At some point between being assigned to a post and arriving there, FSOs are assigned a sponsor who is currently at post. The sponsor’s duties vary a little bit depending on the post and the person coming, but generally sponsors serve as a contact person to help answer questions about post prior to arrival at post or route them to the appropriate person or office to get answers to the questions. A few days prior to arrival at post, a sponsor usually visits your housing and make sure things are all set up and does some basic grocery shopping for you to get you through a few days. When you arrive at post, your sponsor usually meets you at the airport (or somewhere in El Paso in this case) and takes you to your housing, helps you get to work the first day, and helps you get started with your check-in at post.
For me, especially since this was my first post, having a sponsor to answer questions about what I needed to do before arriving at post, what I would need to do after arriving, and so on, was really helpful. It was good to find out a little bit about the process of setting up my internet, cell phones, whether there was anything that I needed to make sure to buy before arriving at post, and so on. Since my sponsor was so helpful, I was really eager to volunteer to sponsor a new officer and pay the help forward.
My first sponsoree got here last week and it was great to be able to share what I learned in my transfer from DC to post and to help get things set up for him here. He’s worked overseas a lot and seemed to settle in very quickly, so I think my job as his sponsor is pretty much done now. However, it was nice to be able to help someone else navigate through the transfer process and arrival at post since I remember how much my sponsor and other officers helped me get oriented when I first got here.
My sponsoree’s arrival last week was probably the most interesting part of the week last week. I did get news that I would be taking on a new responsibility at work which will be nice. It’s nothing that fancy or exciting, but will mean working on some administrative projects for a few hours every week, which will be a nice break from the visa interviews.
We also had Thursday and Friday off of work due to Mexican federal holidays, and I used those days to run some errands that weren’t super pressing and that I never seemed to get around to on normal weekends. So, that was my week!