A month ago, I sent an email to subscribers of the pFS newsletter with a simple question: would you be interested in a course to help you prep, study, and practice for the FSOT.

The response surprised me. Nearly 20% responded yes!

This percentage is huge! For comparison (I looked it up before I sent the email), the response rate for similar groups asking the same question is around 5%.

I am excited because of it, and I hope you are too!

If you are interested in it, sign-up here and you will receive updates on its release.

(ALSO! I created something new, which you can learn more about at the end of the post.)

Since that initial email, I’ve been working on putting the course together. The outline is made, the tools to create video have been gathered, and your feedback has been collected.

And from your feedback, I’ve decided to evolve the plan further. FSO Compass will turn into an online membership academy to prep you for the FSO application.

Here are the five things you get to look forward to, and their creation is a direct result of what you have told me and requested.  

Courses

The initial idea sprung from creating a “class”, and its creation will continue. However, as I began plotting the outline for the course, I determined the material required three to be created, and that is what I will do.

The three courses are:

  • Planning
  • The Application
  • The FSO Test

I know that the primary interest will be on the third course as it will discuss the FSOT. HOWEVER, I 100% believe that applicants who do not understand what the Foreign Service is all about will not be successful, which is discussed in the planning course. Further, those who do not put together a robust application, one that I have heard many do not focus on, are hindering their chances of passing the QEP stage.

Together, these courses will lay the foundation for an applicant to better understand and prepare for the FSOT.

If you are interested in learning the lessons of each course, send me an email. My only request, you provide feedback. You see, I want your insight, those who would be purchasing the material because this is a resource for you and for all those who will follow after you. I want to create something you will find useful.  

Simulators

More simulators like the FSOT and Essay Simulators on FSO Compass were a HUGE request, and one I am more than happy to put together… after the creation of the courses. Practice, the right, practice, is one of my top three suggestions to folks when it comes to prepping for the FSOT.

Too many applicants use a question bank. Though helpful, this is not the best way to prepare. My (long-term) goal is to create eleven more simulators for applicants and add 50 more questions to the essay simulator.  

Community

Discussion and accountability. In other words, you need help keeping on track with your study. Many of you are going at it alone, but want help. You are seeking a community of individuals practicing for the FSOT, or writing their Personal Narratives, or prepping for the Orals.

FSO Compass will, with both your and my efforts, become that community.

A place to share stories, news, and seek advice. The community will be the hub for all things prep and practice. The extent here is endless, and as such is one of the aspects I am looking forward to putting together.  

Resources

This one is simple, but over time the value will be immense.

The goal is to bring together the best resources for you to study for the different parts of the FSOT. Instead of searching and wondering how all you will have to do is direct yourself to this ‘tool chest’. As more tools become known and available, the resources section will grow. Expanding your capacity to prep, learn, and practice.  

Interviews

Finally, and this is a personal want, interviews.

Sure, you can hear my thoughts, but what do the people who are in the Foreign Service or have served think about the: test, life, career, etc.?

I want to create the opportunity for monthly interviews. Better yet, monthly webinars. Me, the guest, and you, together to learn more about the Service.

Now this one will take some work, but the benefits to all of us will be significant. The framework is this: me and guest talk for 20-30 mins, you listen LIVE, and then at the end of the discussion, we open it up for your questions (20-30 mins).

Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to get someone from BEX to answer a question or two (….don’t get your hopes up Jack, this is very(!) unlikely…).  

What do you think, and something NEW!

That’s the plan, and that’s what I am working on!

Again, a big thank you to all of you!

If you wish to continue sending me your thoughts, please do! I would love to hear them! And like I wrote above if you are interested in what FSO Compass will become, then sign-up here and you will receive updates on its release.

In other news…!

A new Facebook group has been created for aspiring future Foreign Service Officers (like brand new, like sign-up so we have numbers please :)…). A free “closed” group, this is my first step to trying to create a stronger community for all of you.

It’s a “closed” group to keep away bots, but otherwise, nothing is hindering you from joining, and I welcome you to.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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