I've got a pretty unique job. And there aren't that many people who do the job either, so anyone looking to starting a career as a Foreign Service Construction Engineer (FSCE) has to make a leap of faith. Well, at least I had to. Now that I've landed, I figured I'd bridge the information gap with my own personal experiences.
You've probably already found these on your own:
- The official FSCE job description & application
- The official Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) website
These are the unofficial answers to several of the questions that came up while I was joining the Foreign Service.
- Foreign Service Construction Engineer FAQs (Apr 15)
- For military veterans looking to join the State Department
- Timeline for getting hired as an FSCE
- An offer to join the Foreign Service
- Making tenure as a Foreign Service Specialist
- All posts related to having a career in the Foreign Service
Ok, so you made it into the Foreign Service...now what?
- The FSCE Assignment Process
- How assignment bidding works as an FSCE
- Now that's a job description
- My first week as a Project Director
- Holding down the fort in Beirut
- Our Foreign Service Experience
- Foreign Service Bidding Tool (By FS Personnel for FS Personnel)
Embassies are more than just buildings. They are symbols of America and its foreign policy.
- Diplomacy Through Architecture
- How appropriations affect us
- DiploPundit vs. OBO
- Why what I do matters
In the future, I'll start writing up some posts about how construction works and how much coordination goes into it. And for those security minded folks out there, I won't be including anything that isn't on the public domain. The topics will generally follow the life cycle of a project:
- Birth of a Project: From identified need to contract award
- Reporting: Information Management
- Soils: Classification, remediation, and site preparation
- Underground Utilities: Power, water, fuel, and telecommunications
- Lightning Protection: Shockingly simple
- Doors: Far more complicated than they appear
- Tiles & Stone: The name's Bond, Stacked Bond.
- Lights: Color temperature and technologies
- Standards: We all need to have some (UL, CE, etc)
- Critical Path: The basics of project management
- Testing and Balancing of Building Automation Systems
- Paperwork Palace: What needs to get signed before we can occupy what we built