Posts Tagged ‘Moldova

23
Mar
11

The Secret Life of a Peace Corps Application

Peace Corps Volunteer Moldova Application Invitation AcceptanceI DID IT! Yep, that’s me on the left and my mum on the right. We’re holding my unopened invitation to serve in the Peace Corps during its 50th year! Before now, I was hesitant to post anything related to my application in case that it didn’t work out (thinking somehow I would jinx it). But alas! It’s really happening, so I feel safe letting everyone in on the news 😉

The application is just the beginning. During my 27 months of service in Moldova, I look forward to learning a new language, integrating with my host family and community, and pushing myself to the limit. In case you’re curious what goes into the application process, here’s a time line of my experience:

April 9, 2010– I establish an online account for my Peace Corps application. Throughout the next few months, I tailor my resume to match an education position and I work to complete the application form, two essays, my employment history. I also collect college transcripts and three references (my college roommate, my current employer, and one of my college professors).

July 1 – I submit my complete application, meeting the deadline for service beginning in 2011.

July 9 – My recruiter contacts me for the first time and welcomes me to the application process. She requests me to fill out several forms including the Education Skill Addendum and Romantic Involvement Questionnaire.

July 12 – Peace Corps sends me a fingerprinting packet in the mail. I send it back in within a week, but the officer who did my fingerprints forgot to sign the form! My recruiter sends a new packet right away and I resend the new forms.

August 10 – My recruiter calls me during work for a phone interview, but thankfully my employer is aware and very supportive of my Peace Corps goals, and offers her consent. Near the end of the 1.5-hour interview, my phone nearly dies. My stomach is in knots from all the excitement.

August 13 – My recruiter nominates me for an English Teaching program in Eastern Europe / Central Asia and I am asked to fill out a Nomination Requirement Form. The form asks me to outline my plans for gaining experience required to maintain my nomination.

August 20 – I contact the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida to see about enhancing the competitiveness of my application and completing a 30-hour tutoring requirement.

August 23 – Peace Corps medical forms arrive in the mail. In a stack, they resemble a paperback copy of The Fountainhead. I’m not sure how I’m going to finish all of these by December, but I’m going to try.

September 30 – After a lengthy fingerprinting process, a volunteer coordinator’s server crash, missed phone calls, and hours of searching for alternative volunteering options, I’m finally allowed to start work with the Club. I’m running out of time, so I readjust my work schedule to allow myself to volunteer on weekdays.

October 20 – There’s no better way to end my 21-hour bloodwork-related fast than by $0.29 tacos at Del Taco. Breakfast, lunch and dinner for $3.04! Typical running around associated with said evaluation somehow turned an 8-hour fast into one of 21 hours.

November 4 – I take a day off of work to knock out my Td and polio vaccinations at the health department downtown.

November 16 – My medical review paperwork is complete and I befriend a photocopier before I mail out the behemoth of a packet!

November 18 – Peace Corps receives my medical packet.

November 19 – I clear the dental review!

November 20 – Peace Corps begins my medical review.

November 23 – My Peace Corps medical evaluation nurse calls to inform me that I am “basically” qualified. She is a ninja… What takes some 1-3 months, she does in three days. There is one issue, however, and this delays my application.

January 6, 2011 – At last, my medical review is complete! The Office of Medical Services and the Office of Placement begins an OMS/Placement review…

January 11 – A placement assistant on the Education Skills desk asks me to submit an updated resume, a refined cross-cultural essay that lists more specific examples of adapting to an unfamiliar situation, and a new relationship questionnaire, which is more in-depth than the previous form. I submit all of these within a week.

January 20 – February 7 – I contemplate whether I should start applying for other jobs, in case Peace Corps doesn’t want me after all.

January 25 – Nearing the end of my lease, I move from Orlando to Tampa and make arrangements with my job to work remotely.

January 30 – My boyfriend of two years dumps me, and I slowly fall in love with an old friend.

February 8 – After an unexpected follow-up interview, my placement officer qualifies me to receive an invitation to serve. At this point, I don’t know in which region of the world I’ll be living. She advises me to gain as much ESL teaching experience as possible before my departure, so I get to work on applying for additional volunteer hours.

February 14 – I give notice at work.

February 23 – Because I was medically cleared too late to participate in the program for which I was originally nominated, my placement officer provides me with a choice of two regions: Eastern Europe/Caucasus or Sub-Saharan Africa. She says that choices are not normally provided to volunteers, however she felt comfortable offering them since they were available.

February 24 – Neither assignment would be in a Francophone country, so this renders my language background useless. I decide on Eastern Europe with the hope of taking some earned vacation time in Turkey and avoiding fire ants.

February 25 – My last day at my “real life” desk job.

March 3 – My invitation arrives, but I don’t see it until the next day. It a glorious blue folder with tons of juicy reading material: I’M GOING TO MOLDOVA!

March 6 – The fun begins and I can finally begin researching my future home. I submit my statement of acceptance and get to work on photos for my no-fee passport.

March 16 – I submit my aspiration statement and an updated resume to the Moldova Desk, which is then forwarded to Peace Corps staff in Chisinau…

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