Appointment Received and Accepted

Out for a walk with E and the dog, musing about what life will be like if I actually ever receive an offer from State. While waiting for a walk sign at an intersection, I snuck a peak at the iPhone and found an amazing message. No flashing lights or capital letters. Just a simple text email with the subject line reading “October Invitation” and instructions to respond in the next 4 days if I’m ready to jump in to the October A-100 class. I have to update my resume to reflect my too-many-years of experience, find my undergrad and law school transcripts, and send it all to the Registrar’s office so they can compute my starting salary, but I’ll be responding positively today.

After over a year in process, we are very much in shock that this is all really happening. More details when the shock wears off a little.


3 thoughts on “Appointment Received and Accepted

  1. Hello, I hope your foreign service career is going well. I have been going through the application process for the last several months. I passed the FSOT, and submitted my narratives in March. I believe I will be notified soon about taking the oral exams. I am trying not to get too excited about the possibility of becoming a FSO, but I think I have a good chance. Any comments you could give on the oral exams would be great. I read what you have written and it looks like good advice. I’m 45. I worked in banking for 14 years then left in 2008 to go back to school to earn a second MA in teaching. I have been a teacher (history) for two years, but I have been thinking about the foreign service for many years. I have many questions I wish I could ask but, I’d like to hear your comments on the oral exam as well as any comments on your career as it is now.

    1. Good luck, David. The oral exam is now about four years ago so I don’t have much more to add than what I wrote in the blog. Don’t try to “win” the group exercise — facilitate input from everyone at the table and help move everyone to get to resolution. They are looking more at process than substance of your project. Use the Yahoo! group to practice and have prepared several short stories to tell during the interview.

      The career, like most, is what you make of it. I’m enjoying the diversity (geography, language, job duties, people). I absolutely loved the work and people in Pakistan, despite the obvious challenges of arriving two weeks before the bin Laden raid. My current post in Paris is quite the contrast with a more regimented 9-6 work schedule and multilateral focus. I’m doing trade and agriculture work which is much different than the core political reporting that I was doing in Lahore. For location, however, Paris cannot be beat. Let me know if you have specific questions and I’ll try to get to them.

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