Peace Corps

  www.peacecorps.gov
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Peace Corps Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.3 357 reviews

96% Approve of the CEO

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Carrie Hessler-Radelet

(89 ratings)

96% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures(in 31 reviews)

  • You go planning to meet really interesting Host Country Nationals (HCN) and you end up meeting some amazing fellow Americans as well(in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • Admin doesn't quite understand the realities of being a volunteer, but that depends country to country(in 21 reviews)

  • Five-year rule causes too much turn over, you need to be looking for a new job when you walk in the door(in 7 reviews)

357 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Life changing

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe opportunity to take time out of your life to learn about others is phenomenal. We're there as ambassadors; learning about the people we're there for. The developing world is doing just that, developing.

    ConsThe program itself is lacking; being there under the countries expectations is only appropriate if the country wants Peace Corps to develop and support. Not supplement what the country doesn't retain.

    Advice to Senior ManagementChange the program already, JFK understood the importance of change.

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    A small dysfunctional federal bureaucracy

    Senior Staff (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsAs 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.

    ConsToo 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 Senior ManagementListen to volunteers. Focus on quality management for the long-term. Cut the bs.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Toughest job you'll ever love

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsAutonomy to explore any projects and careers that you want, learn language and culture, be able to work with local communities and share their culture.

    ConsLots of alone time or time drinking coffee with your neighbors watching dust blow by.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt would be great if training provided more skills in emotional intelligence skills or sessions in the soft skills... I also wish they spoke more about the political decisions of why some countries and sites are chosen.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Amazing place to work, despite term limits.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsMission-driven international agency with mission to promote world peace and friendship through service to others. Staff at every level, in every position somehow tied to this wonderful mission on daily basis. Attracts best and brightest, with idealist temperaments, caring souls, and thoughtful leaders.

    ConsThe Five Year Rule - statutory term limit from the Peace Corps Act of 1961. Most staff can only work here for five year term limits (some exceptions for up to three years more). Benefit of non-competitive eligibility for federal employment after three years at Peace Corps is great, assuming federal employers are willing to recognize this hiring advantage.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Life Changing

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsEveryone knows the pros of the Peace Corps. You get to travel to a foreign country for free and live like the locals. The experience is so much more than that, but you have to find out the pros for yourself.

    ConsEveryone has a different Peace Coprps experience. You go in understanding that you don't have a choice over where you serve, you just serve because that is what you want to do.

     

    Great Experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsOnce in a lifetime experience to work in a community that you would not have otherwise had access to. If you are interested in living overseas, PC is a great way to try it without incurring as much risk.

    ConsDefinitely some challenging times living in another culture and being away from any real structure. Teaches you how to manage yourself.

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    Life-Altering Journey of Self-Discovery

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsA wonderful experience, volunteering with the Peace Corps was the best job I've ever had. I discovered new things about myself, learned new languages and skills, and made friends for a lifetime. I ended up extending my service for an additional 13 months because I fell in love with my host country and fellow volunteers. There is ample opportunity to take your own unique approach to accomplishing programmatic objectives. However, I would recommend careful consideration of the sacrifices that volunteer life entails to anyone considering serving in the Peace Corps. It truly is the hardest job you will ever love but it is not for everybody.

    ConsThe life of a volunteer can be incredibly physically and emotionally challenging. There are many barriers to success that require an extremely self-motivated personality to overcome.

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprove PCMO, for the good of all.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Peace Corps volunteer experience is unique and really once in a lifetime stuff.

    Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)

    ProsYou are granted real-life opportunities for cultural exchange, adaptation, learning a new language and grassroots international development work. Every experience is totally different and special in its own ways. You are really challenged as an individual to make the most of a very unstructured and resource-low experience, however that also makes for that much more possibility and growth.

    ConsThere is not much direct oversight of projects, so you have develop the discipline and self-initiative to create the structure and coordination necessary for effective work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEach post is different, as are the sites, so I think it is just important to be flexible and considerate.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Country Desk Officer (Former Employee)

    ProsWorking 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.

    ConsIn 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 Senior Management1) 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.

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    Life changing experience leading to future opportunity.

    Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsIndependence, self-motivated, flexible schedule, priceless perspective, short-term contract

    ConsLack of structure, bureaucracy, post hardships, limited resources, short-term contact

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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