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Q&A: Student aims toward future career with FBI

Eileen Moore
Criminal justice major Jacqueline Rea studies in her living room. Rea hopes to join the FBI after graduating from college. Photo by Rory Moore/The Et Cetera

When Jacqueline Rea was growing up, she used to play  “cops and robbers.” The cops chased after the robbers, tagged them and sent them to a pretend jail. Rea always played the role of the cop. 

Her desire to impact the world and make it safer was the primary reason for enrolling in her first criminal justice class at Eastfield College. Rea sat down with Et Cetera contributor Alejandro Contreras to discuss her future career goals and the development of her personal life.

Q. Was community college your first choice, or did you want to attend a university?
A. No, community college was my first choice because I wanted to start with my basics and then hopefully transfer to a university.

Q. Is there anyone in particular you look up to?
A. My aunt, because she finished college, and she has a good job right now. She works in a law firm office.

Q. Do you see yourself working in an office?
A. I want to be a crime scene investigator and it will be solving crimes while being out there in the field.

Q. At what age did you get the idea that you wanted to become an FBI agent?
A. I was really young, honestly. I just always liked solving problems. With my siblings I always would play police officers. I understand it’s not the same, but it’s in the same area of interest.

Q. What has your life been like since high school?
A. It’s just been school and work at the moment. I don’t really do much honestly, other than reading here and there. “Paper Town,” “The Fault in Our Stars” and the “Twilight” series books are my favorites.

Q. Have you ever thought of changing your field of study?
A. When I was younger, I did actually want to be a lawyer, but personally I don’t really like speaking in front of people as much.

Q. What are your goals after finishing college?
A. Once I finish college, I hope to be in the work field. I would have to do training in a lower workforce. Hopefully, after I finish, I’d actually have a job in the FBI.

Q. So, it’s a process that you have to build up from the bottom all the way up to get where you want to be?
A. Yes, you basically move your way up. I could start off as a police officer and do the police academy and start off there.

Q. Do you ever want to have any connections in that field of study, so you can have a mentor to guide you through the process?
A. Yes, actually my mom had a client, and he was a police officer. She had me speak to him a couple of times, and he told me about the police academy and the program and everything on how I can move my way up to become an FBI agent.

Q. Do you plan on impacting the world? Is that your belief and priority, to make it a better place?
A. I know I’m just one person, but everybody counts, and hopefully I can make our world safer.

Q. Are you an only child or do you have siblings?
A. I have an older sister and a younger brother.

Q. Your family has been in the medical field, correct?
A. Correct. My mom is a medical assistant, and my sister is a nurse.

Q. What about your younger brother? Have you been guiding him on a path to go to college?
A. Yeah, but he has his mind set on going into the Army. I feel like the way he’s talked to me he doesn’t feel like school is for him. For some people school is for you, and for others, it’s not.

Q. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A. I just take my dog to the park and walk him around.

Q. What does your music playlist consist of?
A. Country is my favorite genre, but I listen to a bit of everything.

Q. What was the last show you binged watch?
A. “The Vampire Diaries.”

Q. What cop show do you enjoy?
A. I enjoy watching “CSI,” but “Criminal Minds” is my favorite. My favorite characters are Hotch, Spencer and Penelope.
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