Hello Victoria D. My name is Michael and your question caught my attention. Wow, I think it's great that you have such high aspirations! This is a topic in which I have some familiarity with so let's get started. I received my degree in criminology from Penn State. You are going to learn a lot of interesting material. I too have started my trek to the FBI and you're correct it is a long road. What the general public does not realize is that a "Profiler" in regards to the FBI is not an immediate position once you're in the Bureau. Most who hold the title as FBI Profiler have already had a pretty lengthy career with the FBI. Now you're original question "After I graduate from college where would I apply next to reach my goal?" :
Well there are a number of routes you can take, but first I would focus on really getting into the major and see how you feel towards the end of sophomore year. The major will get much more in depth in the second half of undergrad. Once you're on the home stretch of undergrad you'll begin to see 2 broad options. One is going to work in the field, the other is continuing education (Masters/PhD/ grad school). Depending on how you feel, an option is looking into Law Enforcement whether that be at the local or state level. (There are wide variety of departments). After college I tested for Washington DC Police, Rockville MD Police, Howard County MD Police, Annapolis MD Police, Pittsburgh PA Police, and a few others. I also have pending applications for the US Capitol Police & US Secret Service Uniformed Division which are federal agencies. The process with Law Enforcement is lengthy and there are many steps one must go through before even being considered for a job. If you choose law enforcement don't get discouraged if it's taking a long time. Next, in order to work for the FBI you'll need 3 years of real work experience in any field (99% of the time) it does not have to specifically be police work. The only exception(s) to this are if you're fluent in multiple languages, or the Bureau has a high demand for a specific skills such as accounting at a given time. Again you do not specifically have to be a police officer but many choose that route. The FBI takes pride in its diverse personnel from all backgrounds. The military, full time or reserve is also a valued option. An alternative route is continuing education. If you decide you're very passionate, getting masters degree or Phd in criminology or related title is very useful. All programs vary in their focus & styles. Some great grad schools are Loyola University (Chicago), University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Maryland, just to name a few. I've had the privilege of meeting multiple FBI, ATF, and DEA agents as well as detectives and attorneys. You may find that you gravitate towards law while in undergrad. Law school is another option. This doesn't mean you have to practice law, but it's food for thought. The FBI loves law degrees. You could also take a shot at working probation or parole. Just be prepared you will see some ugly things on the job. That's just the nature. Currently I work for a large investment bank where I've had the exposure to investigating money laundering and combating terroristic financing. It's not my dream job, but I keep the over all goal in mind. What you can start doing now is trying your best to keep a clean record. Avoid frequent drug use and always be conscious of your decisions. Be careful with what you put on social media, it can always be found.
To sum this up, first focus on getting settled in school and into the major. Trust me you'll learn fascinating things from theories of violence, Strain theory, the classical school, Cesare Lombroso, Cesare Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham, to areas of forensics. Next, find your niche towards the end of undergrad and ponder whether you'd want to go work in the field (law enforcement, social services, corrections, probation/parole, banking investigations), or if you think diving into grad school or law school interests you. Stay close with professors, get their opinions, ask questions. Lastly, don't get discouraged. It's a long road but fall in love with the process, and keep yourself clean. I wish you the best of luck! -Michael N