While living in Seattle in the 80s, I applied to the CIA’s career training program. In retrospect I have no idea why I would have pursued such a vocation, but just now, while going through some old file folders, I found the cover letter I sent them.
Was it because I’d recently dropped out of graduate school or because I was bored with my administrative job at a student loan association that I applied? Maybe it was due to the fact that I’d just had my heart broken by a muscular blond ski god named Rob. Or, it could have simply been because I was a restless thirty-one-year old woman hoping to find a new adventure.
(And that’s changed, how?)
I honestly don’t know what could have spurred such a crazy act, but here I am, twenty-six years later, laughing at this obnoxiously boastful, but mildly amusing tome.
For my doctorate degree in environmental anthropology, my plan was to research how grassroots organizations function under an authoritarian regime. I became a finalist for a Fulbright Scholarship and starting packing for my move to Poland. This was 1988, the year Communism crumbled, which, unfortunately caused the Fulbright Committee, at the last minute, to deem my topic moot.
Although I did not earn a PhD, I have vowed not to let three years of Soviet and Eastern bloc studies; a fierce desire to work overseas; and thirty-one years of life experience be put to rest as well. I know that working for the Central Intelligence Agency would be the pinnacle for that goal.
I have an excellent academic background. I have a BA in biology, with a minor in theater arts, and an MA in anthropology. From the natural sciences I learned the rigors of hard data gathering and analysis. The social sciences taught me that it is possible to forge observations with amorphous scientific models. I have enclosed my master’s thesis as proof of both my research acuity and writing strength.
Concomitant to my academic accomplishments, I possess an eclectic accumulation of professional and personal experiences. I have over three years’ business experience. I know the budgeting, sales, and marketing aspects of profit and not-for-profit operations. Salient among my achievements, I designed, instituted, and managed a medical sales program for a health maintenance organization (HMO) in San Diego, California. And, as a consultant for the Environmental Protection Agency, I marketed a successful recycling program for Region 10 employees.
But there are many more colors and shapes that make up the collage of any individual.
When I was twenty-three, I traveled alone through nine western European countries for four months. Presently, I can say “Hello,” and “one coffee please” in nine languages.
I was on the sailing team in college, backpacked throughout the Cascades, rafted raging rivers, and taught photography and creative writing to eight year olds. I have danced in ballets, acted and directed in the theater, and was an extra in the movie “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Northern Exposure,” the television series.
If the CIA offers adventure, I welcome it.
I am charming, allowing for occasional bursts of self-conscious humility.
I cut up frozen fish for hours at a stretch and helped force-feed it to abandoned seal pups. As a clown, I’ve brought a lot of joy to developmentally disabled children.
I am healthy, honest, and a great cook.
I am a hard worker, a quick study, and a compassionate team player. I am an independent thinker with an incurable attention to detail; I cannot get bogged down by paper work.
I wish to preserve democracy everywhere by being part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s team. Thank you for your consideration and I hope to hear from you soon.
I never did hear from them.