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Considered a Career as an FBI Intelligence Analyst?

Considered a Career as an FBI Intelligence Analyst?
Here’s What It’s Like: Up Close and Personal


Male silhouette with Intel cycle border

Kyle’s day started like any other on September 11, 2001. Then planes hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and this intelligence analyst found himself on the leading edge of an unprecedented criminal investigation. Kyle initially spent several days in Pennsylvania analyzing evidence from the wreckage of Flight 93 and collecting information about the suspected hijackers. That led to months of wading through records and intelligence to help paint a clearer picture of the threat against the U.S. Looking back, Kyle says, “I derived great personal satisfaction from knowing that I was contributing to our nation’s security.” He’s been an intelligence analyst for almost six years, and was happy to talk a little about what his job is like today.

Q. Kyle, first off, do you have any advice for prospective FBI recruits?
Don’t assume that your background or experience is incompatible with the work of an FBI intelligence analyst. My background prior to the FBI was in classical music and I have found that my training was the very best preparation for what I do now. Others I’ve met here had backgrounds in auto mechanics, teaching, insurance, and accounting before joining the Bureau. If you have developed the ability to devote significant attention to detail, chances are you have one of the most important skills you’ll need as an intelligence analyst.

Q. So, what’s a typical work day like?
In one sense, there are no typical days because projects and cases are always changing. But when I am working on strategic intelligence assessments or specific investigations I spend a lot of time analyzing records, trying to spot trends in criminal activity, and developing leads for special agents to follow in their investigations.

Q. Can you give me a case example?
Sure. Soon after becoming an intelligence analyst I was asked to evaluate drug trafficking on Montana’s Native American reservations. For someone who enjoys learning, research, people, and writing this project had everything. I researched the issue, traveled to Montana to interview law enforcement agencies, health services, and tribal representatives and wrote a report that enabled us to better allocate FBI resources to protect the communities.

Q. Have you ever traveled overseas on a case?
Yes, several times. In 2002, I traveled to Germany to work with our counterparts there on the investigation of the 9/11 hijackers. A year later I traveled to Hungary to work with our partners there on international organized crime matters.

Q. Last, can you tell me what you like best about the job?
For me, the best thing is the variety. I am never stuck doing the same thing over and over. The subject matter is always changing and I get to work with interesting people. Much of what I do is like putting together a puzzle. I get a lot of satisfaction in the process of gathering and evaluating information in order to see “the big picture.”

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