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About CptHolt

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    GSPIA, MIIS NPTS, G. Mason

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  1. Has anyone received notice about scholarships yet?
  2. That can be a good gig. Depends on the job. Investigator and attorneys have do some great, interesting work. The support staff is basic clerical work no one with solid education background should even touch. The work is useless outside of a paycheck and getting a job.
  3. The answer isn't black and white in this situation. It depends on a lot of factors. Timing: some agencies don't hire on a consistent basis and mainly hire new people during selective periods or when numbers are down, like what the FBI is currently doing. Their numbers are down due to the agents hired during the 90s are coming up for retirement. Right now they're taking on large numbers and once that is done, expect things to be quiet for a long time. Agency size: Some agencies are smaller than other so they have a degree of selectiveness that cannot afford. Prime example is the US Marshals. They don't hired many and the process takes an extremely long time. The small numbers, waiting time and processing period of the marshals, in my opinion, make them the most selective. Grade: Those grades you see next to a position, "GS-X", indicate one's leadership position and many positions will not allow people to jump straight into the highest grade. There's a general rule that GS07 is a bachelor's degree, GS09 is an MA and a GS10/11 is a PhD, but ultimately its up to the hiring agency to grant it. Some positions provide a "ladder promotion" like GS07-12 that allows the applicant to increase grade each year before increasing their step. And then there are some agencies than not only due their own hiring process, but are not going to discuss their numbers, fail rate or disclose any of their employee information such as the intel agencies like the CIA, FBI, NSA. They conduct their own hiring process and it is illegal to provide details about the process, even if you fail out. Whereas others are simply not as straight forward like the FO with State. You can take that test as many times as you wish and if you fail, they will not tell you why only that you may attempt again later. Those agencies that hiring internally or conduct their own process have the luxury of being selective, waiting and leaving those slots open. Also keep in mind clearances. If you have a clearance from a previous job, that takes a lot of risk from the hiring agency. Since the agency has to pay for the background investigation, they'll want or sure bet or that's wasting time and money. People with prior clearances have a leg up simply because they have that clearance.
  4. That's not true in my experience. I have worked with former "fed" individuals and they are no solely selected from the military. Those groups conduct their own military training for recruits like firearms/tactics/what have you. The most common thing I have encounter with these individuals is a level expertise in a field or subject matter. I can only describe them as specialists with unorthodox backgrounds or abilities. The only way to be sure one can be a "fed" is to apply and see how the cards may fall. Obviously advanced degrees and trainings are required because of the high level of training/experience/education these groups contain.
  5. Those intelligence agencies are aware of programs/schools that focus on language and cultural training. Honestly, the Middlebury program as a whole is well known for the ability to quickly teach these complicated languages. The Defensive Language Institute is damn close to the school too so the military is also very aware of that school.
  6. Pitt just released an email about a month ago indicating they too are making the GRE voluntary.
  7. The idea "I went to X school means I will graduate with Y job at Z pay once I graduate" is silly. No one if any professional career cares where you went or who you know. It's all about the bottom line, what can you do that others cannot. Employers, especially within international relations, only care about one's abilities and degree of expertise in your chosen field. Those at the highest end of that field will have opportunities simply because they have abilities/experiences others do not. The name of the school is not a factor in their evaluation. The school and one's cohort are simply a network to seek out those opportunities. Don't put these schools on a pestle. Grad school is an investment for access to those networks and resources. What you do with those resources is on you as a student. Prime example:DC schools. They are valuable because of proximity to opportunity and that is reflected in the premium students pay in their tuition. You're living, working and studying with lots of individuals interested in getting their start in the same general field - foreign relations/politics. Obviously top tier schools have been at this game for a long time and have developed relationships within this community (private/public/whatever) for their students to pursue. Use the schools as a tool to get the skills you want/access to those opportunities. That does not mean it's worth going into debt just for name brand sticker. If some school is offering huge financial aid or a full ride, then take the free money! Even if you're comfortable going into some degree of debt for your education, take the money a school is offering and use your cash for additional training/certifications/whatever. Bottom line: grad school is an investment and we, as prospective students, need to assess these schools on that merit. How long will in take to get a return on our investment.
  8. I just went through a long briefing on this topic and everyone can research this matter, but as everyone on this forum knows there a lot of factors at play The current freeze is across the board in terms of civilians and former feds. Only the military is exempt from this order and "matters of public safety/health" will get more clear as time progress. The order doesn't specify how that is to be interrelated so organizations are not hiring and waiting for that to get cleared up. OPM is collecting internal data on the hiring needs of the agencies to operate and that data gets processed to meet the goals of the administration to downsize. After all that mess is cleared up and the freeze is lifted then the free for all begins. Freezes normally last months, but there is nothing normal about current circumstances so there is no telling when it will be lifted. I'd suspect sometime in the next 4-5 months at the latest, but like I said, who knows. If anyone has any hiring benefits like the NCE then those people will have some aid in the hiring process.
  9. according to the website, should be on or around February 1st
  10. I'm currently trying to build my resume before applying to grad school for the 2019 year and I'm looking for advice to boost my chances for acceptance. Thus far: Program: MPA & MIR in Security and Economics Schools considered: Syracuse Maxwell, American SIS, Pitt GSPIA, UMD Major: International and Comparative Studies. Minor in Criminology GPA: 3.5 Undergrad school: Tennessee Years since UG: 1 year Work experience: Peace Corps Volunteer (Currently). Transitioning to Fulbright in Ukraine Language: Intermediate Georgian & Russian. Elementary Ukrainian LoR: My Peace Corps Country Director Other: Taught English in Georgia and worked with various NGOs in country. Studying for the GRE for the next year before taking the test in Ukraine. Advice on needed GRE scores for the listed schools? Any advice to be more competitive would be appreciated.
  11. Any Peace Corps Volunteers applying for Fulbright? I'm looking into applying for ETA Ukraine.
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