A Minor Setback

Very few people who apply for the U.S. Foreign Service get job offers. About 2% of all applicants get offered jobs. I knew this going into the process, so I was not surprised earlier today when I got a letter informing me that, because of my experience, I will not be offered an interview in Washington, D.C.

Given that 80% of the people who take the Foreign Service Exam fail, I can’t exactly call this a blow to the ego. I passed the intellectual part of the application just fine. After that, came the biographical vetting. I knew that I was competing with people who law and master’s degrees and people who have lived abroad more than me, so I’m not exactly surprised. Still, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t upset at least a little. I am still proud that I passed the initial test, though, and will probably reapply after I have more experience under my belt.

At present, my Peace Corps application is doing fine. I don’t doubt that they will take me, given my experience abroad and as a teacher. I was offered a Peace Corps interview very quickly after my initial application, and it went well. I’m still going abroad long-term again, but I on a fallback plan.

Not that I have any room to bitch. I applied for a very, very privileged and elite position, and I’m still on track to accomplish my long-term goals. I have no regrets whatsoever about applying. Passing the Foreign Service Exam was a tremendous affirmation, and I’m not going to waste energy on regret. Peace Corps, here I come.

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