Since graduating from John Jay, alumna Emily Tarrats (’93) has had a successful career with the United States Postal Inspector Service. We spoke with Tarrats to learn more about what she does as a U.S. Postal Inspector, her career staying-power, and her advice for current John Jay students.
Finding Her Career
As a John Jay student, Tarrats never considered a career in law enforcement. “When I began at John Jay, I was completely undecided about what to study. Then I declared Forensic Psychology as my major in my third year,” says Tarrats. After graduating, and concerned about job opportunities, she decided to step outside of her comfort zone and attended a John Jay career fair. “I approached the recruiters with an open mind and found an organization that interested me,” says Tarrats. After speaking to many recruiters, Tarrats was captivated by the way inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service described their work. “The organization ensures the public’s trust in the U.S. Mail,” says Tarrats. “They look into mail theft, fraud cases, and assist during hurricane recovery efforts.” Currently employed by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Tarrats has been happily working for the organization for 17 years. “Postal Inspectors have a lot of autonomy, and you have the ability to prioritize your work,” she says. “You can start in mail theft, work your way up to mailings and narcotics, and then work in security fraud investigations.”
“Postal Inspectors have a lot of autonomy and you have the ability to prioritize your work. You can start in mail theft, work your way up to mailings and narcotics, and then work in security fraud investigations.”—Emily Tarrats, ’93
A Typical Day
Describing what her day looks like, Tarrats highlights the many assignments she has. “Some of my tasks include: managing cases, responding to complaints and allegations, and conducting interviews and investigations,” she says. Tarrats shares her enjoyment for the day-to-day handling of an investigation, while emphasizing her commitment to staying involved with the public. “I have the ability to engage with the public while actively contributing to the mission of the organization. I enjoy talking to Postal Inspector candidates and participating in recruitment initiatives. I also assist in hurricane recovery efforts,” she says. Throughout her career, Tarrats has learned to develop and strengthen her public speaking skills. This helps her provide the public with information, while also guiding new Postal Inspectors.
Advice For Students
Remembering how her career began, Tarrats encourages younger students to take a chance on different job possibilities. “Many students have their hearts set on just one organization without exploring the opportunities others can offer,” she says. “Go to different career fairs, take different interviews that you might not have though of. Approach everyone you can, and try to find out everything about an agency or a business.” Tarrats also stresses the need for students to be unafraid in asking for help when they don’t know about a potential career. “Students need to engage in conversations and ask questions of other students and professors. Talk to other career representatives about their journey and their career experiences. You never know what it can lead to, for me it was a career that’s lasted almost two decades.”