UM students eager to join the fight against terrorism

CIA recruiters swamped at college career fair

October 04, 2001|By CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE

COLLEGE PARK - The CIA recruiting booth did a brisk business at the University of Maryland career fair yesterday as students joined an "unprecedented" boom in applications to the spy agency since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11.

The line was filled with people such as Stacey Richburg, a senior finance major who had planned to be a stockbroker but now is thinking of doing auditing and accounting for the CIA.

"I think it's really neat how they can track the bank accounts of the hijackers," Richburg said. "It seems much more interesting than being a stockbroker."

CIA recruiters at College Park said they have seen increased interest among college students on other campuses, too, since Sept. 11. Agency officials said that reflects a growing number of applications from all sectors.

"The interest is unprecedented," said Mark Mansfield, a CIA spokesman. "Normally, in a week, we get 500 to 600 resumes, and since the attacks occurred, the resumes have increased tenfold."

Mansfield said that the agency has received applications for numerous positions, including analysts, scientists, technicians, linguists, economists and operations officers - commonly known as spies.

"It's very, very good because we are getting resumes from very high-caliber people who ... may have not been interested prior to the attacks," Mansfield said. "The more applications we get, the better."

Students waited in long lines to talk to representatives from the CIA, one of about 60 potential employers to set up shop at the job fair yesterday. FBI recruiters are scheduled to visit campus today for the second day of the job fair.

Many seniors who visited the CIA booth had planned on careers in other fields. But since the attacks, companies have started downsizing and students have been broadening their job search.

Eric Modrow, a finance major, said he is applying to more government agencies because he anticipates that the market for finance jobs will be unstable when he graduates in May.

"Definitely after Sept. 11, I'd like to be an agent," Modrow said. "I'm also looking at working for the [Internal Revenue Service]; that would probably be a little safer."

Mike Norris, a senior who is studying economics and government and politics, is applying to finance positions within the agency.

"My sense of patriotism was rekindled," Norris said.

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