STEM JOBS

EARLY SPRING 2018

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STEMJOBS.COM // EARLY SPRING 2018 9 *Name changed to protect his identity. "To protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States" is the mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and that pledge sparked Sean Washington's* interest—he just wants to catch the bad guys. As Special Assistant to the Assistant Director of the Cyber Division of the FBI, Sean coordinates and builds teams to accomplish special projects such as building systems to overcome technology problems. But the most rewarding part of his job, Sean explains, is doing something to accomplish the FBI's mission. "It could be identifying a bad guy, arresting the bad guy, or developing a technical solution that helps solve a problem for our team and/or help with attribution of a crime." Sean pursued his career in this national security organization, he reports, because "I wanted to try to catch people who thought they could commit a crime and get away with it. I love the challenge of catching someone who thinks they are clever and cannot be caught." This job of catching the bad guys in the FBI Cyber Division requires many STEM skills such as data analytics, system design, system development, technical understanding of data sets, and database management. Sean has used those skills to receive three Director's Awards for projects and investigations by his team in his 22-year career. He has a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in information science and advises students interested in an FBI career in the Cyber Division to earn at least a bachelor's degree in information assurance or information science. But special agents are hired from many degree types for other work within the FBI. "It is more about being a leader in a typical field than actually what the field is," explains Sean. Special agents hired by the FBI begin their career with more education at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. They must attend 20 weeks of intensive classroom study, physical fitness training, instruction in the use of firearms, and additional training throughout their careers on developments in intelligence and law enforcement. Some of the other STEM roles filled by the 35,000 employees within the FBI are intelligence analysts, engineering and system development personnel, language specialists, scientists, and information technology specialists who fulfill both intelligence and enforcement responsibilities for the United States. Sean cautions students looking for a career with the FBI not to overlook leadership skills. "Interpersonal skills mixed with technical skills are needed in this industry," he explains. "Look for leadership opportunities and always continue to develop those leadership skills. The FBI only hires the best. Strive to be the best in your field and you will have an opportunity someday to work for the FBI." We Catch the Bad Guys BY SUE HAMILTON "I WANTED TO TRY TO CATCH PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THEY COULD COMMIT A CRIME AND GET AWAY WITH IT. I LOVE THE CHALLENGE OF CATCHING SOMEONE WHO THINKS THEY ARE CLEVER AND CANNOT BE CAUGHT." SEAN WASHINGTON * SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF CYBER DIVISION DEGREES: BACHELOR'S IN ACCOUNTING, MASTER'S IN INFORMATION SCIENCE YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 22 STEM TYPE: EXPLORER

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