I’ve been putting off this post for a couple of weeks. I received an email from a Peace Corps placement officer about three weeks ago. She informed me that unfortunately, my application had been withdrawn from consideration– I am not going to be serving in the Peace Corps in the immediate future.
I sent an email to the placement office, asking if I could ask a few questions about my situation, and we set up a phone call for the next week. When we spoke, I expressed how at every stage of the application process I had been told I was a competitive candidate, and now I had suddenly been rejected without any requests for further information about me. What had changed?
The Placement Officer gently explained that while I was a competitive candidate, a combination of factors were not in my favor. For one thing, priority is given to new applicants; but most significantly, due to the way in which my first service ended, Peace Corps couldn’t overlook those concerns. My heart sank. Did this mean I would never be considered again?
Mercifully, the placement officer was encouraging. She told me that what Peace Corps wants to see is another, major cross-cultural experience (obviously, one that ends on happier terms). Once I’ve completed that goal, I can come back and reapply. She also noted that by that time I’m likely to have earned my master’s degree, which would help me stand out during the application process.
It’s disappointing that I’m not going to be serving in the near future, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again. For now, though, Peace Corps isn’t in the cards. Stay tuned for news about my next project.