But hey, here it goes!
Hi Everyone! or… Bonjour tout le monde!
This blog is going to be my way of keeping in touch with my family and friends while I am serving in the Peace Corps! I will still have my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts but this will be available for anyone who wants to read it. I’ve read countless PC blogs and will probably read more before I leave. Blogs are a great resource for new PC applicants — and one day mine will be too!
I would say that a customary beginning to one of these would be to let you all in on my timeline, the process and my experience thus far…
- Application started: March 22nd, 2010
- Application Submitted: November 25th, 2010 (Yes, Thanksgiving Day. :))
- Interview: December 15th, 2010
- Nomination: June 1st, 2011
- Medically Cleared: November 28th, 2011
- Invitation: TBD
The Application: It’s basically a 20 page questionnaire. The questions were not simple yes/no answers either, they were extensive, as I would expect the government to be:) It also included 2 essays and 3 recommendations (I was lucky enough to have 4 amazing people recommend me- HUGE thank you to Professor Hallberg, Megan, Meredith & Beeg for doing that!).
The Interview: After I submitted my application I was contacted by my recruiter KH with even more forms to fill out! These included a finger print form and a few skill addendums. That didn’t take me long and we scheduled my interview for December 15th — a week before I moved back home to California. The interview went really well! I had done research on the questions that would be asked (which I highly recommend; Here’s where I found mine) and felt pretty good about them. It went so well I decided to stay with my New York recruiter instead of switching to a recruiter in San Francisco when I moved home.
The Nomination: For me, this should have been called “The Wait”- I got an email from KH in January informing me that I did not qualify for ANY projects. I was absolutely crushed. It took me a few days to even tell my parents. But after a phone call with KH I knew that this was not the end of the road and I could only become more qualified with time. So I was proactive and signed up for French classes at UC Berkeley’s extension and started volunteering at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. By June 1st I was only weeks away from finishing French II and had volunteered hundreds of hours and thus a nomination!
The Medical Tests: oh. holy. shots. This is proving to be the most painful part of the entire process! To date I have had 4 doctors appointments checking every nook and cranny of my body to make sure I am in tip top shape. Those aren’t the last either, I have a couple more vaccinations and tests PLUS AN 8 HOUR TEST! I have a “questionable” allergy to penicillin and in order to test if that’s accurate I have to go through an 8 hour procedure. [edit: turned out to only last a mere 4 hours…]. If all goes well, I will be able to send my entire package out by early August. [Update: Medically cleared on Nov. 28th, 2011]!
The Invitation: This will come closer to my departure date (as of now its June 2012). This comes with phone interviews with placement officers in Washington DC and Country Directors in Africa. Update: Received an email from a placement assistant requesting an updated resume, official transcripts and information on my French progress. Scheduled final assessment interview for January 4th at 7:15 am (10:15EST) & it went well! (Read about interview)
So now you’re all up to date! Keep in mind that there are many minor parts of this process that were left out — it is much more extensive than I describe it to be. I will post soon about my medical clearance and invitation as they come. To stay connected without checking back all the time, subscribe to my blog (to the right of this post) and it will automatically email you each post as soon as I put them up.
I definitely could not have gotten this far without the help and support of my family and friends. Thank you guys for supporting me through this process and helping me make my dreams come true!