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Here's What It's Like: Up Close and Personal


Graphic of Chris Poulos, Counterterrorism seal and Intelligence logo.Please meet Chris Poulos, who works in our Terrorist Financing Operations Section in the Washington, DC, area. He came to the FBI just over a year ago following a 25-year career as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner--and did he ever bring a lot to the table. Strong educational background, with a B.S. and M.S. in accounting and auditing. Wide experience, to include working in national and regional firms and his own local firm...and also interesting experience, building up 10 years of civil and criminal case forensic accounting and litigation work. It was in this latter work that he rubbed elbows with retired FBI Agents and was encouraged to apply for a fascinating career as an FBI Financial Analyst. Here's what he says about it.

Q: Chris, can you tell me what you like most about the job?
You know, I don't view what I do as a job; I view it as a career path choice. A job is something you do for money; a career is something you do because you want your life to have purpose and meaning, you want to make a difference. That's why I'm here, and that's how I feel about my work. It directly helps agents and professional support employees detect, prevent, disrupt, and dismantle terrorist organizations and the people that operate and support them. What could be more meaningful than that?

Q: What's a typical working day like?
Case work on a daily basis involves close financial analysis for alleged terrorist financing cases, to determine where suspects get their money and how they spend it. In addition, you can be sent on "special assignments" to specific field offices to examine accounting, auditing, and tax records of a subject organization and offer investigative analysis and strategies. Investigations are always a team effort, which is very satisfying to me.

Q: Any advice for prospective FBI recruits?
This is a great job for anyone who has accounting skills, and a desire to make a difference in the safety of our communities, America as a whole, as well as the safety of our Allies. Your work will directly help the FBI solve cases, and it will also strengthen cooperative ventures--sharing crucial information--with federal, state, local, and international law enforcement that will help prevent terrorist attacks. Once you become part of the FBI, you can find the area that gives you the most personal satisfaction, whether that be counterterrorism cases, intelligence work, counterintelligence, cyber, or criminal investigations. It's a great place--a place to grow personally and professionally.

Q: What about that growth? Any career development plans for your future?
In fact, yes. I discovered as a Financial Analyst that I have the skill and desire to work with intelligence, and I have just recently accepted an Intelligence Analyst position in my same Terrorist Financing Operations Section. I love it--I can't believe that I'm getting paid to do such fascinating work.

Link: Interested in applying? Go straight to www.fbijobs.gov.