Here's What You Need to Remember: Keep in mind that whether you have the job or are in the application stages, what you tell people around you, even family members and close friends, is absolutely crucial. You should definitely stay off social media platforms and have the ability to curb your excitement if you do eventually pass all the hurdles to become an MI5 agent.
If this job description is intriguing, you should know that you must be at least eighteen years old and a British citizen—and one of your parents must be a British citizen or hold one of the following nationalities or citizenships: British Overseas Territories, British subject, British National (Overseas), British protected person, citizenship of the Commonwealth, citizenship of an EEA nationality, or citizenship of the United States of America.
If the parent is deceased, they must have had such citizenship or nationality before their death.
According to MI5’s government website, “an agent, or Covert Human Intelligence Source, is someone who works for us to obtain secret intelligence. They’re one of our most important sources of intelligence. Agents are not employed by MI5 and there is no formal application process to become an agent.”
It continues: “Agent operations, run strictly in accordance with the relevant legislation, are handled by specially trained MI5 officers. The safety of our agents and their families is always paramount.”
As for your needed skills and expertise, in-depth knowledge of many different communities and languages is considered to be essential. Currently, those with solid foreign language skills are highly valued and already deemed to have the makings of an MI5 Intelligence Officer.
“People from a range of backgrounds and degree disciplines join the Intelligence Officer Development Program. To apply you’ll need to have, or be expecting, a 2:2 in any degree discipline or have relevant work experience,” the website states, adding that the vetting and recruitment process could take anywhere from six to nine months.
“As a confident communicator, you can quickly establish productive working relationships with your colleagues. You’ll need to be organized, have a good eye for detail and trust your own judgement. While happy to take responsibility for your own areas of work, you’ll also enjoy collaborating to solve problems and make decisions. MI5 also expects its employees to have a high degree of honesty and integrity.”
Also, keep in mind that whether you have the job or are in the application stages, what you tell people around you, even family members and close friends, is absolutely crucial. You should definitely stay off social media platforms and have the ability to curb your excitement if you do eventually pass all the hurdles to become an MI5 agent.
“MI5 deals with very sensitive information,” the agency says. “Lives may be put at risk if sensitive information is disclosed carelessly. This makes it vital to manage information properly and release it only when absolutely necessary.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn. This article first appeared earlier this year.