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Wherein I almost cardiac arrest for no reason

Thursday night I came home from a lovely banquet with my mentoring program, opened my inbox all innocent-like and saw an e-mail from my lovely placement assistant with a subject line of  “Peace Corps Check In”

oh. em. gee.

Here is how I deal with this.

1) Excitement: skim the e-mail. No immediate sense of the words ‘invited’. However, any contact is good contact. What could this mean? See that the e-mail began with:

hope this email finds you well!  I’m writing to you from the Peace Corps Placement Office in Washington, D.C. We are busy reviewing and evaluating your Peace Corps application to be sure that everything looks good for you to be approved for service. I reviewed your file this morning and I identified a couple items that needed follow-up.

2) Fear: after the excitement brought by the initial statement, I am scared by the last sentence. What if what they NEED from me for follow-up is something I can’t provide??? What if the follow-up is some sort of superhuman gauntlet trial-by-fire??? What if they want someone else??? See this:

At this time we need a final copy of your transcript that shows your degree was completed in full. Do not send this information until after you have actually graduated.

And this:

I would also like you to send me an updated professionally formatted resume which includes the following: Name, Address, Phone Number, Permanent E-mail, Summary of Skills, Education, Volunteer and Work Experience and Additional Interests or Skills

3) Perplexed: as you may recall, I sent them an updated resume a few weeks back. As you may recall this is oddly similar in format to the e-mail I received from the Education Desk right after medical clearance. Huh.

4) Paranoia: What if they sent this e-mail because the updated resume I sent was insufficient? What if it wasn’t ‘professionally’ formatted enough and this is some sort of passive-aggressive comment on the insufficiency of my experience?

OK, most likely not.

However, I did quick send off the same resume again in response, and later realized it didn’t have an “additional interests or skills” section and I didn’t include my work experience because the relationship between waiting tables and teaching English is minimal (whereas I volunteer as an ESL teacher). Plus, they have that from my original application, right? Which brings us to…

5) Sublime restlessness: I realized this is probably a boilerplate message and not a commentary on my resume. I was mildly irked it was basically the same e-mail as the last one, but I did gain new information, namely that my file is being looked at by a real-live honest-to-goodness human being. What it does mean for my RAS is contained in the last paragraph:

Once you submit your updated materials it may take some time before you hear from your Placement Specialist regarding the final evaluation of your application materials.  You will receive notification as soon as you are qualified for service.  Your Placement Specialist will be in touch about a possible invitation to serve in the weeks following this qualification.

I think this is the home stretch. I’ve knocked on wood, kept my karma right and am throwing salt over my shoulder to make sure this continues to be a smooth process (or as smooth as it can be). Wish me luck, and next time I will be more prepared when I open my inbox.


About ItsTheClaire

College student, potential Peace Corps Volunteer.

2 responses »

  1. Good news: Yes, this is the home stretch!
    Bad news: The homestretch can still take awhile … it doesn’t mean it’s going to take awhile, but it could.

    I’m not surprised you got an email that is very similar to a previous email. You might be right that your updated resume didn’t have some of the things they wanted or it wasn’t in a decent format (though format doesn’t really matter all that much because you’ll be asked to do ANOTHER one in a very specific format when you get an invite). It also could just mean that in the tons of emails they get, your resume didn’t make it into your file. It happens. No need to worry.

    The person that you got an email from is an assistant in the placement office. As soon as they have the stuff for your file, they put that file onto the desk of an “honest-to-goodness” 🙂 real live Placement Specialist 🙂 it has NO FURTHER to go than that! Granted, the specialist could have tons of files on their desk so it could still take awhile to get through to yours … BUT, it has no more clearances, no more hold ups, nothing.

    So, be happy! I remember this stage very very well. RAS is going to kick into overdrive, but just be patient. You are there!

    Good luck 🙂

    If you’d like to send me any questions or anything, please feel free. My Placement was really in depth and I have tons of info I can share if you’d like.

    My email is

    • Thank you so much! I will e-mail you if I have any questions, which I most likely will.

      I keep waiting for something to go wrong–the process has been blessedly smooth for me so far, about as easy as I imagine it could be, which of course means I have to overcome SOME obstacle at some point.


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