What are some of your job responsibilities?
To deter anything associated with terrorism, counter narcotics, illegal immigration and human trafficking. Mainly to deter illegal entries into the United States by patrolling the middle areas between the ports of entries. We look for signs, tracks and we apprehend. I specifically work with minors (unaccompanied undocumented migrant children). I make sure they are fed and cared for in our custody before sending them safely home.
What did you do to prepare for this career?
No specifics, when I passed my oral board there was no going back. I started swimming and running. (even though I don’t like water I knew I had to work hard.)
What is your favorite part of your job?
I have a fulfilling career that allows me to always stay busy and active. My first two years were spent riding on ATV’s. That was a lot of fun. That’s also the reason why I look forward to go back in the field. I was in the field 6 years and now I’m in the office. I work with relations and PR with Mexican officials and organizations. The great thing about Border Patrol is that I love any position I’m in and there are always lots of opportunities.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Scheduling. My daughter was in middle school when I started and as a single parent that was tough. But I’m mobile and I made it work. I look forward to growing and I believe you have to be a little mobile, there is nothing to stop you. My family was surprised and safety was a concern. Until this day I have been safe but can’t share many stories. My daughter is oblivious to what I do sometimes.
What advice would you give to help a girl prepare for a job like yours?
Work hard join the explorer program, have good grades and stay out of trouble. The explorer program goes over scenarios, techniques, PT, and it gives a general idea of how the academy will be like. Learn the chain of command. http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/explorer_program/explorer.xml
What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
I like to stay active, so I go to the gym. I also read, clean and relax. Sometimes I even volunteer with Latinitas. If I can get a group of people, I like to hike. And of course, travel to Austin.
What is your most memorable work experience?
It happened during my first two years on ATV. It was at night. We were all on ATV’s and we got to work with air support. It was awesome because they were up there. The chopper lit me up and it was a great active experience. I also loved that we were such a small group of people on ATV’s and we were really close.
How have you enjoyed your career and where do you see yourself in 10-15 years?
Definitely still in the Border Patrol. I want to be in Washington (Headquarters) one day. I’d also like to pursue a Masters degree at some point.
How is being a female in a male dominated career changed you or influenced you?
Like in any job, you must adapt. After the academy, I became more independent and more aware.
You do change. There was some insecurity, you may be afraid to be by yourself in the desert and have some hesitation. But in the end it’s your job and you always have fellow agents to rely on and who rely on you. It is definitely a group effort.