Peace Corps Reviews

Updated July 26, 2015
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
145 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)

  • Supervisors are host country nationals (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • Admin doesn't quite understand the realities of being a volunteer, but that depends country to country (in 23 reviews)

  • There is a five-year rule in place which means most who work for Peace Corps cannot make a long-term career out of it (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

499 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Loving Peace Corps

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

    I have been working at Peace Corps

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Everyone knows the mission (support the Volunteers) and the three goals of Peace Corps and they aren't plastered on the walls. Little red tape (for government), freedom to do your job and make changes to improve it, a team feeling, a great place to work in terms of people, very warm, truly one of the 10 best places to work in DC as it was rated by Washingtonian Magazine. Never heard anyone say "that's not the way we do it here". An openness to new ideas, new technology, and new ways of doing things throughout Peace Corps. You can have as big an impact as you want.

    Cons

    The five year rule. Every employee gets a two and a half year tour and if you do a good job, you can get a second tour which takes you to five years and then everyone leaves. It makes institutional memory weak but it is also one of the things that keep people focused on what they want to accomplish before they leave Peace Corps. A lot of turnover due to the five year rule means that you're always meeting new people and saying good bye to colleagues. We just went through a budget cut but it was realtively easy and not ugly.

    Advice to Management

    None.


  2. I got more out of the Peace Corps experience than I put in.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Community Economic Developer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Community Economic Developer in Washington, DC

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    It's a wondeful opportunity to use your imagination to create positive change in underserved areas.

    Cons

    Well it varies depending on which region you are assigned to but for me the isolation was the most difficult part of being a Peace Corps Volunteer. I was stationed in Azerbaijan but was unable to indicate that b/c this website doesn't give that as an option. They do have neighboring Armenia though which is smaller in most counts than Azerbaijan so I don't understand why it's not listed.

    Advice to Management

    Create a website for Peace Corps Volunteers to collaborate with each other instead of "reinventing the wheel" each time.


  3. It is great to volunteer with Peace Corps!

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

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    My work was meaningful and not stressful. I made great relationships and had wonderful experiences.

    Cons

    Development work is not easy in general, and it can be lonely.

    Advice to Management

    I think that you could improve training for technical knowledge.


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  5. Admin for Peace Corps Volunteers overseas

    • 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 full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -great people who want to go the extra mile: a real difference from many other federal agencies -HQ is a nice, newer building in good location -feeling that your job supports efforts that matter and help our world's poorest people

    Cons

    -5 year rule creates vacancies to move up, but creates high turnover and poor institutional memory -funding is poor compared to other agencies

    Advice to Management

    -eliminate 5 year rule for high-technical knowledge positions -reduce number of political appointees


  6. Peace Corps was an amazing experience both as a Volunteer abroad as well as an employee based in the US.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruitment Coordinator in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Recruitment Coordinator in Dallas, TX

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Opportunity to expand network globally, while contributing to ground level development work. Learn a language, experience a culture, then come back and share the excitement of having done those things, with others. It's a dream job.

    Cons

    Still a government agency which can sometimes be bogged down in process and procedure, making it difficult to complete projects.

    Advice to Management

    You've gone to great lengths to recruit top talent from top schools, with varied backgrounds, representative of the American people... so trust them to better the HQ operations, as you trusted them in the field. Remember the goal of the Volunteer and apply the same principals to everyday work in HQ and all will be well.


  7. Intern at the Peace Corps - Office of Overseas Programming and Training - Information Collection and Exchange

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Peace Corps part-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great working atmosphere, laid back, friendly people, tons of multicultural aspects since it is the peace corps after all. As an intern, I did a lot of legit work, like managing the library and helping with official significant project. I did not xerox at all.

    Cons

    Honestly there really isn't anything that bad about when I was working there...I really like it there.


  8. Excellent

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Colleagues work hard and there is a real sense of shared mission that is difficult to find in most other places of employment. The work at Peace Corps HQ is fast-paced and new ideas are promoted. The organization also instituted a comprehensive leadership development program a few years ago.

    Cons

    There is a five-year rule in place which means most who work for Peace Corps cannot make a long-term career out of it. Regardless of performance, you are out after 5 years, with a small number extended for an additional year or two. Politics are also present. Most of the department heads are political appointees. Though I worked under a republican administration and a democratic administration and did not notice a great difference in the day to day business of the work.


  9. Most challenging and rewarding "job" of my life

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Living in a foreign country, contestant adventure, contributing to the greater good

    Cons

    Isolating, language barrier, cultural differences


  10. Helpful (1)

    Service with a mission

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, ability to work remotely, good location, special federal hiring status after 3 years of employment, great mission, fun Peace Corps Third Goal activities throughout year.

    Cons

    Five-year rule causes too much turn over, you need to be looking for a new job when you walk in the door. No diversity in experience or skills, no child care.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the five year rule and just make everyone up for reappointment every 5 years. Clear out the old be keep the good.


  11. It truly is the toughest job you'll ever love.

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

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

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Learn a new language, live in a new culture, be challenged to solve problems in ways you never expected. Service in a small village in southern Mali, but Glassdoor doesn't even have Bamako as an option for location.

    Cons

    It can be lonely. There will be challenges: communication, plumbing, and transportation come to mind.



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