Thursday, October 20, 2011

The next step

So I mentioned a while back that I was going through the process of trying to become a foreign service officer. Every time I talk about pursuing the foreign service, I always feel the need to affirm that I actually have a job that I enjoy, one that is challenging, rewarding, and is exactly what I wanted to be doing when I was in graduate school. In the current economic climate having any job, let alone an interesting, well-paying job that I love, should leave me more than content. But I'm not content, I'm restless. Which led me to take the written foreign service exam back in June, which I passed, and after another screening step that involved submitting some short essays (know as personal narrative questions - PNQs - in State Department speak), I was invited to take the oral exam. The whole process is long and exhausting, so I'm thankful to have lots of other things to keep me occupied, but getting this far has really made me realize how much I actually want this.

I will be taking the oral exam in mid-November, and am now getting my head wrapped around this notoriously challenging day. The day is made up of three parts, a group exercise, a one-on-one interview, and a memo writing section. A detailed description of the day is here, but long story short is that it is grueling, and the people who will be there with me will likely be very experienced and highly impressive. The best part of the day is that you find out at the end of the day if you pass or if you are sent back to the beginning, so either way I'll know in less than a month if this path is something that might potentially pan out.

But I'm really pretty zen about the whole process and am looking forward to the challenge. Stay tuned...

I had it once, I'll have it again - the black passport

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