Tag Archives: Fulbright

Fulbright and the future

I found out today that I was named an Alternate for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Turkey. Somewhat disappointing, but I’m not devastated because it just means I will (hopefully) get to start my first choice, joining the Foreign Service, even earlier than I had thought. If I got the Fulbright, I was planning to defer my FS candidacy for my Fulbright year in Turkey and wait for an offer to join afterwards. I even considered saying yes to Fulbright but not deferring on the Foreign Service in case I got a last minute offer. Since it’s unclear if I’ll ultimately end up in Turkey, I have much more flexibility to join the Foreign Service as soon as they’ll have me. I’m getting closer to medical clearance and have a class 7 (pending) medical clearance so far, I just need to send in some official lab reports. Security clearance could be another story, but I hope things are in my favor since I’ve previously held a secret clearance for my internship.

I’m no stranger to rejection- someday I’d love to make a list of all the things I’ve applied for at Rice and afterwards that I didn’t get accepted to, it would be extremely long! Funnily enough, I already have my first choice- the Foreign Service, almost in the bag. This half rejection gives me more motivation to study up on my German in order to get the .17 bonus points to make my score a 5.77, which will really make me competitive for the next few orientation classes. I’m taking that test on April 30, also wünsch mir viel Glück! In the meantime, I’ll be practicing my German, applying for lots of jobs, and hoping things move quickly!

Just Keep Saying Yes! Foreign Service vs Fulbright vs Peace Corps?

My supervisor from the US Embassy Vienna and I have stayed really close since my internship a year ago. I even got to visit her in DC after taking my Oral Assessment- it was one of the proudest moments ever when I got to walk inside Main State with her and think, “I passed the Orals- I’m actually going to work here for real someday!!!” She had some incredibly useful advice (as usual) on my post-college plans: Say yes to everything. Don’t reject any opportunity at this point, because you never know how it could turn out.

2014-03-13 23.40.32

Here we are on the Embassy Instagram page matching in polka dots at a UN Vienna youth event!

I’ve wondered a lot lately what I will eventually end up doing after graduation. To be honest, I never really expected to even have the problem of deciding which program I would choose if I actually got all three. It’s looking more and more like at least both Fulbright and the Foreign Service might work out!

Anyone who knows me well understands that I absolutely hate uncertainty. I’d prefer to know months, even years ahead, what I’ll be doing with my life. I frequently dream of fast-forwarding several months so that I can find out what I’m doing after Rice- if things work out and I get an A-100 call. Right now, I’m focusing on enjoying the several possible scenarios that could happen to me in the new year. 2015 is going to be full of excitement- I just wish I knew what kind! Until I know for sure and have an unconditional job offer, I’m going to just keep saying yes.

First Post: A lot has happened lately!

I expected the month of January to be exciting for my future plans, but not even close to this level of awesome.

On January 12, I took and passed the Foreign Service Oral Assessment in Washington. I got a pretty great score that makes it likely I’ll get a job offer off the Register for public diplomacy! January 16 I found out that I was named a finalist for the Fulbright ETA to Turkey. Not much from Peace Corps, but the application deadline for Cambodia was just January 15. It’s been a busy, sometimes nerve-wracking month to say the least!

I have pretty obsessively read Foreign Service, Peace Corps, and Fulbright blogs over the past year or so. I’m really grateful to every blogger who shared their own journey to working abroad- that’s why I’ve decided to share my own! I’ll be posting a short recap on my Foreign Service application process, as well as one on Fulbright soon 🙂