The IACP is fortunate to have actual law enforcement personnel among its staff. Many of these individuals come to us “on loan” for a year through our Visiting Research Fellows Program.
Today’s interview is with Katie Marston, Special Advisor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
What does it mean to be an FBI Special Advisor?
The FBI Special Advisor program is an internal consulting program for MBA (Masters in Business Administration) graduates. Special Advisors are spread out across the organization working for the executive management in different divisions. These Advisors bring a business mindset, analytical skills, and work toward efficient solutions to drive change.
The FBI is not a typical job choice for an MBA graduate. What made you choose the FBI?
My dad is a retired FBI Special Agent, so I was interested, but knew I didn’t necessarily want to be a law enforcement officer. This was a way to be involved without becoming an agent. The FBI Special Advisor program is really a unique opportunity for an MBA to make a great impact right out of school. The level of exposure is amazing and we’re able to make some major changes. The FBI is an incredibly interesting organization and the work being done is really rewarding.
What are your career goals?
The Special Advisors program is typically for 2-4 years, and I’ve been in the program for 3. Eventually, I’d like to get into a leadership position which would allow me to have some ownership over a piece of the agency. I’m still pretty open to which division or department of the FBI I’d like to go to.
What is your role at IACP?
When I came to IACP the staff went to work finding out where my skill set could be best utilized. Right now, I’m working with staff in building the Center for Officer Safety and Wellness. I’m helping them use business processes to develop an effective structure and messaging strategy.
What advice do you have for someone interested in following your career path?
You need to have an entrepreneurial mindset. You really need to be ready to challenge the status quo and drive change in an industry that isn’t always receptive to change. You’ve got to be able to motivate people working at all levels of the agency and be able to get buy in for the changes you’re seeking to implement. You also need to remember that this is a law enforcement organization and be aware of the hierarchy and formal rules that may be in place. Be respectful and humble.
Learn more about the FBI at http://www.fbi.gov/.