When you think of the Intelligence Community, without fail a few specific agencies probably come to mind. They’re affectionately known as the ‘Big Six,’ and while you might not be privy to the details of the work they do, you know they’re out there. But can you name the other 10 agencies that make up the Intelligence Community?

An October 17 networking event hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) (registration closes on the 12th), hopes to introduce you to some of the intelligence careers you might not hear about on the evening news.

“INSA is a leader in getting knowledge to the public about what’s going on in the intelligence community,” notes Jill Bruning, executive vice president and general manager at AECOM, and co-chair of INSA’s Intelligence Champions Council (ICC), which is leading the event. “What we wanted to do was to focus on the less heralded parts of the community and pique interest in those non-traditional intelligence careers.”

Panelists include representatives from the Department of Energy, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Transportation Security Administration, as well as Capitol Hill and the private sector. Panelists will be sharing their personal career paths, as well as what intelligence means at their organization.

“We hope to hear something different, and generate interest for what kind of careers contribute to national security,” said Bruning.

Networking receptions precede and follow the conversation. Bruning hopes attendees will take full advantage of the chance to see what other careers might be out there. Whether it’s a student, a veteran, or a government employee looking to apply their skills to new challenges, INSA hopes to gather professionals from diverse backgrounds.

“To get the absolute best talent, we may need to reach outside the traditional sources of intelligence personnel,” said Matt Scott, ICC co-chair and a director at PWC. “This event is one way to do that. From our panel, it’s our hope that more people with talent will see a potential career with us.  Maybe they’ve never thought that they can work at Energy, or for a top consulting firm like PwC, and still directly contribute to our nation’s security.”

Advice for Attendees

Before attending any networking event, it’s important to have a game plan. The INSA event, like many in the DC metro, allow college students to rub elbows with agency directors. You never know what opportunity might be out there – if you’re ready for it.

“I think one of the valuable things for me is someone who has an idea about what they want, and has an idea of what they’re strengths are, so they’re not just coming to you and going ‘hey, what do I do? Here’s my resume,’” said Bruning.

And while it might be tempting to simply ask companies what their open jobs are, networking events are an opportunity to share ideas and interests – not just openings.

“What you really want to leverage at these events is a conversation and a dialogue,” said Bruning. “Think about what your strengths are, and what your ideal job looks like, so you know what a dream job in the intelligence community looks like for you. I can tell you what types of folks I hire, and what I need. I really love to have a conversation structured around what your talents are and what you’re passionate about, and then match that to a position.”

Register for INSA’s event ‘Beyond the Big Six: Careers in the Intelligence Community.’

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at ClearanceJobs.com. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer