St. Louis Field Office
Both during and after college, I worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a project manager responsible for organizing and leading teams of engineers on multimillion-dollar studies. Having this responsibility at a young age helped me gain experience and leadership skills that undoubtedly prepared me for my career in the FBI.
I entered the FBI Training Academy in 2006 and was assigned to the Washington Field Office to work on counterintelligence. I stayed there for five years and worked on a very specific threat. In 2011, I took a transfer to St. Louis, which is my hometown. I then spent two years at headquarters as a supervisory special agent before returning to St. Louis to become the field supervisor of the counterintelligence squad. I also serve as a firearms instructor and an FBI emergency medical technician.
What Drew You to the FBI?
Growing up I wanted to be a doctor and an FBI agent, but a few years into a pre-med track in college, I looked ahead at another decade of school (and more organic chemistry) and decided the FBI would allow me to fulfill one of my dreams and get my career underway sooner. I also watched the events of 9/11 unfold during my years in college and felt even more drawn to the mission of the FBI.
One of the best things about the FBI is that we do everything. We employ geologists, rocket scientists, pilots, photographers, artists, computer scientists... During my time in the Bureau, I was able to train to become a medic, which allowed me to bring both of my childhood dreams together into one amazing career.
What is the best career or life advice you have to give?
Even after 50 years, the FBI still doesn’t get enough female applicants. I think a lot of women think they aren’t a natural a fit; they have never shot a gun or learned how to fight. What I want people to know is those are the things you can learn–especially with firearms. As an instructor, teaching new shooters can be a lot easier than breaking learned bad habits. It’s almost better to be starting fresh.
To be a great agent, you just need to be smart and motivated. You need to be able to multitask. You need to be able to organize. Yes, our standards are high, but put your head down, work hard, and make it your priority. We need you!
What does it mean to make room at the table? Why does it matter?
Having a diverse workforce matters. But in addition to having more diversity in our people, we also need more diversity in approaches and thinking. I’ve worked on counterintelligence squads for my entire career. We recently brought on some agents from criminal squads. They approach cases differently, and it’s been really valuable to have those fresh perspectives. I’ve also noticed that the newer agents who are coming in also approach the work differently. I think the most important thing you can do as a leader or even a team member is be open to the idea that your way isn’t the only way.