Peace Corps Reviews

Updated October 7, 2014
Updated October 7, 2014
400 Reviews
4.3
400 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
103 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures (in 32 reviews)

  • You go planning to meet really interesting Host Country Nationals (HCN) and you end up meeting some amazing fellow Americans as well (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Admin doesn't quite understand the realities of being a volunteer, but that depends country to country (in 22 reviews)

  • Peace Corps has a "five-year rule" which limits employment and reduces institutional memory (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

43 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Don't expect to last as a staff if not your home country

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Trainer
    Former Employee - Technical Trainer

    I worked at Peace Corps as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Worked as a Program Trainer (staff) in Latin America and proved to be a great experience. I got a change to get to know each one of the volunteers prior to them being placed on their communities, work with different communities, and work with all the different staff at the office throughout the trainings. Salary/benefits were above average for local conditions, however, definitely not competitive when compared to other large governmental organizations. Time-off was great. There were several months during the year when we would work 60-80 hrs/week, but were able to accrued extra time and then take additional time off. Office culture was above average, great staff and good management overall.

    Cons

    Upper management was not able to provide effective strategies for Project Managers to improve their quality of work. This resulted in high trainer turnover over 5-7 years due to working relationships with PM--most likely because of political strings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's good to suggest for staff to "manage up", but it comes a time when the PMs need to improve their quality of work and actually do their job and manage.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    If you are committed to helping people in the developing world and have some ideas for programs that you would like to develop and test, this is an ideal environment. PC provides language training, some additional education, the Peace Corps brand, some say "government issued and a stipend. There does not appear to be a requirement to comply with performance standards nor a penalty for spending your days watching videos.

    Cons

    Egregious violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It took 2,5 years of applications, document submissions and appeals to be finally accepted with ADHD. You might think that once you finally get in your difficulties are over, but not so! They repeatedly harassed me and tried to fire me. Finally did...

  3.  

    Wonderful experience of truly living in another country, however Peace Corps provided little positive support.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get to learn a new language and understand a different culture the way many will never get the opportunity to. It provides you with great independence and the opportunity to work on leadership and project development skills (which are great for a variety of future careers). The monthly stipend you receive is enough to let you live in the village you're in, but if you plan on traveling around you will need to come with some money from home.

    Cons

    Just like working with any government agency, there are many rules and regulations in place. I personally lived in a smaller country so I had a lot of unwanted control on my projects and schedules. Usually if you are working for an organization, it is expected that you have management and supervision from superiors. However, because you are told to be independent and to be an individual volunteer in your respective communities, it is hard to truly make an impact and do projects that you think will benefit your community when you feel constricted my Peace Corps' regulations and management. The amount of control you feel from your supervisors differs from the type of person is staffed there at the time. It may be worthwhile, before accepting your invitation to the country, to ask people currently serving there now about their opinion of the director and program managers.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5.  

    environmental volunteer, South America

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Environmental Volunteer
    Former Employee - Environmental Volunteer

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working in Peace Corps ensures a unique experience and opportunities to learn new skills that you may otherwise not have had the opportunity to learn like a second language, grant writing, project management, etc. There is also the chance to truly connect with another culture and people.

    Cons

    There are countless challenges for volunteers including but not limited to: being sick often, lower standards of hygiene, struggling with a new language, feelings of isolation or not having enough privacy, missing everything from home - people, pets, food, music and more. Also getting used to a new culture with different values which can sometimes be hard for an American and the slow pace of project development in rural or smaller sites. Aside from these things coming home after the 2 years can be stressful - Adjusting back to American life and looking for a job

    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Communications Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Communications Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Peace Corps as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    The communications team at the organizations is comprised of top notch people who will give you a plenty of opportunities to learn more. The office culture was interesting because you get to interact with people who are passionate about improving the world.

    Cons

    The process for obtaining the security clearance was a bit cumbersome and definitely required a significant amount of persistence. Generally, the office felt a bit sterile.

  7.  

    The Peace Corps was not the experience that I had imagined it would be, but it was well worth it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer

    I worked at Peace Corps as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you're an independent, self-motivated person who is okay with putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, the Peace Corps may be for you. It's a great way to gain new perspective on the world, as well as to contribute to a worthy cause.

    Cons

    The organization as a whole is committed to making things run smoothly and quietly. That means that if you want two years of solitude, you can have it (after the initial training, that it). On the downside, if you experience trouble at your site, you're on your own. Operations vary from country to country, but I found in my experience that the PC staff were not very supportive.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Guatemala Peace Corps

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Wonderful staff and many opportunities to develop projects and grow professionally

    Cons

    No work life balance. No freedom. Priorities are on keeping the post open, not on the life of the volunteers or the projects

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    A small dysfunctional federal bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Staff in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Staff in Washington, DC

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    As a staff member, civil service salaries and benefits are the best in the nation. As a volunteer in the field, the experience is usually very positive thanks to host country people.

    Cons

    Too many unqualified political appointees at HQ. Overseas staff not always well-qualified, resulting in hardships for volunteers. Very little oversight in Washington or overseas offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to volunteers. Focus on quality management for the long-term. Cut the bs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Had a good experience day-in/day-out, but was not a strategic way to advance professionally.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Country Desk Officer
    Former Employee - Country Desk Officer

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Working as HQ staff: 1) Great collegiality/teamwork in the office! 2) Great devotion and sense of mission! 3) You'll definitely like the people you work with and create a network.

    Cons

    In terms of career development, Peace Corps is a place where if you take an entry level job hoping for a chance to move up; then either it will happen quickly (about a year) or not at all. Don't think staying on longer will increase your chances. And in terms of salary history, you're better off working somewhere else first to establish a decent salary history and then joining staff. If you come directly from being a Volunteer you can get stuck at the bottom of the pay scale in your career for a long time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Empower staff; 2) establish a system for responding to the turnover and institutional learning issues caused by the 5 year rule; 3) Establish a baseline pay for former Volunteers joining staff - don't penalize their years of service to the nation by treating them like they have no salary history/experience.

    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Most interesting experience that I wouldn't do more than once

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps (more than an year)

    Pros

    Experience things you've never thought of doing before, learn a lot about yourself, fabulous language training

    Cons

    No support from Peace Corps, Medical Staff were inexperienced and inappropriate

Work at Peace Corps? Share Your Experiences

Peace Corps

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.