Special agent speaks to UVU students about pursuing careers with the FBI

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Eric Barnhart, a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge of the Salt Lake City field office came to campus to talk with students about jobs in the FBI.

Barnhart has served 22 years in the FBI and has been stationed all over the US. He has also worked under the direction of former directors of the FBI, Robert Mueller and James Comey.

Barnhart was invited to campus as a part of the National Security Studies Speaker Series, to teach students about the FBI and how to prepare for a career within the organization.

The process of becoming an FBI agent is no easy feat, according to Barnhart. If one has dreams of becoming an agent, he said that one must first undergo a rigorous application process to a program with an acceptance rate lower than any Ivy League college.

If one makes it through the application process, they then undergo a 22 week training program in Quantico, Va. where they also are asked to undergo a polygraph test. Though the process takes time, if one successfully makes it on the force, the retention rate is upwards of 95 percent.

When asked what degree students should pursue when looking for a career with the FBI, Barnhart encouraged students to pursue what they are passionate about.

“Study what you’re passionate about,” Barnhart said. “It really comes down to sticktoitiveness. The amount of opportunities are endless.”