Women in Business presents Women in the FBI panel


Photo courtesy of Women in Business at OU on Facebook

The women in the panel represented various positions within the bureau such as intelligence analysts, supervisory special agents and HR specialists.

Grace Lovins, Senior Reporter

Women in Business hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday, Nov. 17 about the opportunities available for women in the FBI. The panel was composed of five accomplished women in the FBI, mostly based in Detroit, and was held via Zoom. The panel was open to anybody interested in hearing about the experiences these women had during their tenure, or the process of becoming part of the bureau.

The Women in the FBI discussion was spearheaded by the Women in Business President, Julianna Jones. After reaching out to a different student organization that had previously hosted an FBI-related event, Jones was put in contact with Mary Jordan Abouljoud, an FBI Community Outreach Specialist. Abouljoud was excited about the opportunity to showcase a female’s perspective on the field and reached out to four other panelists to share in the experience.

The women in the panel represented various positions within the bureau — such as intelligence analysts, supervisory special agents and HR specialists. The supervisory special agents have served in a plethora of specialties including healthcare fraud, public corruption and financial crimes. Each panelist brought a unique perspective to the discussion and touched on their personal experiences becoming a part of the bureau and offered advice for any individuals hoping to accomplish the same.

Jones and other Women in Business e-board members conducted a poll to survey members about questions they were interested in asking the panelists. Being a student organization, the aim of the panel was to provide a means for anyone interested in a career in the field to learn the requirements and expectations of working for the FBI.

“I think the overall hope was that ‘Hey if you’ve considered working in the FBI or just are curious about it,’ I hope that people would’ve learned from it and considered ‘Wow, that’s something that would be a great fit for me,’ or ‘Okay, maybe this isn’t something that I’m interested in’ — kind of just to really figure that out,” Jones said.

“Also, it’s not always easy to hear from people in specific careers or jobs that you might want to have someday, so [the panel was] just an opportunity to actually hear from an agent working in the field; What it’s like — is it flexible, is it not? — just to hear their perspective. We also wanted to provide an opportunity for students to reach out individually to the speakers if they wanted.”

Although Women In Business is an organization that focuses on the female perspective within various industries, the events are open to all OU students. Events also touch on different aspects of professional development.

“We like to hold professional events to help students on campus with professional development. We like to have events that empower women and give women’s different perspective on different events,” Jones said. “We kind of just like to have a space for women to share their perspective on things like the [Women in the FBI] panel.”

Jones deemed the event a success and felt the panelists’ perspectives offered great insight into the inner workings of a role within the FBI.

“I’m very happy with how the event turned out. I think the speakers gave really good perspectives on what their jobs were like and really great advice,” Jones said.

Women in Business typically hosts five or six events throughout the semester, changing between in-person and virtual, and will start up again in Winter 2022. Interested students can request membership through GrizzOrgs and look out for dates of future events posted on GrizzOrgs or their Instagram.