What are you waiting for, register to join now (it's free): CLICK HERE

Author Topic: Choosing Placement  (Read 3579 times)

Offline PeaceCorps1

  • Forum Champion
  • Posts: 75
  • "Don't try to fine tune someone else's view"-Bush
  • PC Status: RPCV
Choosing Placement
« on: January 29, 2014, 02:07:14 AM »
A man in my YMCA swim class states that his recruiter says Peace Corps is gearing up to allow volunteers to choose placement sites. Have any of you heard that?
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur

Offline Jeff

  • Forum Hero
  • Posts: 177
    • Doing it Twice
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Choosing Placement
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 09:19:24 AM »
When I interviewed about 3 months ago, my recruiter told me that PC is going to be going through a change in how they complete the application process.

One of the changes they were throwing around was that an applicant would apply to a specific program in a specific country, rather than the current process where you apply to the PC, then get nominated to a program and (more often than not) invited to a different one.

It would make the process more 'streamlined' supposedly, and it would function more like a 'normal' job - you either get the position or you don't.  He did not have ANY details and made it very clear that it was just one of the options being considered, and that specifics/details were not available yet.  If you have already applied, this probably doesn't apply to you even if they implement the changes in the near future.

Again, it was just a possibility at the time, so I don't know if it will or won't happen, but I do know that everyone consistently says that changes are coming.
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline Jeff

  • Forum Hero
  • Posts: 177
    • Doing it Twice
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Choosing Placement
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 09:21:19 AM »
Speaking about nominations, I do know that I was able to choose a specific country and program to be nominated for - although that doesn't mean much when it comes to invitation as most volunteers are placed in countries other than their nominations.

First time through: nominated for Central Asia, went to West Africa.
Second time through: nominated for Moldova, going to Armenia (at least it's in the same region this time!).

Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline Molly

  • Posting Member
  • Posts: 5
  • PC Status: Applicant
Speaking of changes... anyone have a better idea of the timeline now?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 09:59:34 AM »
Speaking of changes... anyone have a better idea of the timeline now? Anyone go through the new process completely?

I'm waiting on an invitation! I was nominated in Nov. and just trying to ball park a few things. They gave me a tentative leave date of June 2014. I'm trying to get ahead and book doctor's appointments as I've heard that that slows the whole process a bunch.

Offline RPCVro

  • Leading Member
  • Posts: 49
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Choosing Placement
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 01:59:31 PM »
The process began switching over in November. When you go to the PC website now, you can see which countries have what programs/requirements, when the next group departs, and the deadline for consideration to that departure. Their goal for overall timeline is 6 months. Now, that's the goal. At the moment, I think the average is still around 8 months, but it could be more or could be less. After nomination, you are checked by the Office of Medical Services and then undergo a legal check. Until you submit ALL requested materials and follow-up, your application does not move forward. No one at the actual placement office will touch or see your application until it has passed the medical pre-check and the legal pre-check. That's why it's important to get everything submitted as quickly as possible. If something comes up that needs to be resolved, there may not be enough time before decisions need to be made about the program to which you were originally nominated.

As for "choosing" a placement, there are still the core expectations required of volunteers, one of which includes going where you are needed, even in conditions of hardship. If you limit yourself to just one country in particular, you are significantly narrowing your chances of being selected. The fact still remains that Peace Corps receives more applications annually than they have open positions in the field. The more flexible you are, the better your chances.

I think what they're trying to do is be more willing to have a discussion with applicants about where they want to go and what they want to get out of their service. As there are now many organizations which offer short-term overseas volunteering opportunities, Peace Corps needs to remain competitive in a shifting market. For many, getting to "make a difference" in the span of just 2 weeks-6 months would be more appealing than 27 months, especially since those programs allow you a great degree of control (because you're typically paying to do it).

This is all in regards to getting an invitation. When you arrive in country, your actual assignment and site location will be determined by in-country program staff.

Offline Jeff

  • Forum Hero
  • Posts: 177
    • Doing it Twice
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Choosing Placement
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 02:14:21 PM »
Molly,

I was also nominated in mid-November for June 2014...received my invite last Friday for August.

There really is still a wide-range of timeframes for people; I know of some who were nominated before me and have not received an invite, and others who got their invites faster than I did.

Jeff.
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline cdillon8769

  • Forum Champion
  • Posts: 52
  • Be the change you want to see
  • PC Status: Applicant
Re: Choosing Placement
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 04:11:42 PM »
Molly,

I was also nominated in mid-November for June 2014...received my invite last Friday for August.

There really is still a wide-range of timeframes for people; I know of some who were nominated before me and have not received an invite, and others who got their invites faster than I did.

Jeff.

True the timeline is very subjective to a person... Personally Nominated in May and still waiting on invite so here's hoping sometime soon.
Caroline
Invitee: Lesotho, Africa June 2014

"The ones crazy enough to believe that they can change the world, do" Steve Jobs

Offline PeaceCorps1

  • Forum Champion
  • Posts: 75
  • "Don't try to fine tune someone else's view"-Bush
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Choosing Placement
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2014, 12:27:34 AM »
It seems the new applicants are glad to hear this news while the RPCVs and current volunteers may have a little 'green eyed monster' ism. As long as one has not accepted an invite (and we all know how long that wait time is) there is still a chance of new applicants having the option of perhaps choosing a site. Time will tell...
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur

Offline Jeff

  • Forum Hero
  • Posts: 177
    • Doing it Twice
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Choosing Placement
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 12:20:08 PM »
I agree it is possible, but based on past practice, Peace Corps has, in my experience, always grandfathered in people under earlier processes to continue under whichever process they applied from.

I definitely see positives and negatives of both ways of doing things - I NEVER would have picked Ghana, but I ended up thinking it was probably a great placement for me, even more so than what I had originally thought I wanted.
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline koji

  • Forum Hero
  • Posts: 113
    • Transitions in the East
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Choosing Placement
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2014, 02:01:12 AM »
I know what you mean Jeff. I never would have chosen Bulgaria. One of the reasons Peace Corps appealed to me was that I knew what I wanted to do but I didn't really have any preference for where I wanted to go. If given the choice I probably would have chosen someplace HOT without this strange "winter" thing. But, Bulgaria totally and completely changed my life and my volunteerism was successful here. I would find it a bit overwhelming to HAVE to choose a placement (although options are usually a good thing).