Would like some advice

Hello, first time poster, little longer viewer. Wanted to ask some advice from anyone here that might want to pitch in, I’d greatly appreciate it. Recently I have decided to try and take a new career path. I’m 24 years old. And I really want to work in an intelligence agency, I am currently getting my masters starting in May, I have been accepted to two schools for their masters program in international affairs from Liberty university and American university, deciding currently which one to attend. I obviously have no experience in this career path. I was DQd from the military because of a common eye condition that I could have fought but it would have taken a year for the waiver. Astigmatism :man_facepalming:t2: I guess I’m asking for any advice on anything anyone could give me I’d really appreciate it. I’m also currently learning a second language trying to improve myself and what not. I was recently let go from my job where my contract wasn’t renewed which sparked this whole new idea path I had. Thank you for anyone on the advice you give.

If it was me, i wouldn’t do intel again, Id be a dentist (seriously). Too much bad tradition from agency to agency and problems they just don’t want to fix. Look at all the issues here with security clearances, suitability, Poly, etc…

If you do still decide, you definitely want to go to reputable school, Liberty is not going to cut it. If you mean American University, that is a good one depending on if you can attend one of their foreign locations like say Cairo and learn that language. I’ve know a few that have in intel. If you mean American Military University, i would steer clear. Names and Reputations of school matter whether someone tells you they don’t or not.

This is just my experience, other may have more to add. But I myself would definitely choose a different path if i was 24.

Good luck.

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Why is that???

It’s not a good academic institution and is blatantly political.


So 100% your opinion with a strong bias…typical, well you know what…

And just so you know, most schools are extremely political.

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Ok, here’s my two cents worth.

Definitely forgo the master’s degree. It’s not worth it unless it’s being totally paid for by your employer (even then it’s largely a waste of time). Anything outside of engineering and the hard sciences is worthless these days.

Definitely forgo working in the federal government/intelligence field. Opportunities in government for non-military— particularly for your [assumed] demographic— are becoming almost non-existent. I know someone in a federal agency who looks through a thick pile of candidates— graduates of Stanford, Ivies, Georgetown, et al.— who are all applying for a few open slots for unpaid internships in the government. Ostensibly with the hope of it leading to Fed employment or a gig with McKinsey or Booz Allen.

That’s what I’d not do. Now, if I were 24-years old again in 2021 this is what I’d do.

Get out of debt. Work as much as you have to to clear all debt ASAP.

Get in the best physical shape possible. According to Harvard Medical School professor, John Ratey, M.D., being at your ideal body weight and doing aerobic (cardio) exercising which elevates your heart rate for one hour per day can increase your cognitive level 20-25%! See Ratey’s book Spark or find his podcasts.

Write your goal(s) down 15 times a day and review it in your mind throughout the day. I know it sounds kooky but watch Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams talk about affirmations on his YouTube channel, you’ll be amazed.

Skill stack. Combine two or more useful or unique skills and get good at them.

Get an Audible account and download Pimsleur and Paul Noble and learn to speak Mandarin Chinese fluently.

Solid knowledge of Mandarin Chinese as an American will open up doors in the fields of business, hospitality, entrepreneurship, education, etc., that you’re not even aware exist.

I would also work on having these basic success skills under my belt (this list comes from Scott Adams’ book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big):

Business writing


Design (the basics)



Second language

Public speaking

Proper grammar

Technology (hobby level)

Proper voice/speaking technique

Basic economics and finance (especially cryptocurrency).

Also, study former professor and Wall Street quant Nassim Taleb’s Incerto series (Fooled by Randomness, Black Swan, Antifragile, Skin in the Game). Taleb’s series is geared for the general reader but requires a focused, close reading.

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You are probably using your GI bill for your masters so do it! Having a master’s could help with salary negotiations down the road. I think American U is really your best bet. I have to agree with Bebe on this one. American has provided a solid pool of federal employees with a solid international background for several decades. Your military background might allow you to get a part time job as a defense/intel contractor in the DC area and waylay yourself into a new position. (agency escorts, guards, etc.) Good luck.

They are not military.

You do realize schools are ranked by academics and other metrics right? Should i hold your hand and walk you thru how all the works and were those sources are kept?

No, I am good. Was referring to your political comments…but it was above your head.

Have a great life…

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holy crap. these 2 cents def were worth more than that…this guy asked for advice on what school to attend not for a “life” to do list…

@Jhn481101996 go to the school you feel is better for you…most people that are telling you to pick a different path or that are knocking on your life goals are people that are disgruntled themselves and could not accomplish the goals you want to accomplish…i cant speak on what school to attend as i am not knowledgeable but pick one and follow your goals.


A lot of obnoxious stuff in here.

@Jhn481101996 You do you.

Want to work in intelligence? Do it.

Want to go to Liberty or American? Pick one, stick with it, and graduate.