Are you FBI material?
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: June 1, 2009

HIGH-TECH CAREER opportunities await you at: the first 5-digit prime of Fibonacci

Yes, this is so difficult that it's cryptic to many of us, and it's meant to be. Portland State advertising students are using this on signs, posters, and handbills in a campaign to recruit IT applicants for the FBI. It is based on a successful Google recruitment campaign.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation asked students in Prof. Don Dickinson's advertising campaigns class to help in its recruitment efforts. Nationally, the FBI is in need of 3,000 employees in specialized fields such as IT (information technology), engineering, intelligence, and languages. The local Bureau office sent agents to talk with the students about its needs and set a campaign budget at an underwhelming $2,500.

But the students were up for the challenge. They created a 94-page guidebook that can be used anyplace in the country. "Their campaign is off-campus oriented, grassroots, and very guerilla," says Dickinson with obvious pride. "It is not even specific to Portland. We call it our plug-and-play plan."

This is the first year the FBI has received a student plan that reaches into professional and cultural communities. That's not to say that the PSU students didn't include the University in their recruitment materials. In fact, they wore FBI shirts and talked up the Bureau at a campus career fair.

The Fibonacci sequence? It is being used for recruitment near the high-tech companies west of Portland. If you're familiar with its 5-digit prime, then maybe you are FBI material.