Tips for the FSOT From a Recent Success Story

New FS blogger Scott has offered up some great tips that allowed him to excel on the FSOT. He hasn’t actually started with State yet, but he is on the home stretch and should be joining the team soon. You can follow his blog at Flickomat.

Many of his suggestions are ones you have probably heard before, but it is always good to get a fresh perspective from someone recently through the process. In particular, I think this is great advice:

 Identify Your Weakness

Welcome to the 179th!

Welcome to our newest group of Junior Entry Level Officers, the 179th A-100 class!

That’s right, I didn’t forget this time. No hate mail this time.

Here is my normal A-100 advice:

  • Enjoy it. It’s a ton of fun.
  • Learn from it. You’ll hear from many experts in their field.
  • Appreciate it. There are countless others who would gladly trade places with you.
  • Go to the happy hour events. Besides being fun, these are crucial for creating your new friendships and your first work network (essential for later assignments.)

Feathered and Furry in the Foreign Service

You think it will be tough to move you and your belongings half way around the world for your Foreign Service assignment? Often, yes. Is it even more difficult with kids? I imagine so. Throw in a dog and a cat and that must be the ultimate in the relocation nightmare, right? Not quite.

Digger over at “Life After Jerusalem” not only has to move a dog and two cats around the world, she has a parrot. Judging from her most recent blog post, that may take the cake for most challenging international move.


Those Pesky Personal Narratives

As always when people find out they’ve successfully passed the written portion of the Foreign Service Office Test, I receive a little spike in traffic. Everyone desparately wants to know how to craft a masterful personal narrative that will blow away the Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP). Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The Good News

This step in the process of becoming a Foreign Service Officer has only existed for the last few years. That means I never had to go through with it.

Granted, that is really more like good news for me.


VIP Visits and You – A Guide to the Insanity

The blog has been a bit quiet lately. Not because nothing has been going on. Quite the contrary. Too much was going on. We had an S visit.

John Kerry

This guy showed up with around 80 of his buddies.








If there is one event that truly pushes an embassy close to its breaking point, it’s a VIP visit. I’ve had the chance to survive several through my career thus far and here is a taste of what to expect.