This post is about the application process concerning my timeline starting from my first application to my eventual invite to Senegal. All applicants have a similar timeline starting with submission, being put under consideration (UC), interview request, and then a notification of invitation or not. The time between each phase is not constant and is dependent on each applicant’s placement officer, program and country needs, and how many applicants end up applying. What is constant is that you generally apply 1 year from your desired departure date and you are given a know-by-date if you are put under consideration for a country. The know-by-date is the final day that you can be notified if you are invited or not. This means you can be notified anytime between your interview and the know-by-date you are given. The application process is rather long and requires a lot of patience. With that said, here is my timeline starting from my first application and ending with my invitation:

  • January 11, 2016: Fresh college graduate from December 2015, apply to the Peace Corps – The first time around I didn’t utilize a recruiter. My country preference I believe was: 1. Ghana 2. Senegal and 3. Samoa
  • February 4, 2016: Placed under consideration (UC) for Ghana departing October 2016 with a know by date of June, 1 2016.
  • March 11, 2016: Contacted by placement officer with an interview request for Agriculture Adviser – Agriculture Extension position. Interview scheduled on March 24, 2016.
  • March 24, 2016: Interview for Agriculture Extension position – I will note that in my honest opinion I think it went terribly due to me being nervous about it.
  • April 2016: Begin work at Ag Research Center and contact placement officer and update resume.
  • June 1, 2016: Notified that I was not selected for the position.
  • July-September 2016: During my vacation I decided to contact a Peace Corps recruiter to work on my resume and figure out when to reapply.
  • November 1, 2016: Submit application a second time – This time with the wonderful help of my recruiter.
  • November 8, 2016: Formally met with my recruiter in person and discussed options, expectations for service, and what to do going forward. – For a side note, my recruiter was awesome, I cannot believe I was so stubborn to not use a recruiter the first time around. She helped me strengthen my application and in my opinion make me a much better candidate. My biggest takeaway is her advice to choose the option “Go Anywhere” on your country preferences. By selecting this you are showing that you are willing to put your skills to use anywhere and this could definitely help get you selected. But only select “Go Anywhere” if you truly are willing to go anywhere.
  • November 11, 2016: Preliminary Health History Form (HHF) and selection of Peace Corps Service Preferences. Country Preferences 1. Ghana 2. Senegal 3. Go Anywhere
  • December 9, 2016: Placed UC for Senegal departing 2017
  • December 14, 2016: Interview request received for the Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent position in Senegal. Schedule first available interview slot for December 21, 2016.
  • December 21, 2016: Interview held – The 2nd time around I was much more prepared and ready. (Thanks to my mock interview held with my recruiter and getting in touch with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to learn about their experiences.)
  • January 6, 2017: Formally invited to serve as a Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent in Senegal departing September 21, 2017. Accepted invite.

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