On October 7, the School of Information Technology Registered Student Organizations hosted a virtual internship fair with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for summer 2022 recruitment opportunities. Due to COVID restrictions, the FBI (along with many other organizations) was unable to attend the in-person internship fair. The student club leaders identified technology-enabled career fairs as an opportunity to bring these internship prospects to ISU students. The FBI event is the first of what they hope will be many such events.

The purpose of the event was for students to learn more about the FBI internship and to prepare for an informational interview with an FBI recruiter similar to opportunities presented by in-person fairs. The event was held virtually through Zoom. Approximately 25 School of Information Technology students attended the event. Two FBI representatives who specialize in IT roles discussed internship opportunities with attendees. One of the FBI representatives, Allison Smith, is a 2020 graduate of ISU majoring in Cybersecurity. About the event Allison noted, “I know I speak for myself when I say how beneficial events like these are. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the IT internship event at ISU.” 

Student attendees each had 5 minutes of uninterrupted time with an FBI recruiter to complete an informational interview and to ask to follow-up questions.  

Student leaders from the School of Information Technology hosted the event, including Audra Heistand (AITP president), Omar Baloch, Kenneth Baity (ACM President), and Bradly Parffit (ACM vice president). The student leaders played special roles throughout the event, such as putting everybody in the breakout rooms so the attendees could have more opportunities to talk individually with the recruiters during the virtual event.

Because the event was virtual, rather than face to face, students were encouraged to submit their resumes before the FBI event so that the FBI agents were able to provide students with feedback on their resumes. “I believe that there are pros and cons to both virtual and in-person events. Anyway, I do believe that everything was fairly positive and we would be able to get everyone who wanted to talk with a recruiter to be able to talk with a recruiter, which I think is super-helpful. Some people even ended up staying and giving more connections and talking with them even longer than expected,” Baity said.

“This event is a great example of leveraging technology to create opportunities for our students” commented Dr. Traci Carte, Director of the School of IT. “Creating a template for this event going forward may allow our students to hear from recruiters who might not have the resources to travel to Normal for an in-person fair,” Carte continued expressing the hope that this sort of innovation will bring a greater number and more diverse set of job opportunities to School of IT students.

After this successful event, student leaders hope to organize another event next semester. With the experience they gained from this event, they hope to help students land their dream jobs. This event encouraged students to step out of their comfort zone and jump into the real work-life of the FBI.