Foreign Service Register – Construction Engineer Position
I am officially on the Foreign Service Register!
On behalf of the Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service, I am pleased to inform you that you have been granted a favorable suitability clearance and your name has been added to the register for those awaiting appointment to the Foreign Service as a Construction Engineer.
A lot has happened since my last post, including the birth of Esmei, our beautiful baby Girl. Thinking about a career change has obviously played a second fiddle, but regardless, this is wonderful news. For those currently involved at various other stages, here is a timeline from the day I originally applied to the position:
- April 30th, 2014: Foreign Service Construction Engineer: Accepting applications.
- May 27th, 2014: Submitted my application online
- May 28th, 2014: Vacancy Announcement Closed
- June 11th, 2014: Foreign Service Construction Engineer: Accepting applications Again.
- July 9th, 2014: Vacancy Announcement Closed
- July 15th, 2014: Invited for Oral Assessment on August 18th, 2014 @ 9:00am
- August 18th, 2014: Passed Oral Assessment with Score of 6.0 out of 7.0 (5.15 Passing)
- August 21st, 2014: Submitted My Security Clearance Documentation
- September 3rd, 2014: Submitted My Medical Clearance Documentation (Waiting for Jennilou to Heal and Baby to Grow Before Submitting Theirs)
- September 17th, 2014: Received Worldwide Medical Clearance
- September 19th, 2014: Contacted by a Security Investigator
- September 21st, 2014: Interviewed by Security Investigator
- November 4th, 2014: My Neighbor Called To Say He Was Interviewed by a Security Investigator (Last One of the 12 People That I Know Of)
- November 10th, 2014: Received e-mail Indicating I have been granted a Favorable Suitability Clearance for the Foreign Service Register
- November 10th, 2014: Received followup e-mail Indicating I am Placed #4 of 6 on the Foreign Service Register for Construction Engineers
It’s fantastic to have made it this far in the process, but without knowing exactly how many positions State is looking to fill this year, being ranked fourth on the Foreign Service Register is a bit unsettling. I thought I would have been higher with my test score, but without any bonus points for knowing a foreign languages or having prior experience with the Federal government, I will have to take it. Nevertheless, after nearly six years of applying to the position, I’m extremely happy to be at the final final step before an appointment. With any luck, I will be chosen for the upcoming Orientation for Foreign Service Specialists I found planned for January 26th on the Foreign Service Institute Training Services Course Schedule.
At this point I don’t believe there is anything else I can do, but sit back and enjoy the moment. And to start, that means trying to get some rest….
Foreign Service Construction Engineer Application – Referred for Additional Consideration
Today was a good day. I received a letter that I have passed the Qualifications Evaluation Panel for the Foreign Service Construction Engineer Specialist position and have been “Referred for Additional Consideration”. My oral assessment is scheduled for August 18th in Washington DC. It feels great to have the opportunity to prove myself again after over three years of dwelling on my previous squelched opportunity. There are few things I need to do:
- Submit “Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service Assessment Confirmation”
- Update my SF-86 Questionnaire for National Security Positions (My previous information is still in the system from Spring 2011, so I only need to add countries I have traveled to since 2011 and my new address)
- Complete DS-7601 Authorization to Conduct Criminal History Inquiry For Spouse
- Book Hotel at the Holiday Inn Washington-Capital (I tried to save a few bucks three years ago and the added stress of navigating the public transportation was not worth the savings.)
- Book Flight (Driving 10 hours one way last time was too much.)
Its probably going to cost around $600 for the weekend (plus a vacation day), but I need to go all in this time. If I don’t pass the test, I don’t want it to be because I’m not rested, relaxed, and prepared. On my last attempt at the Foreign Service Construction Engineer application, I did have to sign some non-disclosure agreements (NDA), so I will not go into detail on what I plan to study. However, I did find an updated US Department of State Foreign Service Specialist Oral Assessment Study Guide in addition to the regular study guides available online…
I have again applied for the Foreign Service Construction Engineer Specialist position this Spring. With outright failed attempts in Fall 2010, and Winter 2012 sandwiched with an invitation but unsuccessful oral assessment in the Spring of 2011 (Scored 5.1 out of 7), I guess I am a glutton for punishment. However, based on my research (see links below), it will be more than worth the effort, if it works out this time.
Construction Engineer Felton Shares Her Journey to the Foreign Service
Bureau of Overseas Building Operations
U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Overseas Building Operations – Design and Construction Program
American Foreign Service Association Blogs
It’s been a long time since I first applied and while a career in the Foreign Service continues to be dream of mine, in some ways, applying for the position feels like attempting to abandon the people I care about while leaving a very good job and life here in Vermont. It’s certainly going to be a tough decision, but at this point, I don’t want to give up on my dream of having the chance to see the world and building world class projects for a just cause.