FBI Special Agent visits LU

By Asia Renee

FBI special agent Gregory A. Branch presented a recruitment presentation on Feb. 12  to criminal justice students.

The presentation was held at 5 p.m. in Wright Hall on the third floor in the conference room.  The room was filled. Topics discussed were the many preparations for getting into the industry.

The history, basic requirements, training at the FBI academy in Quantico, VA, investigative responsibilities and priorities were many of the things spoken of.

For those of you who want to be in this industry you can only apply between the ages 23 to 36.

Also, you have to be fit, stay in shape and be ready to work. Branch said that you wouldn’t want a criminal to outrun you.

“You have to be prepared to go through some physical training,” Branch said.

There are special agents and professional staff such as accounting. Special agents deal with violation of federal law and are required a four- year degree. The professional staff are non-agents and there is no age restriction or work experience required and they are unarmed.

Branch urged underclassman to take advantage of the volunteer internship program as well. The internship will run July – September. The interviewing process would be in October. Also there is a background check and a polygraph test taken.

Future special agents, depending on where you work, your salary can be as much as $69,000 to  $89,000 per year.

After five years, with only a degree $98,000- $112,000 would be your pay.

According to Branch, getting into the FBI is not a onetime thing that you just decide to do.

The FBI only want to recruit those who have at least three years life experience.

Branch said in order for an applicant to be competitive, he wants someone who has done work within the criminal justice department.

Though, those three years experience does not apply to those computer science and engineer majors, and ones who are fluent in different languages. As Branch said, that is considered a big critical skill.

“I do disagree letting someone in with no work experience, “ said Branch.

The application process normally takes around six – nine months depending on how many times you have moved.

Drug usage is unacceptable in the industry. If you have used marijuana the past three years, you’re precluded, for cocaine it’s ten years.

Branch told an interesting story of how a woman went to Sweden and tried cocaine with her boyfriend.

“It’s illegal in Sweden but the laws of the U.S. goes with you when you go out of state,” said Branch.

He attended Seton Hall University, graduated with a degree in criminal justice and minor in business.

Branch hasn’t always been a special agent. He’s had many experiences such as member of ROTC and air force. He mentioned that he tried out to be a special agent three times.

Branch said he thought he was going to be going back to Toyota, his old job, until he was given another shot due to persistence and dedication.

“The first impression is very important, “said Branch.

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