Brad Karony, former CIA officer and senior director of national security operations at LMI, hosted a group of WashingtonExec interns and their peers Aug. 2 to discuss his career and provide professional advice.
“As a young person seeking to enter the civil service, I learned a great deal about the intricacies of pursuing national security goals,” said Ryan Alcorn, 19, a rising second-year at the University of Virginia. “I left with a clearer understanding of how to match my interests with my career goals.”
Karony spoke about his 18 years at the CIA and his career as a human intelligence professional. He emphasized traits for success that translate to any profession, including the importance of making connections with people and being a good listener. He performed a scenario-based activity with one of the interns to demonstrate the art of making quick connections, and also shed light on the challenges of maintaining a healthy work-life balance when working in the field.
“It can be difficult to learn about early-career opportunities in the Intelligence Community as well as understanding the skills that are needed to be successful and grow in those roles. That’s why I think mentorship is so important,” Karony said. “I appreciated the students’ interest and the great questions they asked.”
Thanks to Karony’s experience mentoring professionals at LMI and previously as an instructor at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations training center, interns left with ideas about how to jump-start their careers. His best advice: Find a career that fits your passion.
Matthew Knox, 20, a rising third-year at the University of Virginia, said, “I really appreciated Mr. Karony’s advice regarding how to best position yourself in the field of public service, and in particular, how to excel in whichever career path you choose to take.”