Mar 24, 2009

Helm’s school invites students to prepare for intelligence careers

by Sarah Blanzy

Professionals from civilian, military and vendor jobs will share with students how they can begin a career in the intelligence field during the Helms School of Government (HSOG)’s Strategic Intelligence Week, which began Monday and continues through Friday.

Intelligence jobs are not just for government majors. According to the FBI Web site,, the organization is looking for nurses, counselors, engineers and even auto mechanics.

Dr. George Buzzy, dean of the HSOG, hopes that students communications, family and consumer sciences, business and other majors will take part in the event, along with government majors.

“Students probably wonder, ‘I’m a biology major, what does this have to do with me?’” Buzzy said. “Well, it might pay you a pretty good salary and be a job in a depressed job market.”

The week entails various speakers that students can learn from in an informal environment. Some of the speakers will be talking to classes, but most speakers will be speaking in the Helms School suite in SLAB 128, across from the International Students Office.

Buzzy said there are three key speakers he thinks students will be most interested in hearing: Colonel Jay Chambers, Jeff Mcillwain and Homer Pointer.

Chambers is retired from the Air Force and worked with the National Reconnaissance Office. He now works as a private contractor.
Mcillwain is an academician from San Diego State University and Pointer is an attorney who worked on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board to the White House.

Buzzy said the Strategic Intelligence Week is intended to not only make students aware of job opportunities, but also to help them obtain contacts with people already in the intelligence field.

The HSOG wants students to have an advantage as they begin job searching, especially in the intelligence field, which is very competitive, according to Buzzy.

Intelligence positions also require applicants to fill out a lengthy security clearance form called an SF-86.

“(SF-86) is thick and very detailed,” Buzzy said. “If you don’t do it precisely right they will not process it, and it goes in the trash.”
In order to give students an advantage over other applicants the HSOG will be hosting an SF-86 class on Saturday, April 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $10.

According to Buzzy, the class will be taught by an expert so that students will learn how to properly fill out the form and avoid common mistakes that cost people job opportunities in the intelligence field.
Buzzy explained that having a completed SF-86 form at an interview can help the applicant get a job in weeks instead of three to six months. Being able to start working sooner is a benefit to the employer, and can help the job applicant get ahead of other candidates who still have to wait the usual time period before getting the proper clearance for the job.

For more information about the Strategic Intelligence Week or the SF-86 training, visit theHSOG’s Web site at

Contact Sarah Blanzy at


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