I remember senior year at Penn State going to an information session for Peace Corps and thought it was really interesting. Here are these people who get to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience while helping other people out. It seemed pretty cool. I was really going to apply to Peace Corps too. But I got caught up in the whole recruiting process all my cohorts were going through and by the time I knew it I had accepted a job offer.
I worked for a while but felt unsatisfied and so I started to look around for different opportunities. It was around this time I started thinking back to the information session I had been to in college and so I decided to apply to The Peace Corps. I finally submitted my application September 2008. Then the economic crisis hit…..
My recruiter contacted me and requested fingerprints and information for a background check. She also scheduled my interview for November 21, 2008. Fortunately the interview went well and I was officially nominated November 25, 2008. I had been nominated for Business Advising in francophone Africa!
After being nominated I quickly responded that I would accept the nomination which started the screening process. So, I filled out various medical, dental, and eyesight forms having a whole lot of bloodwork done. I went through all the steps and was cleared medically and legally. At this point it was a waiting game until the invitation.
I received an e-mail in February 2009 from the Africa Placement Office. Essentially there were a decreased number of positions available and therefore for every open placement there were two nominees. On top of that I would have to wait 6-8 weeks for a final decision. Having thought that at this point my invitation was pretty much a done deal this e-mail concerned me so I reached out to my recruiter. I guess she reached out to the Placement Office and my placement officer called me and left a message asking if she could ask me some questions about my application. She called again the next day and proceeded to ask me a few questions. After having asked them and being satisfied with the answers she extended me an invitation on the spot. I was officially invited March 4, 2009 to be a small enterprise development volunteer in Mali. Next stop Bamako, Mali on July 10, 2009!