When Jason Hays was growing up, he wanted to be a pizza man. “Then I wanted to be an astronaut,” said the 21-year-old Anderson University junior from Avon. “In high school, I got interested in graphic design but that really never went anywhere. Then, my senior year of high school, I really got interested in law enforcement." Recently awarded a coveted summer internship with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Hays is well on his way to landing his dream job.
Last November, after an extensive application process, Hays was chosen as one of two students in Indiana for the FBI Honors Internship.
With only 56 students chosen from across the nation, this is not an easy internship to land. Hays beat out between 70 to 80 other applicants including graduate and law students in Indiana.
“I was very excited,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to work at the federal level in law enforcement. I just never thought it would be so soon.”
According to Wendy Osborne, FBI special agent and media coordinator for the Indianapolis office, Hays’ application was “unbelievable.”
“I have not met him but you can tell he is well-rounded from his application,” she said. “He is a very impressive young man and the FBI looks forward to working with him.”
The paid internship will begin in June and run through August and Hays will actually be living in Washington, D.C.
“I haven’t really gone outside of Indiana except for a couple weeks,” said Hays. “So, I’m really looking forward to living in Washington, D.C.”
Although Hays does not know his assignment yet, Osborne said the FBI places the Honors Internship students according to their discipline. “Hays has three majors, (accounting, criminal justice and computer science) so he could really be placed in several areas. I don’t believe it’s been determined yet,” said Osborne.
The FBI Honors Internship is designed to place students in positions within their discipline and allow them to get an inside look at the career opportunities of the bureau. It also allows students the opportunity to work side-by-side with Special Agents and Professional Staff personnel on important cases and management issues, said Osborne.
Hays said he is very grateful for this opportunity and said he hopes to gain future employment opportunities from it.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to make sure I’m on the right career path,” he said. “It’s easy to say what you want to do but it’s better to really get a feel for it.”
Bruce MacMurray, professor of criminal justice and sociology who gave Hays a reference for the internship, said Hays is a hard-working and determined student.
“He’s intelligent,” said MacMurray. “He’s always shown he is goal-directed. This is a wonderful opportunity as far as experience for a career goes. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to network and get good references. Federal internships have become more rare since 9-11 which is not surprising to anybody. I think this is a significant accomplishment.”
— Lynelle Miller is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Ind. Story re-published with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.