Here's the biggest misconception people have about the CIA, according to a man who worked there for 15 years

Brian Goral
started his career at the CIA — the civilian foreign-intelligence service of the US federal government — as a college student in the late 1990s.
He got his start as an intern and was hired as a full-time employee soon after.

Business Insider recently talked to Goral, 39, about his time at Langley.

Not surprisingly, he couldn’t share all the details of the hiring process, his classified jobs, or his experiences, but he did give us a glimpse into his life at the CIA.

One thing we asked was: What’s one of the biggest misconceptions about working for the CIA?

He said it’s that “there’s no stereotypical agent with a single personality and dictated political mindset.”

He continued:

“For every gun-rights activist at the CIA, there is a coworker who wants reform right now. For every devout Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu in the building, there is someone who prefers the scientific exploration of the universe.

“While I’ve heard political discussions in the halls and cafeteria, I don’t think I’d ever seen a hot-button political issue of the day that actually influenced the work or affected cooperation between colleagues working together on a project.

“When the work starts, it usually just doesn’t come up if you’re pro- or anti- this or that political issue. People there work from the position that they are the first line of defence, and everyone is there because they love the country.

“That said, you can still see normal disagreements over expense reports, petty nonissues, and eye-rolling both ways between those who have been in nice locations for most of their careers working classical intelligence collection missions as opposed to those who have spent their time in the war zones and have a very different view of the organisation.”

Goral left the CIA in late 2014 to start his own company, Furenexo, which is focused on disability tech.

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