In a classroom at the University of Texas at Tyler, Justin Major, an intelligence analyst for the FBI, made it clear that criminal investigation is not the quick fix depicted on television shows.
“You don’t resolve crimes in one hour,” he said. “The legal process takes a long time.”
During a presentation at the university’s Career Success Conference on Thursday, the information analyst provided insight into what it is like to work in the FBI.
He said he studies data to help solve crimes that can include drug trafficking and health care fraud and has assessed the threat to U.S. soldiers abroad of hidden explosive devices.
“The satisfaction comes when you see wrongs righted,” he said. “You want to see people being taken care of.”
The FBI looks for applicants who have a college degree and experience in law enforcement, Major said.
Having other skills, such as mastery of a foreign language or cybersecurity expertise, makes job candidates more desirable, he added.
Matalin Miller, who is in the clinical psychology master’s program at the university, was one of the students who attended Major’s session.
She is interested in working for the FBI one day.
“I wanted to find out how much of it (FBI work on television) is not really real,” she said.
Miller said she appreciated the opportunity to hear from an FBI agent.
“He made it seem more accessible,” she said of a career in the agency.
Major was one of about 200 speakers representing many professions who took part in the Career Success Conference. About 6,000 students were expected to attend at least one of the sessions, according to information from the university.
This is the second year UT Tyler has held the conference.
“In our campus initiatives, student success is one of our primary drivers,” UT Tyler President Michael Tidwell said.
Speakers volunteered their time to “tell our students what it takes to be successful,” he said.
The speakers and their advice can help move students from college into careers, he said.
“Our typical student comes from a working-class home and it means a lot to them to be able to talk shop with these successful professionals,” Tidwell said.
Advice from some speakers who took part in the inaugural Career Success Conference were assembled into “A Patriot’s Guide to Success: Words of Wisdom From East Texas Leaders.”
Some students who came to listen to the speakers had a copy of the book.
“One of the best ways to ensure success is to seek wise counsel and guidance. ... We all benefit from the wisdom of others,” Tidwell noted in the book’s introduction.
The Career Success Conference will continue next year as an annual event at the university, Tidwell said.