The 2017 cohort of the FAIT Fellowship program, who are now Foreign Service Specialists and about to embark on their first posts abroad, provided these tips for students who are thinking about applying for the program.

  1. Start early.
    The Washington Center is here to help answer any questions and support you during the application process: FAITfellowship@twc.org
  1. Read the 12 Dimensions of a Successful Foreign Service Specialist.
    The 12 dimensions are the qualities that the State Department is looking for when hiring Foreign Service Specialists. Think about what you’ve enjoyed doing in school and in work, and how those experiences demonstrate the traits in those 12 dimensions.
  1. Reach out to your college scholarship office.
    Advisors can assist you with your Personal Statement. You can work with multiple advisors to get their opinions of your essay. Keep editing the draft, weekly or daily – as much as it takes, until you are ready to submit your final application package.
  1. Find a good mentor.
    Your mentor would read over your application, including your Personal Statement and Resume, and provide objective feedback.
  1. Ask for the Letter of Recommendation early.
    If you’ve been in college during the past two years, the letter must be from a professor or faculty member who knows you. But if you are returning to graduate school and you haven’t been in college in the past two years, you can choose someone who is familiar with your academics, professional work, or volunteer/community activities. But don’t wait until the last minute to request a letter of recommendation. You’ll want to give the letter writer plenty of time before the deadline date.
  1. Understand that this career will take you overseas.
    Make sure you are aware that this Fellowship is a step toward a career as a U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Specialist, where you’ll be posted overseas in different countries. You are going to be traveling and experiencing new things and different cultures around the world. You can take this quiz that is on the State Department’s website to see if a Foreign Service career is right for you.