the (oral assessment) results are in

You may have noticed that it’s been a while since we last mentioned Andy’s quest to join the Foreign Service himself. That’s because he forbade me from doing so. Despite his success with the FSWE and QEP phases of the arduous application process, Andy was sure he wouldn’t pass the Oral Assessment. He didn’t want to have to admit to you when he failed, so he was hoping you’d just forget about the whole thing.

But guess what! My gag order has finally been lifted, because… Andy’s OA was today, and HE PASSED!

Not only did he pass, but he passed with a really really really good score! He did better than I did, in fact. But I’ll try not to hold that against him; after all, it was probably my brilliant coaching that gave him that extra .1 point. =)

The fact that he passed the exam, and with a score high enough to pretty much guarantee a job offer, is obviously a very good thing, but how exactly it will shape our future remains unclear.

Last we heard, there won’t be a job in Cotonou at the right time for Andy to start his FSO career there. So maybe he’ll wait a few years and try to join the Foreign Service in time for our second post. (For those thinking: “but he only has 18 months on the register!” Well, State gives spouses of FSOs two years of frozen time in addition to those 18 months.) Waiting would probably make the most sense for us personally, but we worry that State won’t be hiring as many new people in two years; maybe they won’t be hiring at all. So, another option: Andy could try to join asap and take a job somewhere not too far from Benin, like in Togo or Ghana. Living apart for two years is obviously not ideal, but if it’s the only way we can ensure Andy a spot in the Foreign Service, it might be worth it.

We’re hoping to have a better idea of logistics after meeting with my Career Development Officer, which we’ll try to do next week. For now, though, we’re just going to focus on Andy’s success.

So, off I go to Domino’s. I’ve been instructed to have a celebratory pizza awaiting his arrival home.

P.S. Did I mention, !!!!!!!!!! ?

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21 Responses to the (oral assessment) results are in

  1. Anne says:

    congrats andy =)

  2. Lisa says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but I’ve never commented, despite how much I love it when Abby writes her posts :).

    Many congratulations to Andy!

    I am starting in the 157th class in October, and have 2 pups who will be following in Abby’s pawsteps.

  3. sherrie says:

    Andy- your father and I could not be any more proud of your accomplishment. Congrats to both you and Alex. We love you!

  4. Ellen Harms says:

    Congratulations Andy!! Great job!

  5. Jeanne says:

    I’m impressed by both of you. Andy, for passing. Alex, for admitting that Andy got a higher score. Well done.

  6. stmemory says:

    CONGRATS!!! That’s awesome. And I know exactly the predicament you’re in right now! After I passed the FSOT and got on the register, it was too late for me to get a job in Nicaragua with my husband. So I’m on the DNC list for who knows how long until we can figure out a way to link up for our second tour. Definitely talk to your CDO. My score was higher than many in my cone that got offers for the Sept class, which I really wanted to enter, but our CDO said “If you accept an A-100 offer now, you will NOT be posted in Nicaragua.” It was tough news to hear, but I’m glad they can tell you that before you accept an offer. Congratulations again and best wishes for figuring out this crazy tandem thing! I’ll be following along as you go!

  7. Camille says:

    Wooo-hooo! Congratulations!

  8. Daniela says:

    Oh, that’s terrific news, you guys! Great job, Andy!!! Best of luck making the tandem couple life work for you! Any tips on the bio section;-P

  9. Oh, that’s great news!! I had been wondering about his OA. Congrats, Andy!
    Yes, do share any OA study tips. Especially in the CM. pllllease.

  10. Bridget says:

    hooray, Andy! Way to nail the OA! Congrats to you both, and good luck working out the tandem thing. At least there are no kids involved. But hope you can find a way to be together, soon. So thrilled for you!

  11. Eve says:

    Excellent!! That is such exciting news. And now I won’t have to stick my foot in my mouth whenever I see you two at fsi. Yippee!

  12. Acacia says:

    WOOOOOOOO! Félicitations!

  13. Congrats! That’s awesome! I hope you guys figure out how to meet up. Either way, you can do it.

  14. Amanda says:

    Congratulations!!! That is wonderful news, and it will certainly make things less complicated in the long run…

  15. Two Crabs says:

    We are SO proud of Andy. And so happy that you guys will soon be a tandem couple!! Well personally, I don’t think you should wait too long on the do not call list. Looks like the massive surge will be over after FY2011. The current budget calls for 750 new FSOs in FY2011, but then dropping down to normal levels of about 350-400 in FY2012. He’ll be in clearance process for a few months so you’ll probably be in your first post by then. Go on DNC for a year, but then get on that register! Even if it means being separated for a few months, maybe by the time he’s done with A100 and initial training, you’ll be matched up! Just a thought! Best of Luck Andy. You ROCK!!!!

  16. Tom says:

    Excellent news- congrats! So living apart would not be ideal if Andy gets a different post and it begs one question. Who would Abbey live with?

  17. Randee says:

    Many congrats!!

  18. Persia says:

    Wonderful news! Congratulations and best wishes!

  19. rich kolker says:

    Congrats Andy. I have some personal reasons I’d just as soon you’d wait to join the FS :-), but I’d recommend if they let you in, get in. You guys can synch up your tours later.

  20. Andy says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much Rich. The odds are overwhelmingly in favor of me still heading to Benin. I don’t like the idea of doing a first tour separated. It would be kind of a gamble to defer and DNC for a year and a half, hoping they’re still hiring when my timing works out, but I think that may end up being our best option. Benin can’t get rid of me that easily!

  21. Inga says:

    I, too, have been reading your blog for quite some time (it’s my favorite FS blog, in fact – very entertaining writing!) but haven’t commented. I’m only in the process of studying for the FS exam, which I’m taking next year, and your blog has been full of invaluable information (especially with tidbits on my cone, public diplomacy). But enough about that…congratulations, Andy!! I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed for you from the start. How wonderful that not only did you pass, but with flying colors. Best wishes to you three!

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