Posted by: soupysays | August 16, 2005

peace corps: nomination

I’ve been officially nominated for the Peace Corps for over a week. Laziness has preventing me from posting.

I’ve been nominated to leave July 2006 for Community Development in the Pacific Islands.

Yeah, I’m excited. So, what’s next? I need to get medical clearance. PC will send me a packet with forms for vision, dental, general physical checklists and such. Then I send it all back to PC, and they will look it over and give the ok. (This takes some time.) Then, after PC declares me healthy and legally clear (the FBI does a background check), I receive my Invitation. The Invitation is the official acceptance. The Invitation has my official assignment, specific country and leave date. Oh yeah, did I mention there is a 30-50% chance my placement could change? Why? Because all my information gets transferred from my local recruiter to my placement officer in DC. This person looks over my application, interview responses, medical information and decides if my nomination is the best for me. Then, my placement officer calls up the host country and asks if they want me. If they say yes, then, and only then, will I get my official Invitation. On my nomination letter, it says, “Please contact the placement officer if an invitation has not been issued to you by this date: May 21, 2006.”

I had my interview on Tuesday August 2nd. I got stuck in traffic and as I parked, I saw my light rail train leave. Great. I called my recruiter and told her what happened and informed her that I would be late. Here I was, breaking interview faux pas, numero uno. I got off the light rail train at a little after 10. Luckily, the office was just across the street. Then I realized that I had forgotten to double check the office number. Nice job. I walked into the office building and saw a man in a uniform at a desk. I wasn’t told about a man at a desk! I’m still not sure why I didn’t just go and ask him if the Peace Corps offices were in the building. I guess it was just part of my frustration at myself. So, I called my recruiter again, “I’m in front of 1999 Broadway and I can’t find you.” Ah yes, my life is a comedy of errors. Now armed with the office/floor number, I get in the elevator. When I get in the office, the secretary tells me to sign in and throws in, “it’s 10:10 now.” Thanks. Luckily, my recruiter pops out of her office then and is very nice about everything. She says about 1 in 10 applicants gets lost. Nice.

The interview itself was pretty informal as interviews go. I felt comfortable with my answers and in some cases it seemed more like a friendly chat than an interview. The questions ranged from “Why do you want to do the Peace Corps versus all of the other volunteer programs?” to “Are you in a relationship?” to “How do you think you’ll be able to deal with the living conditions?” to “Do you mind being in a society that abstains from alcohol?”

After the interview, my recruiter brought out a list of assignments that matched my requests (and of course, that she deemed me qualified). On my application, I had requested Community Developement in Eastern Europe or Asia. There were no Asia assignments leaving anytime soon. However, there were a few NGO opportunities in Eastern Europe. I wasn’t totally qualified for the NGO assignment, but she was going to try and get me approved via DC. We went through all of the assignments and talked about which ones sounded good etc. After the NGO assignments, the Pacific Islands community development was my next choice.

By Friday I hadn’t heard back about my nomination so I gave my recruiter a call. She said that I couldn’t do the NGO assignments, but it wasn’t a big deal because I could always work with a NGO for my secondary assignment. We went over some of the assignments again, and as soon as she read the description for the Pacific Islands opportunity, I said, “Yes. That is it. It is the one I get excited about.” She said she would nominate me first thing Monday morning.

So that brings me back to the present. Last week, after getting home from work, I saw that my dad had printed off a map of the Pacific Islands with all the country descriptions from the official Peace Corps website.


Responses

  1. That’s so cute that you dad printed off the map with the descriptions. Congrats on your nomination!

  2. Ha, I just realized how old this post is. :)

  3. Let us know how it went! I got nominated last week, I’m stocked!


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