8:08 a.m., Nov. 18, 2009----Through a program sponsored by the University of Delaware's Bank of America Career Services Center and the Career Entrepreneurs Organization, 30 UD students visited the new headquarters building of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Va., on Oct. 16 to learn about career opportunities.
The students were presented a brief history of the CIA and toured the CIA Museum. They also had briefings from the director of intelligence, a representative from the Directorate of Science and Technology, and an opportunity to meet a 1992 UD alumnus.
The students were encouraged to learn or increase their proficiency with languages such as German, Farsi, Arabic, French, and Spanish - languages that are sought after by the CIA -- if they are considering a career with the agency.
The students also learned that strong communication skills, both oral and written, research, networking, life and military experience would go along way in helping them procure a position with the CIA.
Students who participated had a variety of majors, including foreign languages, communication, criminal justice, sociology and history.
One of the students who took the trip, Kristen Skopowski, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and an Honors Program student, said that she has interest in translating and interpreting for the CIA or the State Department when she gets out of college and that her interest stems from familial ties to government service. Said Skopowski, “My entire family is or was in the military and I am from Fairfax, Va. I really hope to work for the State Department or the CIA.”
Skopowski said that her favorite part of the trip was “the tour of the museum. It was incredible seeing the displays recognizing 9/11, the history of the CIA, and the evolution of the technology.”
Joel Savary, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, also enjoyed the technology aspect of the trip, saying it offered “a very rare opportunity to see a spy agency up close given the U.S.'s security posture after 9/11. We were exposed to rare documents and artifacts from Afghanistan and the Cold War, and had an opportunity to see unique camera technology the form of a dragonfly and a life-like fish that can actually swim.”
Savary added, “It was fascinating to hear how life experiences are considered vital to being accepted into the CIA. It was also rewarding to hear that interns are expected to work on meaningful cutting-edge projects.”
Savary said that after taking the trip, he has a lot more interest in government service than he did before and that Career Services did a great job in offering such a trip. Said Savary, “I feel this was a great trip for students to gain insight on jobs, I hope that Career Services will have similar trips for many other type of jobs.”
Students interested in working for the CIA should consider interning for at least two years if they wish to be considered for full-time opportunities, according to Joyce Henderson, assistant director of the Career Services Center. To apply for CIA internships, students should visit the agency's Web site.
The Career Entrepreneurs Organization, co-sponsor of the trip, is a registered student organization.