Sociology major (with concentration in crime + justice) Anthony Marcella '16 has always had the instinct to protect others, and he admits to always following the straight and narrow path - these traits explain why the Emmanuel senior has been drawn to the profession of a special agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) through the U.S. Department of Justice.
In September, Marcella landed his dream internship at ATF, which he secured through a family connection. From day one, Marcella knew he was in the right place, and that this field is what he should be pursuing. On his first day, he attended a bomb demonstration by the state police for the Topsfield Fair, America's oldest agricultural fair, which was held in beginning of October. ATF agents brought in bomb-sniffing dogs to do a sweep of the fairgrounds and instructed fair workers on what they should do with suspicious packages. Marcella also observed the team blow up a pound of C4 in a backpack to show the power and magnitude of the bomb's blast.
"It was pretty cool stuff," Marcella said. "It's been really fun."
Marcella has been interning with the intelligence side of the ATF. In a month's time, he has already been introduced to an array of "crazy" technology such as button cameras that the action/task force side of the Bureau uses during investigations. He's been aiding with paperwork and working on a large project in which he had to do a substantial amount of gang-related research; however, Marcella cannot reveal too many details about the work he or his coworkers do at the office due to the sensitivity and classification of the material.
For Marcella, an internship is essential, and he recommends them to all students in any major. He said the experience he has gained, whether it be from observing ATF workers, working with a group or picking up the daily lingo, has been invaluable, and that it is information one can't simply gain from a book.
Since Marcella chose an academic path over going straight to the military, his list of qualifications for a special agent job is small in comparison to those with experience in the armed forces; he is grateful for this experience at the exact place he'd love to work in someday.
"By completing this internship, it will move me up the ladder in terms of qualifications," Marcella said.
Although he is on the intel side of the ATF, Marcella hopes to someday be part of one of the task forces in the ATF. As an intern, he may get the opportunity to join a task force in the field, depending on his class schedule. As both intel and the task force have to collaborate to make everything work, Marcella has enjoyed being on the intel side so that he will have a better understanding of the entire process in the future.
"It has been very valuable as a networking tool, as well as with getting me acclimated to working with certain terminology and people as a collaborative group," he said.
Post-graduation, Marcella will take several tests, including a polygraph test, which he must pass in order to move forward in going to the ATF National Academy for special agent training. Upon completion, Marcella is hoping to be placed in New England, because he is familiar with the area, has family here and has work experience with the Boston ATF bureau.
Outside of his internship and classes, Marcella is a member of the College's lacrosse team, which he said has been a lot of fun and successful due to "hard work and dedication from all members of the team and coaches." Being from a small town in Maine, Marcella enjoys the city life surrounding Emmanuel; he added that Emmanuel's smaller size allows for close relationships to be formed, which has given him the opportunity to get to know many people from all walks of life.
"I love it here. There's really a sense of family," Marcella said. "The EC community as a whole is awesome, and it is so easy to meet people and formulate strong bonds with people from literally everywhere."