Peace Corps Reviews

Updated March 25, 2015
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4.2
467 Reviews
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
133 Ratings

Pros
  • You get to learn a new language and understand a different culture the way many will never get the opportunity to (in 33 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 23 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Woth the experience

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

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Adventure, expansion of cultural horizons, experiences you'll never forget...and great job experience. Leadership experience like no other. Forever changes your life. Plus free health care and living expenses.

    Cons

    No pay; readjustment allowance of $275/month you get when you get home. Hardships include doing without many modern conveniences, health risks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There's absolutely no attempt to track the efficacy of previous work in each country, despite the constant litanies about monitoring and evaluation. Tremendous bureaucracy.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Would continue working here forever if there was no term limit and more room for upward mobility within the organization

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

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

    Pros

    It is a federal position so the benefits are great. Each office has a different culture but overall big hearted management and collective mission

    Cons

    There is or was a 5 year term limit which means people need to start searching for a new position around 3.5-4 years and often leave before the 5 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the innovative approach and positive culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. An Excellent Place to Work

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

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

    Pros

    -The unbeatable PC mission
    -Great work/life balance
    -Phenomenal coworkers!
    -Shared sense of purpose
    -Diverse people and perspectives
    -Strong cadre of managers, many of whom are willing to mentor and promote their staff
    -Lots of interesting speakers and events that foster collaboration across offices, USG, NGOs, and RPCV community
    -Free yoga, pilates, and zumba sessions
    -Bake-offs and potlucks galore
    -To varying degrees, managers give the space and trust necessary for creative and innovative problem solving
    -A warm and friendly atmosphere
    -Agency-wide propensity to promote from within- so once in, there is great potential for advancement
    -Visionary and inspiring leadership from Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

    Cons

    -IT challenges, and disconnect between some systems
    -Aversion to open source platforms
    -Some roles and projects seem far removed from the basic tenant of supporting PCVs
    -Under-performers are not always held accountable
    -Sometimes work conducted without sufficient sense of urgency or purpose

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to promote and support innovative thinking and problem solving. Continue giving non-managers the leeway to develop and carry out projects. Take input from everyone (as you already do), but then assertively choose the path forward.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. A great place to work, with opportunities to grow, advance, learn about other cultures, and develop valuable skills.

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Great first job - lots of opportunity to take initiative, develop skills, and grow professionally
    -Learned a ton about international development, cultural sensitivity, continued to develop foreign language skills
    -It is unlike any other federal organization; it has an easygoing vibe, a focus on staying fresh and relevant, and feels more like a nonprofit than a government job

    Cons

    -The 5 year rule is good and bad; it's hard when your 5 years are up, but I do believe it has a big role in keeping the organizational culture so fresh
    -If you aren't a returned PC volunteer, it can be challenging to advance; most people are RPCVs, so those who aren't can sometimes feel like outsiders

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6. Diverse and fun agency

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

    I have been working at Peace Corps

    Pros

    diverse and fun atmosphere to work at

    Cons

    can only work there 3-5 years

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. AMAZING EXPERIENCE AS A VOLUNTEER WITH CHALLENGES WORKING FOR PEACE CORPS

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

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

    Pros

    Making an impact in the community where you serve, gain good international development experience, amazing network of volunteers, learn a new language.

    Cons

    Not a lot of support, had to see the impact you make, lack of innovation, need to suck-up and show off to get noticed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase innovation and volunteer support. Focus on what projects work and encourage volunteers to do them. Help volunteers be the best they can be and get rid of the volunteers not doing their job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    -Opportunity to impact locals' lives
    -Meet other like-minded volunteers
    -Freedom to travel

    Cons

    -Sometimes frustrating in difficult in making "real change"
    -Psychological toll of living alone, away from peers and colleagues

  9. excellent people and great place to make a difference as a full time employee in the agency

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Regional Recruiter in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Regional Recruiter in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great relationships with talented people who care, fun at work, light-hearted environment, and fair compensation.

    Cons

    Some level of fed gov bureaucracy can't be totally eliminated

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    it would be great to have paid maternity leave

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Working for Peace Corps Mozambique

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    -Fantastic experience
    -In country staff truly cares about volunteers and does their best to ensure they are safe and happy.

    Cons

    -Could improve health care services: though I was not sick often and did not have many problems, I heard of other people getting sick and the health care staff underestimating their illness and symptoms.

  11. Four Year Peace Corps Volunteer

    • 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Great fellowship opportunities for grad school after service (best monetary advantage for doing Peace Corps)
    - Noncompetitive eligibility for government jobs, especially in DC
    - Great life experience that makes you stand out when applying to jobs or grad school (you have to sell it right though)

    Cons

    - Not really getting paid which can be a great disadvantage when you are young
    - Opportunity cost of two years

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more control to what volunteers want to do along with primary assignment.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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