Success!! I am registered to take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) on February 6th, 2012. It is the first part of what looks like an extensive entrance filter to apply to complete training for work abroad in US embassies around the world. There are five different career paths you can choose, so naturally I chose Economics (after all, I do have a degree in economics). The FSOT has 4 parts:
1. Job Knowledge Test (based on economics) - I think I should do well enough here - my mind has a penchant for facts and trivia
2. Biographic Questionnaire - From what I've looked at, its mostly about your personality and history, so I think I should do decently on this as well
3. English Expression Test - Hmm. I will be studying some GRE material and doing some online practice to improve.
4. Essay Test - Crap. I haven't written a serious essay since college (so almost 3 years ago); ergo again I will be revising some GRE practice questions to prepare.
If I pass this exam, then I will have 3 weeks in which to submit some personal narratives about myself. If I pass that satisfactorily according to a panel, then I will get called in for an Oral Skills Assessment. Almost finally, I have to receive medical and security clearance, and then pass a final review board. Finally I will complete an extensive training course (even longer than Peace Corps' 10 weeks), and then lastly wait to be hired by an embassy. Simple as saying cat in a hat.
I would be working in embassies around the world, with rotations back to the US for a few years at a time; however, this is a career track, not just something to do for a brief stint and then choose something else (that is, assuming I succeed).
Well. I might as well get started preparing now.