Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Drug Enforcement Administration

Fall 2016  

Position: Intern
Student: Government Senior 

Like any internship or job, what you get out of it is what you put into it.  As an intern with the Drug Enforcement Administration, I could easily have spent my days filling out documents, filing forms, and making copies.  This is because this is the type of environment where no one holds your hand and gives you step-by-step instructions.  To get the full experience of this internship, one must be a self-motivated individual that can take on a task and achieve the results.  This kind of mentality shows your supervisors and DEA employees that you are responsible and able to handle anything that they throw your way.  This internship is a tryout, meant to see if you should be considered for a career in an already elite field.  If you can handle all of this, then everyday they will give you more and more responsibility. 

A given week at the DEA the tasks of an intern can change drastically.  The one thing that remained constant for duties as an intern was doing social media analysis and deep dives of seized email accounts.   Often times, the only information we have is a first and last name, an address, a phone number, or an email address.  All of these, of course, are often fake aliases.  Taking this information, typically we are looking for photos, current whereabouts, true identities, of verification of all three.  Facebook is the main source of verification, and no matter how intelligent criminals are, there is always something to find on the web.  Another duty may include assisting with surveillance, which could include photos and drive-bys of suspected locations and even aerial surveillance in small Cessna airplanes or helicopters.  I had the opportunity to be the spotter (“eye”) in the Cessna twice, and it is cool experience.  Attending meetings with assistant attorney generals and generals in regards to continuing cases, processing evidence, and assisting with search warrants or a few more tasks that an intern will have the opportunity to help with.  The last, search warrants, are the exciting part of the job. This is when the team raids a criminal’s location to arrest them, then the search for evidence in a house or apartment begins.  This consists of going through every nook and cranny to find drugs, money, or weapons that are involved in illegal activity.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508