Friday, April 30, 2010

How did I get here?

There's a long and a short answer to that question. The long answer involves traveling, studying, and meeting lots of current and former FSOs and eventually growing interested enough to apply for myself.

Which leads me to the short answer, I applied. I applied in the winter for the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship in Foreign Affairs. I hoped to get in, but certainly didn't expect it, so when I got an email inviting me to move on to the next stage in early-April (while on a work trip to Malaysia no less) I was as stressed as I was excited. Less than two weeks later I found myself on a plane to DC. I felt like a bit of a mess going into the interview. I was seriously jetlagged, had to have my mom buy me a suit in the states since I couldn't find one locally, I'd left my job in a state of minor chaos, and I had next to no idea what the interview would be like. At least I can be pretty confident that everyone else being interviewed was in the same boat.

The next bit was pretty rushed. I met the other candidates (40 total) and we all had a quick interview, a quick test, and a tour of the FSI(foreign service institute). I was back on a flight to Colombo the next day and within 48 hours had gotten the news that I was accepted. Less than one month from the first email to my acceptance! What a whirlwind.

There's an orientation for fellows in June, but since I'm living abroad I won't be attending. I love to travel, but it's a very long flight for a day and a half long orientation, so I'm relieved to be sitting this one out. Now all I have to do is survive the heat until the end of June when my job is finished. I get a whole month to rebuild relationships with everyone back home and then, for the first time in a few years, settle down in the USA! So happy right now...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Step 1

So here I am, starting out on what will hopefully be a long and crazy journey.
I just found out that I'm a Pickering Fellow, meaning that my graduate degree will be paid for by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and then I'll be moving on to a career in the Foreign Service. !!! More later.