Tuesday, July 29, 2008

toolkit update :)

In a couple days that'll show "nominee" instead of "applicant" :D

Interview - Nomination

I had my interview yesterday! I think it went really well. My recruiter is awesome and I'm kinda bummed that he's leaving in mid-August. Some of the questions were kind of hard to answer but most of them were really easy. It helps that I went over the questions I listed in a previous post. The easy questions were ones like, "would you be willing to live in a country that has strange food, no alcohol, strict gender roles, etc." I felt a little silly answering each question with "yep, no problem there. Kinda excited about it," so I tried to come up with new things to say for each one. I talked about the importance of food in a country's culture. For instance, in America when someone talks about stuffing you think of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving traditions and the history of Thanksgiving. There were questions about how I deal with stress and what I do about stress. That's a great opportunity to get out of your house/apt/etc and meet people in the community and make new friends. It's generally a good idea to turn everything into a positive and be as detailed as possible. For instance, instead of saying that your leadership position was "teaching kids at a YMCA," you should give a specific instance of something that happened there. Maybe tell a story about one specific instance; I told about making crafts with the kids and how they might come up with a really neat idea, but I've never done it before so we work together and try to figure it out as a team.

At the end of the interview we went over what types of jobs and locations I would like. I told him that I would prefer not to go to Africa (but also stressed that if PC wants me to go, I'll go - I'm not going to turn anything down). He said I'm most qualified for Community Development and Education. I chose Education/TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Early in the interview I asked about "secondary projects" (which is now called something else, but I forget what). He mentioned that in his experience the secondary projects can be more fulfilling and successful than the primary project (in my case TEFL). I decided that I'd like to do both, but have Community Development as a secondary project. I'd like to get involved with NGOs and I can do that as a secondary project - maybe in the summers when school's out.

So, my nomination (technically I'm "penciled in" because the September nominations aren't available until later this week or sometime next week, but he'll put me in when they open up) is for Eastern Europe - the Caucus region, TEFL, for late-September '09.

After I got home I ran to the computer and checked the PCwiki timeline for which caucus countries leave in September. As Georgia and Albania leave (in 2008) in the spring, I'm probably headed to Azerbaijan!

So now I'll get the medical packet sometime in the next few weeks and I'll have to start filling out and scheduling appointments with my Drs, Dentist, and Eye Doc. Yay! I'll get tons of blood draw! *note the sarcasm*

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kennedy on Peace Corps

Jenna found this online and I had to post it here:

Interview Questions

I'm a member on the Yahoo group peacecorps2. In the groups "files" section is a bunch of interview questions that people have had before. Some are for couples, some for vegetarians, and others are general interview questions for everyone. I don't know how accurate they are (I'll try to remember to report back after my interview), but they're good questions to review before my interview.

  • Why the Peace Corps?
  • Why do you want to volunteer?
  • Why the areas of volunteer work you chose?
  • Do you have any experience in those fields?
  • What's rewarding about your volunteer work and what have you learned from it?
  • Give an example of a leadership position you had
    • Describe a situation where you had to exhibit or use leadership skills.
    • Have you ever had to take leadership in an unstructured setting?
    • In your leadership position(s), how did you train or lead people?
  • Tell about an experience when you were able to transfer some knowledge or skill to someone who was different from yourself.
    • What did you learn about your interpersonal skills from that experience?
    • What did you learn about the other person?
  • Tell about a time when you worked in an unstructured or ambiguous situation?
    • How did you approach the task at hand? What did you learn about your personal strengths from that experience?
  • How do you deal with confrontation?
  • Discuss a situation where you had to make a difficult decision and how people dealt with it/ you dealt with it.
  • What frustrates you and how do you deal with it?
    • What causes the most stress in your life and how do you deal with it?
  • How do you feel about any of the following:
      • How do you think you could deal with that?
    • Living somewhere with no running water or no hot water?
    • Living somewhere isolated?
    • Being away from home and family?
    • Trying new foods?
    • Being in a country that has alcohol as a key drink?
    • Being in a country with no alcohol?
    • Being in a country with strict gender roles?
    • Being in a country with a lack of privacy?
    • Being isolated?
    • Being in a country with possible minority challenges?
  • How long have you been away from home before?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • Have you ever had French/Spanish? How would you feel about learning it now?
  • Do you have a religious preference of the country you go to?
  • Explain your preferences for geographic locations and jobs.
  • Are you in a relationship? Tell me about it. (if so, you will have an additional form to complete)
  • How does PC fit into your long term career/life goals?
  • I said I was interested in the PC Fellows program, and she wanted to know which one and why.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to change or modify your behavior to fit in culturally.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Amazing Korean 5-year-old

I saw this online and HAD to share it!