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Student Temporary Jobs

Darlene Said:

Secret Service Student Temporary Education Employment Program?

We Answered:

There are so many opportunities, and different skill sets, and different managers within the Service, that it is impossible to determine where you might be assigned, and therefore what your duties might be.

Usually, you'll be sent to a field office (perhaps in Washington, DC) where you'll begin a short training program designed to see precisely how your skills might be best used. There are both written and aptitude tests administered. You'll be assigned within a pool of other candidates, and asked to perform various jobs. They are NOT field work, but usually give you a chance to work near other agents, sort of serving as their gophers. ("You, go for this, you, go for that.") You'll see how they work, and they'll see if you have a good work ethic.

After what is usually a summer intern program, you may be called back for another stint. (Most are NOT called back, it turns out.) These are just some of the departments that offer similar programs: Headquarters; Federal Emergency Management Agency; Transportation Security Administration; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Secret Service; Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; National Protection and Programs Directorate; Office of Inspector General.

Now, you are just asking about the Secret Service program, but it is identical to the others. You'll be a gopher; you'll be trained; you'll be evaluated; and you'll be asked to do things that aren't 'mission critical.' That is, things that any rational person should be able to do. (I was asked to drive a car from point A, to point B; pick up the mail; look for discrepancies in monthly expense reports; proof-read documents; lots of filing and office-type work; running of errands within the department; attending meetings; attending training classes; preparing documents for others to put their name onto.)

There were also opportunities to take special training classes, although all the 'neat' ones were booked six months out, and during the summer months were never available. (Language classes were usually open, but surveillance, driving, or gun classes were not.)

And your 'job' in the program is to see if you like the service, and if the service likes you.

Oh, other students I knew had vastly different experiences than I did. Of the 16 of us in my class, none were offered full-time jobs, but seven of us came back for a second year.

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