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CIA Internship

Wolfiee26Wolfiee26 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
Question...what is my best route to obtaining the CIA internship? I am debating either getting a BS in engineering with a BA in econ, or a BS in engineering with a minor in Arabic. my only thing is that i will only use the arabic minor if I get the internship, so I really don't want to put all my eggs in one basket if the internship is impossible to get, as obviously an econ double major will get me a lot further in life.

I guess what Im asking is if it is possible to get the internship speaking only one language? I have a 3.7 with an engineering internship this past summer to put on resume...

Any advice on the CIA internship in general is much appreciated too!

Post edited by Wolfiee26 on

Replies to: CIA Internship

  • terencterenc Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    Unless you are actually interested in learning the Arabic language (i.e. your reasons are NOT solely that it would boost your career), I would not suggest minoring in / learning it.
  • turtlerockturtlerock Registered User Posts: 1,184 Senior Member
    terenc wrote:
    Unless you are actually interested in learning the Arabic language (i.e. your reasons are NOT solely that it would boost your career), I would not suggest minoring in / learning it.
    Plus, typically the requirements to minor in a language as an undergrad aren't rigorous enough to have as profound an understanding of the language that could benefit the CIA. They know this even of majors in certain languages. If you're offered a job or internship in the CIA (or most government agencies) that plan to utilize your language skills, then they're going to administer their own language test for you - which your minor may or may not have prepared you well enough for.
  • fa-la-la-lenafa-la-la-lena Registered User Posts: 2,844 Senior Member
    there is no single route to obtaining an internship with the CIA. And don't be fooled, a CIA internship is almost impossible to get. As terenc says, don't get the arabic minor unless you really care about the language itself. Knowing a foreign language/two is only one way of being more competitive for a job in the CIA/intelligence community. And the proficiency you get with an arabic minor is unlikely to be particularly useful to begin with, unless you have studied abroad/have other regional knowledge/experience.

    If you really have your heart set on trying for an internship/job with the CIA, I'd suggest a couple things:
    1) read all the books on the CIA in the suggested readings part of their website, so you know what the organization stands for, not just on a superficial level. If you get far enough in the interview, they will ask you questions about what you've read about the organization. Also, make sure that you are up-to-date about current events (i.e. read the news everyday).
    2) Don't just look at the CIA for internships. There are a lot of other intelligence agencies out there that have similar functions/missions or work together with the CIA. Being able to obtain any intelligence/federal law enforcement position in another agency is going to make your resume look significantly more appealing when you apply for the CIA in particular.
    3) These days you can't really bank on getting an intelligence job. Make sure you are able to answer these types of questions: What type of position are you looking for within the CIA? Do you want to be in the science/technology directorate, the national reconnaissance office, the national clandestine service, or the analysis directorate? What type of offices would you be interested in (regional, thematic, etc.)?
  • Wolfiee26Wolfiee26 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thanks guys. Really appreciate the advice.
  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 Registered User Posts: 7,245 Senior Member
    your career goals look muddled... if you want to work at the CIA (or elsewhere in the IC), you should be doing everything possible to get there. Not to be rude, but you can't half ass your way into the Intel Community, which is kind of what you sound like ("I would take arabic to work at the CIA, but if I can't work at the CIA, I'll just work private sector"). People spend years trying to get into the IC, and with the military drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, you will be competing against people with military intel experience and that have veteran's preference.

    Other things to keep in mind:
    1. yes, people that only speak English get internships in the IC
    2. internships in the IC are very hard to get
    3. the best way to get an internship at the CIA is to have a parent that works there
    4. the IC does not work the way it does on tv/movies ("enhancing" satellite pictures, providing tactical info from inside the beltway to kill terrorists, etc)
    5. the IC is really a way of life... it poses restrictions on your life, from what you can talk about day to day to where you might like to travel on vacation.
    6. some IC agencies send civilians on deployments, and if your name comes up, you can't say no
    7. stay out of trouble (any criminal activity, including drug use) or you might not even make it through the background check

    and lastly, engineering is a weird program to combine with arabic. The IC obviously has an interest in people that speak arabic. But do they have an interest in engineers that speak arabic? What would an engineer that speaks arabic offer? Think about how the IC would use those skills in combination... what job do you envision yourself doing with that skill set?
  • soccergurl7988soccergurl7988 Registered User Posts: 896 Member
    To be brutally honest, the people who CAN give you the advice on this type of internship are not going to be posting on message boards, nor will they be broadcasting their affiliation.

    This internship is nearly impossible to get, and impossible to predict what they want. Not saying don't apply, but there's no 'formula' to getting it. It's also a very intense process to even GET to a point where they are offering a start date.
  • MethodologiesMethodologies Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    An easier way to get into the intelligence community is by applying for a semester internship in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. There are substantially less applicants for the Fall and Spring semesters. They may be one of the few intelligence agencies that offer internships other than the summer.

    Even if you get selected as an alternate, you still go through the security clearance process which would make you more competitive in the future if you are cleared.
This discussion has been closed.