Tuesday, August 03, 2010

One Step Closer

An email I received this morning brings me one step closer to my life-long dream of working for the U.S. Department of State.

Earlier this summer I applied for an internship in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs for Spring 2011.  I was feeling good about my application until I realized that the Statement of Interest I had spent so much time developing exceeded the word limit by more than 200%.  I had to cut it down from 3 pages to about 3/4 of a page.  I was extraordinarily disappointed; I felt that the full version of my interest statement perfectly expressed my goals, skills, and personality.  After hastily deleting over two-thirds of the document in an attempt to submit my painstakingly prepared application before the deadline, my confidence in my chances of being selected for the program was depleted considerably.

Fast forward two months: It's August and I'm thinking about the school year ahead.  Just two days ago, I was mulling over my options for Russia next spring and feeling stressed by my situation.  It's somewhat of a Catch-22.  I simply don't have the funds to pay the travel and tuition expenses for a semester of studying abroad; I have been unsuccessful at obtaining an internship that might cover those costs; I have relentlessly applied for scholarships but have not been awarded a single cent; and yet I must study abroad during Spring 2011 in order to complete my thesis so that I can return to Belmont and complete certain classes that are only offered in a certain sequence and during certain semesters.  If one little piece of this complex puzzle goes array, I will fail to graduate on time.  It would be an understatement to say that this has been a slightly stressful process.

I finally came to the conclusion that I cannot do this alone.  I told God that if he wants me to go to Russia, then he will have to provide me a means of getting there because as of right now all I have are dead ends.

This morning I sat down to check my email after a dentist appointment that went surprisingly well. (Apparently I have good tooth genes, who knew!?)  I had one new message.  The subject line read: Spring 2011 Russia Internship.  I've applied to hundreds of companies, agencies, and organizations, so emails like this are common and rarely fruitful.  I opened it without a second thought.  It wasn't until my eyes landed on "possible spring 2011 internship with the State Department Mission Russia" that I became riveted to the screen. My jaw dropped and I thought, IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?

Apparently it is. I have a phone interview tomorrow and I am thoroughly excited, to say the least.
Nervous? Perhaps a little. But I know that as soon as I have a chance to talk with the interviewer, the passion that I have for discovering new languages and cultures, for facilitating youth exchange programs, for fighting poverty through small business, for learning about foreign policy and foreign governments....my passion for these issues will come through in my voice and they'll know they picked the right person.

So here I am, one step closer to living the dream of a little 14-year-old girl that decided she would work as a Foreign Service Officer one day. Some dreams do come true, I hope.

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