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ONU student Kelly Patterson did a little investigating and turned up an internship with the FBI

 

This summer, computer science major Patterson, will spend 10 weeks in Clarksburg, West Virginia, as part of the FBI Honors Internship Program, using her computer programming expertise to assist one of the nation’s most high profile departments.

She is one of only about 60 students who were accepted into the Honors Internship program this summer. “I heard about the internship at a career fair. They told me to apply early in my junior year,” Patterson said. “It sounded interesting; who wouldn’t want to work for the FBI?”

To be considered for the program, applicants apply through their local FBI field office and go through a rigorous application process that verifies U.S. citizenship and academic excellence at an accredited university. Applicants must also meet all standard FBI employment requirements, be able to pass an extensive investigation and receive “Top Secret” security clearance.

Patterson was no exception. “I had to take a polygraph test,” she said. “I sat in a chair for two hours while they grilled me.” In addition to personal tests, FBI representatives contacted Patterson’s ONU computer science professors, past neighbors, roommates and family members to learn more about her. Some acquaintances were even interviewed in person by FBI personnel.

Raised in Amelia, Ohio, Patterson first discovered her love for computers while taking programming classes offered by her high school. She looked into ONU and found the computer science department to be a perfect fit. “The computer science courses are challenging,” said Patterson. “They also have taught me to have a good work ethic.”

Even though graduation is a year away, Patterson says she could see herself in a career with the FBI. “If I enjoy the internship, I’d like to stay with the FBI,” she said. “The overall goal of the FBI is to protect the United States, and I would really like to help to contribute to that.”

Written by: Kristen Pniewski ‘07
Professional writing major
North Royalton, OH