On the day of my Readiness Review I woke up in a cold sweat. The idea of going into a room and presenting a synopsis of my career, neatly three-hole punched and structured into a clever slide deck, left me paralyzed. The panel of my peers may as well have been a jury — out to cast judgment and squash any hope of advancing to the next phase.

I didn’t know my panelists. Perhaps if I did, there would be less trepidation involved. Suddenly I was alone in a conference room with three strange faces looking back at me.

I felt like Dorothy, cowering before the great and mighty Oz.

But, just like in the “Wizard of Oz,” behind this curtain of uncertainty, each of these faces hid a cheerleader. Each individual, with their unique blend of experience and the firsthand knowledge of the APR process, wanted to impart a bit of guidance my way.

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