Once you hit the hiring register for the Foreign Service, you are ranked in accordance with a score that you acheived during the all-day oral assessment. The hiring is then done from this list, from the top down, with high scores receiving the first invitations to what is colloquially known as "A-100" (a nickname earned by the room number the training course was formerly held in). There are separate hiring lists for each of the five career tracks the Foreign Service utilizes (political, economic, management, consular, and public diplomacy). Each list operates independently. Training courses begin like clockwork every six weeks right now.
We are on the cusp of offers going out for the training course which begins June 21, 2010. I belong to a message board of fellow aspiring FS officers, and the offers have already started going out for consular and management candidates. During my morning commute today, I initially felt a bit anxious, knowing that public diplomacy offers could go out today. After all, I have a very good life here. My home, freshly renovated after two plus years of hard work, has never felt cozier. The wild lupine that I've been cultivating in our field over the last few years looks like it has finally taken hold, but the orchard I put in is in need of work after a hard winter--work which should commence forthwith, but work which I will have no time for if I get an offer for the June class. The lilacs are coming along nicely after several years of hard pruning to refresh them. Spring is in the air, and the world here seems fresh and bright. We have a number of enjoyable lakefront places to escape to on the weekends now, when summer is fully upon us. We live near endless amenitites that we regularly take full advantage of. Are we really going to give all of this up for a life inherently fraught with upheaval and as-yet unknowable hardships? It seems a bit crazy, and the thought of it makes me a bit nervous.
On the other hand, this crazy FS plan of ours truly is a well thought out plan, and it is beyond exciting that we are at this point. The exciting moments far outnumber the anxious ones.
Consultation with my message board this morning revealed that I need not feel overly anxious today, because it appears there is merely more waiting in store for me. According to my friends on the message board, it appears that public diplomacy offers won't go out until at least next Wednesday. If there is one thing this process teaches you, it is most certainly the fine art of patience.