FBI special agent sounds like a longshot. Even when someone asks me what I want to be and I tell them, they look at me very intrigued yet confused. To be honest with you until about 3 years ago I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. In 2015 when I started college, all I knew was that I was supposed to be a doctor because I was told to do so. Trust me when I tell you, I was miserable and I hated every minute of that year. When I was able to tell my parents what I really wanted to do with my life, I was sort of scared that they would be disappointed in me. Today I am taking that step towards my future, towards what I want. Being an FBI agent will give me the opportunity to help people get justice. I would be able to fight and help solve cases that may make a difference to our government. The thrill, the mystery, that is what I want. I know it’s not all fun and games as I’m imagining it but I am ready for what life has to throw at me.