There are newer employer reviews for Peace Corps

Disorganization - Completely lost its way

Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

I have been working at Peace Corps

Pros

Other Volunteers are committed. The integration process of placement with host families was excellent.

Cons

Highest percentage of political appointees of ANY agency in Washington DC.
A female volunteer is more likely to be sexually assaulted while in service than a US soldier was to be killed or wounded in Iraq.
35% early termination rate

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Hire real managers with NGO experience. Stop appointing friends with no meaningful international exposure/experience. Re-evaluate the bottom-up approach - it's outdated and ineffective.

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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    A marathon you didn't train for

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

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

    Pros

    Pros were definitely being able to create something from nothing or very limited resources. Projects you'd need tons of forms and authorizations in the US, you can easily do in Peace Corps. Your experience is what you make it. Just your presence is so powerful and life changing for the locals you surround yourself with. The doctors and medical care/staff were incredible. There's a really good network of universities for volunteers looking for discounts/waivers for grad school when they return to the US.

    Cons

    If you are ambitious, you can find yourself surrounded by apathy - both among other volunteers and also among the host country nationals. You will most likely be the center of attention, good or bad, and you can never really escape it. Developing countries are as a rule, much, much, much more conservative, so any deviation from the societal norms are frowned upon. While some Peace Corps countries have well-established support networks, I found other volunteers and staff to be unsupportive and in some ways bigoted. You definitely are constantly re-inventing the wheel. US staff rotates every 5 years and generally volunteers every 27 months, so projects are left in the dust and ideas forgotten. With inflation, the living allowance became inadequate to cover the living costs. As a volunteer, be prepared to not only be discriminated against by the locals, but also by the other expats. They view Peace Corps volunteers at the very bottom of the totem pole,but don't think twice to use Peace Corps Volunteers' connections.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    So many countries have good ideas, there should be better relationships between peace corps countries and idea sharing. The five year rule should be abolished or at least limited to fewer positions and instead a protection umbrella put in place for volunteers. All staff should be reminded that they are there for the volunteers, not the other way around. Volunteers should not be living below the country's standards.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  2. Health and Community Development Volunteer

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    A lot of time and resources go into pre-departure preparation and training once you arrive in country. Good focus on language and preparing volunteers to be self-sufficient in their communities.
    PCMOs (doctors) are wonderfully supportive for the many medical problems that arise and also for mental health services.
    Depending on your program and staff, PC staff have potential to be super helpful to volunteers in the field.
    Other volunteers become your best friends and truly help you get through the low points.

    Cons

    In my country, we had very high turnover of PC staff so volunteer support was minimal to non-existent and new policies were difficult to keep track of.
    Poor reporting tool that must be completed quarterly. Most of it was inapplicable to my group (health) and PC was concerned with the quantitative results more than anything.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revise the VRF.

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