This is part of our series profiling Agency officers in various positions throughout the Agency. We talk with them about their daily challenges and rewards, as well as some exceptional moments. CIA.gov recently sat down with a Cyber Threat Analyst to learn more about her journey to the CIA and her experiences here.
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Tell us about your path to the CIA.
My career began as two major threats to global security emerged necessitating unprecedented innovation; the emerging trends were terrorism and cyber threats. In the early 2000s, I completed my undergraduate studies and sought a career in the counter-terrorism field. Over the next decade, I was fortunate enough to work within the intelligence community, though not CIA specifically, and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times where I often relied on the Agency’s analysis to execute my missions in these war zones.
Why did you choose to work at the CIA?
Following the completion of my graduate degree in 2017, I determined the natural progression of my career would lead me to CIA, where I hoped to build on my tactical and operational experience with a broader understanding of the strategic implications of some of the biggest threats to our nation.
What is a typical day for you like?
Every day is dynamic. I spend most mornings reading intelligence reporting and updating assessments based on new findings. I highlight relevant and timely intelligence in written products and briefings to colleagues and policymakers. This exchange is the vital discourse between analysts and policymakers that ensures informed decisions regarding our national security.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Throughout my time in government, I’ve learned that successes result from the ability to engage colleagues and devise creative solutions as a collective. At the Agency, there is a shared commitment to learning, communication, and diversity: To best defend our nation, the Agency is committed to developing the best practices and collaboration mechanisms necessary to make our efforts successful. Each CIA officer is critical to the success of our mission and each contribution is valued.
What have you found most challenging about working here?
The Agency works relentlessly to create policies and forums that elevate all of its officers’ voices; however, it’s often challenging to sustain. Each officer must work daily to develop teams through active listening, trust-building, and creating collaborative environments regardless of backgrounds, experiences and disciplines.
What has surprised you about working here?
CIA truly understands the relationship between personal well-being and quality work. The Agency supports work-life balance by providing resources to employees, spouses, partners, and families, encouraging physical and mental health through accessible programs, and soliciting feedback.
What advice would you give someone interested in working at CIA and using their cyber threat analysis skills?
The 21st century needs imaginative officers to face challenges that extend beyond the traditional security threats. In the cyber world, technical concepts are often not easily conveyed by the experts; techno-jargon can stifle progress with prospective partners. To be an analyst in this field requires the expertise to understand technical concepts, while also being able to clearly communicate complicated ideas and situations to colleagues and policy makers.
For more information on the Cyber Threat Analyst position featured in this story and to apply, click here.
You can also read more about a Day in the Life of a Cyber Threat Analyst Intern in a previous story found here. To apply to an Undergraduate Intelligence Analyst internship or co-op, including the Cyber Threat Analyst internship mentioned in this story, click here.
Interested in learning more about the various career opportunities at the CIA? Visit CIA.gov/Careers.