Peace Corps Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
400 Reviews
4.3
400 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Worth the pain.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Agroforestry Extension Agent in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Agroforestry Extension Agent in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Unbelievably unique opportunity to gain a global perspective and complete projects from inception to completion. The kind of experience you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

    Cons

    Often very difficult living conditions along the lines of no electricity or running water and extreme weather. You must be on duty 24/7 and witness some harsh injustices.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Life changing

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Works that is meaningful for you

    Cons

    Tough living conditions at times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work

  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    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...

  6.  

    Once in a lifetime experience

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

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

    Pros

    You get to travel to a new country and immerse yourself in a new culture. You get to plan your own projects based on your community's needs plus have one-on-one interaction with people in your community. The Peace Corps staff in country are very supportive plus you have all your fellow volunteers who help you out and whom you can collaborate with.

    Cons

    You will get lonely because it will probably be the first time you have ever been away from your friends and family for a LONG time. However you learn your limits from that so that's good. If you really like a structured work day and such and are not good at planning by yourself it will also be hard for you. Also, many programs are in countries with no running water or electricity so if you're high maintenance that's something to think about too.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep funding Peace Corps! :)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great life-work balance and experience for furthering career or earning MA degree

    • 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

    Minimal oversight. Very good for people who are outgoing and self-motivated. Great work-life balance. Compensation is low, obviously, but no problem getting by on allowance.

    Cons

    Pre-Service Training could be better, but is pretty useful in terms of cultural and linguistic training.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    An amazing adventure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It is a way to see life from a completely new perspective and do something truly worthwhile.

    Cons

    Many people cannot sacrifice so much of themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing, I loved my time.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Wonderful colleagues committed to making a difference.

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    I loved working at the Peace Corps. I was initially a Volunteer but this review is about working for the Agency as an employee. The office culture was professional yet fun and each day I got to talk about my overseas service with coworkers and potential applicants. It was a great way to transition back into life in the US. My immediate managers trusted us to get on with things and knew that each employee would get the job done, even if our methods were sometimes unconventional!

    Cons

    As a US government Agency, Peace Corps is not entirely immune to politics. Dealing with the politically appointed senior leadership was sometimes frustrating as it would usually take them a few months to figure out what direction they wanted the Agency to go.

    Peace Corps has a "five-year rule" which limits employment and reduces institutional memory. This has its good and bad points but most importantly, from a career perspective, is that growth is limited. Working for Peace Corps might mean sacrificing your career ambitions but I do not regret it and found most aspects of the job to be very rewarding

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    A worthwhile experience

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

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

    Pros

    - Minimal oversight
    - You get what you put in
    - Great training

    I was a year out of college and placed as a health volunteer in a coastal village in Madagascar. Halfway through my service I decided that health education was not the best way to leave an impact on my community, so I started a business with a local family to dry and sell fruit and teach sustainable business practices. It was awesome. The experience and the friends are forever.

    Cons

    - Limited structure (if you need structure)
    - Poor post-service career choices unless you want to work in development or education

    Peace corps provides fantastic soft skills and perspective. If you are fixed in your ways, you will learn to be flexible or fail. However, unless you intend to pursue a career based on soft skills (politics, sales, NGO work), you are going to have a rough time readjusting. I'm transitioning to engineering, so there's a big skill gap that I need to make up.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    RPCV

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

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Grassroots and HQ experience. Fantastic opportunity to travel and gain a foothold in international development.

    Cons

    Experience necessitates personal growth and development, in country and HQ staff offers little support

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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