The Peace Corps application process is nothing short of a lengthy waiting game, but in my tedious journey, I just kept telling myself, “Be patient. You are qualified. You’ve been preparing for this for awhile now. Trust yourself. You want this and you can achieve this!”
The biggest recommendation I can provide in regards to the Peace Corps is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Before applying, research Peace Corps. Research the history, purpose, and current programs of Peace Corps. Find out if your strengths align with other Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV). Research and understand the application process. Find a local recruiter or returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) because they can answer your questions and/or help prepare you for the application process.
Below I have outlined my timeline thus far as I prepared to apply, my application and all the steps that followed after my invitation to serve. I hope it is helpful for first time applicants!
- September 2016 to April 2017 – Preparing my resume for the application process.
- May 9, 2017 – Application submitted.
- May 12, 2017 – PC reviewing my app for Guyana.
- May 12, 2017 – PC offered an interview.
- June 2, 2017 – Interview.
- August 20, 2017 – Sent follow-up email to PC interviewer.
- October 3, 2017 – Uploaded updated resume to applicant portal.
- October 5, 2017 – Received formal invitation to serve as a Community Health Promotion Specialist in Guyana departing June 10, 2018!
- October 12, 2017 – Completed and submitted forms for legal clearance and passport and visa.
- October 20, 2017 – PC background investigation initiated.
- December 2, 2017 – Completed all medical clearance tasks.
- February 19, 2018 – Submitted additional forms for medical clearance.
- February 21, 2018 – Received medical clearance!
- February 26, 2018 – Received legal clearance!
- April 12, 2018 – Completed Aspiration Statement and Resume.
- April 25, 2018 – Completed Onboarding activities and pre-departure courses
- May 2, 2018 – RECEIVED MY STAGING INFO! 🙂
After serving my first term with AmeriCorps in summer 2016, I knew Peace Corps was a post-graduation path I wanted to look into and pursue. Starting in September (2016), I started researching what it would take to get into the Peace Corps.
During my investigation, I learned a couple things.
- Connect with your local recruiter.
- Read current and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers’ (RPCV) blogs.
- Know the ends and the outs of the Peace Corps website and see what positions/countries you are qualified for. (ie. my degree is Bachelors in Science, therefore I only qualified for those positions.)
Between September and May, I frequently visited the PC website and read various pre-application blogs (like this one!). Its important to understand that PC releases applications in three month blocks. I don’t graduate until May 2018, so I had to wait for the April, May, June block of applications to come out (in 2017).
It took me about two weeks from start to finish my application. Its an easy process, but there are a couple important short response questions that you should take seriously. The time it took me to complete the application was primarily due to writing and editing the short essay.
Since I applied a year in advance, it gave me an advantage over other applicants that might not apply until closer to the due date. This advantage is seen when I received a review and interview offer three days after submitting my application! If you know that the Peace Corps is something you want to do, get a head start on your timeline! If you’re not sure if the Peace Corps is for you, just browse around on the website and blogs like mine!
It is a big choice, but once you make it, it is so rewarding!
If you have any questions regarding my application experience, comment or email me!