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Author Topic: Worried I wont be accepted  (Read 4537 times)

Offline Kytee19

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Worried I wont be accepted
« on: March 24, 2014, 10:35:39 AM »
My name is Kaity and I am 22 almost 23. Since I was a kid I have wanted to join the Peace Corps but I never really looked into it until now. Next May (2015) I will be graduating college and I have decided that this is something I really want to do. I can sit here and list a hundred reasons why I want to do it but I know that those ultimately wont be why I get accepted. From the Peace Corps website it seems what they really care is your experience. I feel like I don't have enough to get accepted.

I have bounced around at 3 different colleges and will finally be graduating with my bachelors in Liberal Studies and Behavioral Sciences. I work full time at a hotel as the Front Desk Lead Guest Services Representative. I did some interning as a high school student at an Elementary School but I am worried that I will still be denied. I know that every case goes on a case by case basis but I am wondering if someone can suggest some things that might help my chances at a "nomination"

I am going to meet with a recruiter next Monday. Is there any questions I should ask him/her?

Offline Jeff

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Re: Worried I wont be accepted
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 11:20:06 AM »
Working the front desk at a hotel can actually give you a lot of relevant experience - not only in working with people, but in problem solving, dealing with difficult situations, dealing with people from different backgrounds, etc.

That being said, in my experience, PC does look at and put a lot of weight on volunteer work, so the one thing I would suggest is looking into some volunteer opportunities now that you can do to beef up that side of your resume.  If you do apply and get a denial, I would call up PC recruiting directly and talk to them about it - often times they will work with you; maybe tell you to get 30 hours of such and such type volunteer experience, for example.

When speaking to the recruiter, I would definitely ask about what could make you a more competitive candidate.  Some programs require a certain number of hours of volunteer work, and if there is a sector you are interested in, ask about that specifically (I think TEFL might be 30 hours??).  I don't know if they maintain any lists of organizations that offer those hours locally, but that might be a question as well.  They (in my experience) are really good at suggesting what would make you more competitive, or if you even need to do anything additional at all.

Good luck!!!
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline koji

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Re: Worried I wont be accepted
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 12:10:59 AM »
I think another thing PC looks at, besides volunteer experience, is your ability to complete service. You say you bounced around to several uni's (I did as well, in fact I didn't even get me B.S. until I finished serving)... but is there some other experience you can offer that shows you can remain dedicated to something/someone/someplace for an extended period of time? This might be clubs in high school, or college, or a steady job for a length of time, anything that shows you can stick with one project for awhile will probably help.

But definitely second the volunteering. Find a way to volunteer and even if you don't have the hours when you apply it will look good that you are trying. Also, not sure how it is now but I know when I applied it was about a year wait between applying and leaving. Perhaps I advocate about this too much on this forum, but have you thought about doing AmeriCorps for that year while you wait? It is a great experience and I think PC likes working with AmeriCorps alumni because they are already trained and experienced in grass roots organization. The VISTA is really a great experience in itself and I used so much of my experience from VISTA while in PC. So, if on your application you can say you were accepted to a 6 month or 11 month americorps program that would probably look great, even if you haven't completed it yet, and also fill that awkward gap between college and when you leave.

Offline Kytee19

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Re: Worried I wont be accepted
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 05:10:32 PM »
I don't really have time to do the whole AmeriCorps thing from what I was reading online about it. I work full time and I go to school full time.

I am planning on doing some volunteer experience but I keep getting different information. I was told that I am a good candidate for Education but when looking at the qualifications I don't qualify and I am not sure how to. I am thinking about doing some volunteering with some kids at maybe like the Boys and Girls Club or something like that.

Offline shawn

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Re: Worried I wont be accepted
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2014, 11:00:35 PM »
Definitely get in touch with a recruiter. They will tell you, even before you apply, what you can do to help increase you competitiveness. I know one in the Chicago area that I served with who does exclusively college recruiting if you want a direct line in.

Otherwise, find out who your campus recruiter is or go to a regional PC event and just ask them straight up. If you give them the jist of you and your background, they can guide you in the right direction.

Also, your measurable qualifications are really only a means to get your assigned recruiter/placement officers attention. Once they call you about your application, its all about selling your experiences and making them applicable to what you'll be doing in the Peace Corps. Working customer service might not seem that relevant on paper (although as pointed out it kinda is), but you can for sure sell that experience as relevant.


And don't fret so much, I've seen PCVs with less experience than you and they not only made it in but were fantastic Volunteers.
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council