The Unofficial Motto: “It Depends”

Hello there readers! It’s been a while. Much has changed in my normal life (hello from Texas!), but not much has budged on the foreign service process. The worst part of this whole process is that once you get yourself on the register, all you can do is wait. Continue reading


Dreaming of FSI

My cat sitting on a suitcase, ready to travel

Hello all! I’m still ticking away on the register. Hiring has picked up again, which is excellent, but it may not be enough to clear the backlog on the political register down to my score. I’ll know more after the invitations for the September and October/November classes go out. In the meantime, I’ll be studying Spanish to take my language test and improve my score.

My former study buddy was invited to the 194th A-100 and has been posting drool-worthy pictures in the last few weeks. So, to indulge my fantasizing about a future with the Foreign Service, I thought I’d post this handy map. It is a map of all of the Foreign Service PCS Lodging Program Housing. I’ve newly updated it to reflect the current housing offered on each of the housing websites. They all look amazing!

Continue reading

I’m On the Register!

I feel like this GIF really encompasses my feelings right now. So happy and yet overwhelmed. I am officially on the Political Cone Register for the Foreign Service!

For those who are just joining in, getting on the register means I am now on a (big) list of people who have been approved by the government as good people to hire. I will now wait until I am (hopefully) called off the list to join a training course (called an A-100) which typically happen 4 or 5 times a year. Continue reading

Case Management: FSOA Guide Part 4

Please take the following with a HUGE grain of salt as this is the only section I did not pass on the Oral Assessment. I believe this was due to the following factors:

  1. I wrote too many notes on my notebook paper before typing, much of it was unnecessary in the end
  2. I wrote too much in general on my memo – I ended up having one or two bullet points (that I intended to turn into a conclusion) on the third page of a two page memo. Big no-no. I did not have time to edit down to an appropriate length
  3. I ran out of time. This was my own fault for not writing down the “finish” time at the start of the exam. I was also looking at two clocks which showed different times (my watch, which was correct, and the clock on the computer, which was inexplicably an hour or two behind). I got confused and thought I had another 10 minutes when I totally didn’t. Bummer

Taking all of that into account, I have not FIOA’ed my score breakdown from the OA so I do not know by how much I missed the mark on the Case Memo. I definitely failed when I printed out a “3 page” memo missing a concluding paragraph. Dang.

The following info is what I used to study for the Case Management section of the Oral Assessment. It is, to the best of my knowledge, NDA compliant. Continue reading

After The Fact(s): FSOA Guide Part 3

If you’re a regular reader here (or you happened to glace at the side bar) you’ll notice that it’s been over 4 months since I took my Oral Assessment in Washington D.C.. My apologies for the long gap, I would say I was hoping to avoid any NDA compliance issues by letting the details fuzz a little, but mostly I was just lazy. 😛

First things first, I PASSED MY OA!

I received a score of 5.5, which realistically isn’t going to get me off the wagon any time soon. More on my score, the hiring situation, and my OA recap in my next post. For now, I want to address the two sections of the OA study guide that I didn’t get a chance to write before my actual OA test date. Unfortunately, writing these sections after the fact complicates it somewhat; the following blog post is primarily written from study materials I had accrued before taking the test and is NDA compliant. Hope this helps any of you studying for the next round of OAs! Continue reading