The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is accepting applications through Sept. 30 for its Honors program, a 10-week summer internship which allows students to gain experience with the FBI before graduation. Following the program, participants also typically work part-time during the school year.
“They get a first look at us and we get a first look at them. We use it to fill many of our entry level positions,” said Special Agent Sabrina Thompson. The program is open to undergraduate students Sophomore year and above and is currently accepting applications for the Summer 2021 term.
2018 Honors Program intern and current Forensic Accountant Anna Brindowski had her eye on the program before applying. “My dream job was to be a Forensic Accountant for the FBI,” she says. Brindowski applied for the Honors program as a graduate student nearing the end of her program. “It lined up with finishing up my schooling and getting started with my career,” says Brindowski.
Interns experience twofold benefits – they gain a contextual understanding of operations of the FBI, and get on-the-job experience in their field of interest. Brindowski was able to work directly with the squad of Forensic Accountants she would later take a full-time role with. “It helped me not just understand the organization, but also cement my decision of what I had chosen to do for my career,” she recalls.
As Forensic Accountants, Brindowski’s team uses their financial expertise to follow the money trail in a variety of cases. “There’s a financial component to just about every violation that the FBI investigates,” she noted. “We’re able to help in, and learn about, a lot of different crimes the FBI handles.”
Beyond Forensic Accounting, the internship program is open to students of all disciplines. “We can take almost any major out there and fit it into the Bureau,” says Thompson. According to , the program is recruiting Business, STEM, Foreign Language, Information Technology, and Law students, among others.
The internship is commonly transitioned to a full-time offer when the intern graduates. Based on the intern’s performance and required writing assignments, eligible interns are placed into a pool for entry-level hiring upon their graduation. “I would say 95 percent of the interns get offered a full-time position somewhere within the Bureau,” says Thompson. Most of the entry level offers are for Operational Support Technicians or Investigative Specialists.
Brindowski’s full-time offer was a direct conversion to the team she had already worked with for 10 weeks. “It worked very well for me because I had a seamless transition – I finished my internship on Friday, and I came back Monday in the full-time role,” she says. Although Brindowski had about 9 years work experience in accounting at the time, so this situation is not typical, especially for undergraduates, “more and more we are having the opportunity to take interns that have experience and specialized skills and direct-hire them,” says Thompson.
Recent graduates will normally remain in the entry-level position for a required period of time, then they are eligible to apply for any available position. “Many interns promote pretty quickly,” says Thompson.
Interns can be placed around the country at a FBI Headquarters site or a local Field Office. To
be eligible for the program, students should maintain a 3.0 GPA, be a full-time student continuing their education in Fall 2021, and be eligible for a Top Secret Clearance. Applicants will also be expected to verify their schooling information with a signature from a Dean or Registrar. “It’s not an internship program you can apply for Sept. 30th at midnight because you
have to have forms signed by your school,” Thompson mentioned.
Applications to the Summer 2021 Honors Internship Program are accepted through Sept. 30th at [fbijobs.gov/students/undergrad]. For students graduating before Fall 2021, information on the FBI’s entry-level hiring program, the Collegiate Hiring Initiative, is available on the same site.