Monday, May 02, 2005

The End of Waiting

It has been approximately one year since I sat down to the Foreign Service written exam. At that time I was living in London in a cramped East End flat, trying to convince myself that the MA I was earning really would lead to some sort of job, and that toiling away in the British Library feeding books to my obsession with concepts of Self and Other was an entirely healthy and natural thing to do. And now, in Hawaii, a million miles away from London and the British Library Cafe's lovely cups of latte, I find myself contemplating a whole new life occupying new and different cramped rooms in far off lands -- this time for the good of my country. And this time, getting paid.

After all the rigamarole about medical clearances and background checks, the emailed job offer was rather anticlimactic. But as the realities of the situation are slowly dawning on me, I find I'm becoming more excited. Putting in my 2 weeks notice at my current job was blissful -- I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever work retail again as long as I live. Instead, I'll be doing something impactful and meaningful and dashing and brave. And -- not to get too mundane here -- I'll have health benefits! A retirement plan! I had scarcely dared to dream of this before...


Anonymous said...

Hi Katie; great news about the FS exame.

Out of interest, when did you get the news?

Not sure that the BL coffee is that great.

Katie said...

I took the written exam in April or May of last year, heard back from the FS in June or July, and then passed the oral evaluation in October of that same year. I then received an email from my FS Human Resources contact on April 26th which contained a job offer.

The quality of the BL coffee depends largely on the quality of the company you're with. I had excellent company.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Katie. You're quite right about the coffee!

KK Narita said...

Hey Katie,
I happened across your blog and I am really interested in becoming a foreign office myself, but I am also so gal you mentioned you were living in London. I currently attend school in London and I am also planning on getting my masters in London. I was wondering if you also pursued your degree in London and if you found it hard to translate those degrees into the foreign office department.

Many thanks!

Katie said...

I have a master's from SOAS, and I loved my time in London. The Foreign Service does not require anything over a high school diploma, however, and so there's no worry about translating the degree into something for State. More important than the actual degree to my current career has been the experience of being in a foreign culture and being constantly challenged on U.S. policy. I learned a number of lessons during that time that I often apply to what I'm doing now.

I hope that you have the same wonderful experience in the UK, and very good luck to you on joining the FS! It's a great job.