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Odds of Getting In

First, see the Qualifications section. If you meet all those criteria, your odds should be pretty good. On the other hand, your chances depend on the agency's needs at the time you apply. If the Secret Service has a critical need for fluent Chinese speakers, for example, those applicants might rocket to the head of the list.

You might also be pleasantly surprised to learn about three Secret Service opportunities for students. First, the acronym-rich Student Temporary Education Employment Program, or STEP, offers federal employment to enrolled or accepted degree-program students. Students must be taking a half-time or higher load in an accredited high school, vo/tech school, two- or four-year college, grad school, or professional education program.

Okay, that's it for the acronyms. The Student Career Experience program appears to be a two-year work/study program that complements the student's college major. Although students can choose from lots of occupations, the actual number of slots is quite limited.

Finally, we have the Student Volunteer Service Program, which resembles an unpaid internship. You'll get a work assignment related to your field of study, which means you'll get some real-world work experience that will jazz up your resume. You'll have to work at least 12 hours per week for at least one semester, two quarters, or a summer session. You have to use this option before you graduate, as it's not available once you get your sheepskin.

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