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Author Topic: Timelines  (Read 6532 times)

Offline Marion

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Timelines
« on: November 18, 2013, 06:27:34 PM »
It took my wife and me about 16 months from when we pressed "submit" on our applications to when we left for staging.

My timeline is listed below.  I would be curious to know how it compared to others.   

Is it true that now you get the invitation BEFORE you do your medical stuff?   For us getting the invitation was the "golden ticket".  Now, I guess getting medical clearance is the last big hurdle? 

  • Oct 26, 2009    Began the online application
  • Nov 25, 2009   Finished the online application and pressed the “submit” button
  • Dec 1, 2009   Last of the three references submitted their comments
  • Dec 18, 2009  Had our interview.  It went very well, but he could not nominate us at this time with our skill sets as there were no positions for couples.  He suggested we add to our skills by doing some English teaching tutoring in a volunteer situation.
  • Jan 23, 2010   We began our ESL volunteering locally
  • Mar 8, 2010   Our recruiter called with the good news.  We were nominated for positions in Eastern Europe with a departure date of March 2011.
  • Mar 19, 2010 We received our Medical/Dental packet.
  • Apr 28, 2010     Tish has dropped her Medical Packet envelope in the mail. 
  • May 3, 2010    I dropped my Medical Packet envelope in the mail.
  • Sept 24, 2010  We received notification that we were medically cleared and our file was moving on to the placement officer.
  • Oct 15, 2010   We got a phone call from the Placement Officer.  After a quick interview she said they were considering us for placement in Sub Saharan Africa with an April departure date.  The job I would be doing would change from English teaching to HIV/AIDS Capacity Building.
  • Oct 21, 2010  We received the official invitation from the Peace Corps to serve in Botswana. Our service is to begin April 2011.
  • Oct 24, 2010    We emailed our acceptance of the invitation for service.
  • Oct 25, 2010    We received an email from the Peace Corps with this opening sentence: “Congratulations and welcome to the Peace Corps! Your place in the Botswana program has now been confirmed.” (This email arrived almost one year, to the day, from the start of our application process.)
  • April 4, 2011 Pre-Service training began in Botswana
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Offline Jeff

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 08:37:18 AM »
It's sort of true - nowadays you submit your Health History Form when you apply, just like you did previously.

Once you are nominated, you receive some tasks for clarification and forms to fill out regarding conditions you listed on the HHF; once done to the PC OMS satisfaction you are medically pre-cleared.  Unlike before, this does not include the dental, full blood work up, etc. (usually)

Once you are pre-cleared medically, you can receive your invitation; once that happens you must do final medical, which is the standard dental, blood-work, etc.

They are also telling you which specific country, program, and departure month you are being nominated for, which is a BIG change from before.

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

Offline cdillon8769

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 10:06:57 AM »
Thanks for the info! I too started a timeline (still waiting for invitation) just for my own sanity.
Caroline
Invitee: Lesotho, Africa June 2014

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

Offline Marion

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 10:08:37 AM »
Jeff.... We were told the region and departure date when we were nominated, and from that you had a pretty good guess as to the country.  Based on that we thought we were going to Albania.  The Peace Corps is pretty famous for switching things around, and when the invitation came it was for sub-saharan Africa!

Fine by us... we were just happy to get the invitation.
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Offline Amelia.Plant

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 01:39:26 AM »
I am very surprised to hear that people are getting actual invitations before they are fully medically cleared.  I wonder why PC is doing it that way.  Seems like a liability and more work if they find out someone has a condition in which they can't work in the country they have been invited to go to.  At least with nomination you have an idea, but like Marion said, that switches.  Mine was health in and around China and I got invited to go to Botswana.  The switch was largely because of my asthma so medical clearance is really important.
Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013

Offline Jeff

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 07:29:59 AM »
@Marion: Yep - the first time I went through the process it was the same as you experienced, the region and departure date.  I remember sitting down with a friend who at the time was a RPCV herself and looking at a map, and figuring out it was most likely Turkmenistan (which was what I wanted).  Of course, PC being PC, I ended up in Ghana instead!

This time around they actually gave me a specific country and asked for my input, along with which sector and departure month I wanted....and my nomination reflects all three of my preferences (though they still give the caveat that it'll probably change)!


@Amelia: I don't know how true this is, but from talking to someone at PCHQ, it seems its more about cost and effort, both for the PC office and for the applicant.  They want to make sure you are a truly suitable candidate and you are not going to withdraw because of your country/sector of invitation before spending the money on your final reviews, and asking you to spend money on your medical/dental.

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

Offline Amelia.Plant

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2013, 08:01:44 AM »
I understand having input with them and getting a real idea of where you will be going.  But how can you accept an invitation when they aren't sure that you are medically fit to be in that country?  Or does the pre-medical clearance somehow clear that up?
Amelia
RPCV, Botswana 2011-2013

Offline Jeff

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2013, 09:38:19 AM »
Yep - that's the pre-clearance; its supposed to give an indicator for what countries will be able to accomodate known issues.

At least according to my recruiter!

What's interesting, is over the next two years, my understanding is that PC is planning on changing the process completely.  Pre-medical will be one of the first things you do, then you will apply directly to a specific program/country based on a list of eligible countries (based, in turn, on your pre-medical/application).  The nomination process will be a thing of the past.

While I don't work for PC, I was told this by both my recruiter and another person from PCHQ who works on applicant process (from the policy level).

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

Offline jlmanzak

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2013, 09:42:20 AM »
That is so interesting to hear Jeff! I'm not sure how I feel about that. One of the most exciting parts of applying for me was wondering where I would go. I also like the idea of PC being able to match applicants with the program where they are most needed. I wonder if applicants being able to choose where they want to apply will make it more difficult to fill certain programs in less popular locations?

Offline Jeff

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2013, 10:22:16 AM »
I agree - even knowing where my nomination is for is kind of a mixed bag.  I remember the first time I did PC, waiting to hear where my invitation was for, and finally hearing a country named towards the very end of the process...

Even this time, waiting to hear my nomination after my interview...I kind of like that it's different than a normal job process.  With the changes, I realize it might be easier for PC from an efficiency perspective, but it makes it seem more...like applying to a normal job.  If that makes any sense!
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline wreloise

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 12:16:43 PM »
Thank you for the detailed information, it calms the emotions of anxiety!!!
 :)
It took my wife and me about 16 months from when we pressed "submit" on our applications to when we left for staging.

My timeline is listed below.  I would be curious to know how it compared to others.   

Is it true that now you get the invitation BEFORE you do your medical stuff?   For us getting the invitation was the "golden ticket".  Now, I guess getting medical clearance is the last big hurdle? 

  • Oct 26, 2009    Began the online application
  • Nov 25, 2009   Finished the online application and pressed the “submit” button
  • Dec 1, 2009   Last of the three references submitted their comments
  • Dec 18, 2009   Had our interview.  It went very well, but he could not nominate us at this time with our skill sets as there were no positions for couples.  He suggested we add to our skills by doing some English teaching tutoring in a volunteer situation.
  • Jan 23, 2010   We began our ESL volunteer service locally
  • Mar 8, 2010   Our recruiter called with the good news.  We were nominated for positions in Eastern Europe with a departure date of March 2011.
  • Mar 19, 2010   We received our Medical/Dental packet.
  • Apr 28, 2010   Tish has dropped her Medical Packet envelope in the mail. 
  • May 3, 2010   I dropped my Medical Packet envelope in the mail.
  • Sept 24, 2010   We received notification that we were medically cleared and our file was moving on to the placement officer.
  • Oct 15, 2010   We got a phone call from the Placement Officer.  After a quick interview she said they were considering us for placement in Sub Saharan Africa with an April departure date.  The job I would be doing would change from English teaching to HIV/AIDS Capacity Building.
  • Oct 21, 2010   We received the official invitation from the Peace Corps to serve in Botswana. Our service is to begin April 2011.
  • Oct 24, 2010   We emailed our acceptance of the invitation for service.
  • Oct 25, 2010   We received an email from the Peace Corps with this opening sentence: “Congratulations and welcome to the Peace Corps! Your place in the Botswana program has now been confirmed.” (This email arrived almost one year, to the day, from the start of our application process.)
  • April 4, 2011 Pre-Service training began in Botswana
Eloise-Born to Serve

Offline donkrutsinger

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 08:01:17 PM »
I received my nomination in May with no destination, area of service, or departure date.  Because of some Medical issues that I worked on I receive premedical clearance early in November.  Since I didn't hear from a placement recruiter by the end of Nov. I contacted a local recruiter who said to be patient but after reviewing my application said that I could check with the Educational Department and ask about Special Education.  I waited two weeks and emailed the Educational Department.  Before Christmas I got a email saying that they have screen my application and will forward it to a placement recruiter and I should hear from them soon.  I still haven't heard from anyone and it has been at least 3 weeks.  I believe they have changed the system of nominations since May since some people find out their placement location and departure date when they receive their nomination but that does leave people like me up in the air not knowing when, where, or what I will be doing in the Peace Corps.  At this point I am not sure which office to contact to find out who will be receiving my application and what area of the Peace Corps I will be serving.  Do you have any idea who to contact to see who my Placement Recruiter will be so I at least have someone who can advise me or answer some questions regarding my Timeline.  Such as when and where I might be going and what I may be doing in the Peace Corps.  I have received no information in these areas since my nomination in May.
Donald Krutsinger

Offline cdillon8769

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2014, 10:01:08 AM »
I received my nomination in May with no destination, area of service, or departure date.  Because of some Medical issues that I worked on I receive premedical clearance early in November.  Since I didn't hear from a placement recruiter by the end of Nov. I contacted a local recruiter who said to be patient but after reviewing my application said that I could check with the Educational Department and ask about Special Education.  I waited two weeks and emailed the Educational Department.  Before Christmas I got a email saying that they have screen my application and will forward it to a placement recruiter and I should hear from them soon.  I still haven't heard from anyone and it has been at least 3 weeks.  I believe they have changed the system of nominations since May since some people find out their placement location and departure date when they receive their nomination but that does leave people like me up in the air not knowing when, where, or what I will be doing in the Peace Corps.  At this point I am not sure which office to contact to find out who will be receiving my application and what area of the Peace Corps I will be serving.  Do you have any idea who to contact to see who my Placement Recruiter will be so I at least have someone who can advise me or answer some questions regarding my Timeline.  Such as when and where I might be going and what I may be doing in the Peace Corps.  I have received no information in these areas since my nomination in May.

I currently do not have a location (region) I was told "early 2014" but I am still waiting. Good to know not everyone gets a region... I was beginning to worry.
Caroline
Invitee: Lesotho, Africa June 2014

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

Donald Krutsinger

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2014, 10:31:27 AM »
I received my last email on Dec. 13th saying that "the Placement Office [#RequisitionCus:Sector#] Desk has screened my application and you may receive requests for additional follow-up to which we request you respond as soon as possible to expedite the placement process. Your file will be forwarded to a Placement Specialist for final invitation consideration after all requested information is received."
Since I have not received any requests for additional follow-up information I have just sent back another email requesting that I receive a Placement Recruiter or someone to communicate with regarding receiving a Peace Corps Invitation.  Hopefully with the Holidays over I may hear more information or have someone to talk to about my application"

Offline RPCVro

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Re: Timelines
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2014, 11:43:01 PM »
Peace Corps has had to change its application and placement process in response to the changes in demand. International volunteering has become increasingly popular (a popularity spurred by Peace Corps), but many other programs now offer shorter time commitments and complete choice over destination. I'm not sure you can apply specifically to just one country, but you can look on the website now to see which countries have which programs, and when the next estimated departure date is coming up. Recruiters now have more of a conversation about where the applicant wants to go; however, they are still constrained by the requirements set by the country itself. If you do not meet the requirements the country has set forth, PC cannot send you there. Remember, the host countries have a great deal of say. The matches are not always perfect, but they do tend to meet at least the minimum. One reason PC may be putting out invitations so fast is to retain people during the whole process leading up to departure. Many people apply, but then become frustrated by the long wait. Sometimes they find a job opportunity that is more appealing, or begin a new relationship that they don't want to leave and/or conduct long-distance. Peace Corps is striving to keep people on board over those lengthy waiting periods.

As to having "no" idea what you may be doing in your PC service, you should have, at the very least, discussed your areas of interest and relevant experience with the recruiter during your initial interview prior to nomination. Nominations are generally always done to a specific sector, if not a specific region. I have, on the other hand, heard of people who started out in one sector (like youth development) and were eventually placed in a different sector (such as education). As a general rule, couples and people with health complications (past or present) take longer to place (rarely less than a year, though PC has been working to shorten that timeline as much as possible). I was actually very surprised the first time I heard of people attempting to contact the placement office. After I sent in my medical forms, I just accepted that I would be contacted whenever they were ready. I got a call from them a week before I got my invitation...and that invitation arrived barely a month before my departure date. Within my training group, the person who waited the longest for an invite had waited 2 years, and the person who waited the least applied just 4 months prior to receiving her invite. Things are shifting all the time. You might be under consideration for one country...only for that country to suddenly close up. Or you might have been nominated to one sector in a particular region, but the host country decided to discontinue that sector 6 months later.

It's not an ideal situation...but if it were, then Peace Corps wouldn't be necessary in the countries it serves.