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Angelica Lopez

What does a ‘day-in-the-life’ of Special Agent consist of?

I primarily do interrogations. I work on high risk cases all under National Security. This consists of terrorism, human trafficking, drug trafficking, counterintelligence and counterterrorism. Anything that falls under that spectrum I deal with. A typical day consists of me briefing a case, interrogating a Subject, questioning sources, victims and then typing the reports. I go in, get out, type and on to the next. In the past I used to do all the fun stuff undercover work, surveillance, hiding in the bushes, carrying guns..type stuff. But now I specifically only interrogate. I travel all over the world to conduct these cases.

What advice would you give someone considering this career?

This career is not for everyone, there is a special passion, perseverance and mental capacity that comes with this work. You have to be willing to put your life at risk and on the line. I have been shot at, I have been pursued and taken hostage. You have to be willing to take someone’s life to service your own. As exciting and glamours as the movies make this job look it is by far that. It is one of the most dangerous, mentally and physically demanding jobs. You have to learn to “leave work and work” and not let it affect your normal functioning. Talk to people in the field, hear their stories. It is a long grueling process not just the application process but the career portion of it as well.

What is a book or movie that has inspired you?

Book: The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle

Movie: 13 hours, because this is the reality of this job..

Do you (or your company) offer internships or job shadow opportunities to high school students? If so, how would a student go about applying for one of those?

Most government agencies do offer internships, all of them require an in dept. background investigation to be conducted due to the top secret material they will be exposed to. All internships can be found on www.usajobs.gov