Flying a cohort of students up to Washington, D.C. to meet with various U.S. intelligence agencies every year, The Gordon Institute’s National Security Certificate program offers students an immersive governmental career development experience.
This year,17 students toured a record seven agencies, including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the National Security Council (NSC), and the Department of Treasury. Students were also invited to the Inter-American Defense College—an international educational institution operating under the aegis and funding of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Defense Board.
“I feel extremely benefitted because many people don’t have the opportunity to meet and greet these people. My greatest take away is the confidence and clarity I now have because of the people we were able to speak to,” said Kiara Rosado, senior criminal justice major at FIU.
“Of note, while at DIA students were greeted by the second person in command of DIA, Deputy Director Douglas H. Wise, which highlights the unique and incredible access students had during the program,” said Hector D. Cadavid, assistant director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at FIU.
While on the agency visits March 13-17, students connected with hiring managers, internship coordinators and recent hires in the intelligence community to gain insider knowledge on how to find their professional footing during the initial stages of their careers, what it takes to get a job in intelligence as well as what a day in the life of an intelligence officer looks like.
“With various agency visits and networking events, I now have a tentative guideline of how I should progress in my future studies and what makes a student marketable to these agencies,” said Nickolas Kinslow, junior at FIU majoring in international relations.
Students concluded the tour visiting the White House East Wing; the Gordon Institute also hosted a networking reception at FIU’s new Washington, D.C. offices for students to link with former FIU D.C. interns and FIU alumni, as well as professionals in the Intelligence Community.
“This program is conducive to FIU and its students because it allows a minority-serving institution like FIU to meet the hiring demands of the U.S. Intelligence Community – to prepare a cadre of qualified, culturally and ethnically diverse, multi-disciplinary job applicants for careers in the Intelligence Community,” Cadavid said.
Criteria for students interested in attending the Intelligence Career Seminar includes: membership in the Gordon Institute’s Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence Intelligence Fellows program within the National Security Studies Certificate program; a minimum 3.0 GPA; a pre-screening for security clearance suitability; and a personal statement and panel interview.
“If a person wants to pursue a career in national security, I don’t believe any other program would be as helpful as this one,” Rosado said.
If interested in taking a national security course with FIU in Washington, D.C. this summer, please email Gordon Institute Director Brian Fonseca at firstname.lastname@example.org.