Friday, July 15, 2005

Feeling Intimidated?

[note] This post was originally posted on the FSWE Board in answer to a statement made by a newcomer that was feeling 'way out of my league' after reading some of the profiles of other individuals who are pursuing our common goal. I felt that posting a copy to my Blog would make it more easily accessible to someone else, who may not have the advantage of being a member of our Group at this time. Is this describes you, please come join our FSWE Yahoo Group!

Don't let the profiles of other candidates fool or intimidate you. The FSOA is not like any job interview you have ever had. They aren't interested in what degree(s) you have, where you have or haven't been, or whether you are mono/bi/multi-lingual. They want to see that you can be articulate, can be a team player, can think on your feet/seat, and can draw on your past life experiences to deal with new and evolving problems.

One's education, one's work/background experience, and cross-cultural experiences all *can* help *you* to demonstrate your potential and worth to BEX, but it still remains that you stand or fall based on your own (self-presented) merits.

During the Structured Interview portion of the OA, you will be asked (in a roundabout way) to demonstrate that you possess the required "13 Dimensions". You don't need to have had an unusual job in an exotic locale to show that - tell them about how an experience in your life appropriately answers the question posed. Maybe you were first chair in band, or came up with a creative lighting solution during the school play. Perhaps you sucessfully lobbied for free vending in your dorm or helped a little old lady in France buy a bus ticket. If you can adequately demonstrate each of the "13 Dimensions", you will pass. It's that easy.

Some candidates pound their chest, bring a three-ring binder stuffed with all sorts of fancy degrees, and wow you with embossed business cards containing the entire alphabet obediently lined up behind their fifteen-syllable name. Big deal. If they can't demonstrate the 13-D's they are out. Game Over. Please try again. Better luck next time. Bye Bye.

The bottom line is: if this is something you think you can do, if this is something you want to do, if this is something you are willing to do, then by all means press on. Don't get discouraged. The Foreign Service is populated by people just like you and me. And that is an encouraging thought.