Special Agent Jean O'Connor
Special Agent Jean O'Connor discusses her career at the FBI.
Jean O'Connor: Before I joined the Bureau, I was the director of a bank audit department in Massachusetts.
Tom O'Connor: Actually, she was at my spousal interview, so when you're processing through to be an FBI agent, you go in, and they interview your your wife or your husband, your boyfriend, girlfriend. During the interview, one of the interviewers said, uh, "Jean, what do you do for work?" And she said, "An audit officer at a bank, basically internal investigations." And they said, "Really? What are you going to do when you move if he does get this job?" She said, "I don’t know, figure something out."
She came back, I said, you know, "What was that all about?" She was like, "They want me to put in for a job application," and I I’m like, "For what?" and she’s like, "Special agent," and I’m like, "This is about me."
Jean O'Connor: Of federal law enforcement, the FBI has the highest percentage of female agents. Roughly 20 percent of the agent population are women at this point in time. I try not to look at myself as a female in the FBI. I’m just another agent.
As senior team leader of the Washington Field Evidence Response Team, I can ensure that we have all the supplies and equipment ready for any type of deployment, whether it’s an oversees mission to a post-blast scene or an active shooter or to a bank robbery.
The attributes that are needed to be an agent with the FBI: being able to communicate with people, being able to relate to them on a personal basis, have a high moral character, stamina. The cases that we have are not typically short-term, so you need to have that ability to look down the road and know that no matter how long it takes, we will continue on until we get the bad guy.
Tom O'Connor: I don’t mind working with my wife every day; I enjoy it. Yesterday, we went on two bank robberies together. We can wake up in the morning, and then when we get into the office at eight, something has happened in the Middle East, and by six o’clock that night, we’re on a plane going to Iraq, Afghanistan, where an attack may have taken place. And that’s not your average family life, right, but we’re able to do it.
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