Peace Corps

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Peace Corps Reviews

Updated February 25, 2015
Updated February 25, 2015
459 Reviews
4.3
459 Reviews
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
129 Ratings

Review Highlights

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 Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Should not be considered a government agency

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    - Postive attitudes; 90% RPCVs at HQ

    Cons

    - no continuity due to archaic 5 year rule
    - not much professionalism
    - not much productivity
    - not much business ethic
    - some jobs seem improvised
    - cult-like vibe

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too much time is spent on the PC culture instead of the daily workloads. The mission needs to be reformed to fit modern day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Great goals, poor implementation

    Former Employee - Volunteer in Riobamba (Ecuador)
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Riobamba (Ecuador)

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Great to trail and learn about other cutlures

    Cons

    In-country star does not know what is happening, and is very unhelpful. You are dropped off somewhere with no resources or way to get anything done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get better training on how to manage millenials

    Doesn't Recommend
  3.  

    Utterly Lacking in Substance

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

    I worked at Peace Corps as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    It paid $10/hour as a work-study job.

    Cons

    I gained no substantive experience whatsoever, and nobody had an interest in my development. All anyone wanted me for was gruntwork, and I was the most underutilized person in the office. I spent months asking for something real to do. They simply could never come up with anything. Their internship program is ill-managed, and led to wasted time for both parties. Also, I didn't know it at the time, but working for the Peace Corps disqualifies you from working for an intelligence agency for 4 years. This has now precluded me from interning with the CIA or DIA, and I was never made aware of this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get it together.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Terrible experience after I was severely injured....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CBOD in Bangkok (Thailand)
    Former Employee - CBOD in Bangkok (Thailand)

    I worked at Peace Corps part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Volunteers are GREAT people to have known

    Cons

    My program was disorganized: there were too many people sent and not enough for everyone to do. Many people ended up teaching english instead of what they were assigned to do. I was treated terribly after a medical emergency sent me back to the USA. I tried to re-apply again but was laughed at as they 'pitied' what had happened previously.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    Open Peace Corps Response to public and cancel 27-month aimless volunteer stints

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Great cultural & language immersion

    Cons

    Medical staff does not care about you; Peace Corps is solely concerned with their own reputation and image; Staff does not support volunteers; Medical issues back in the states are a much bigger issue -- Staff in DC is not timely and they make it really difficult to get reimbursed or even get in to see a specialist

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Assign jobs before volunteers are deployed (NOT once they are in-country); Hire better & knowledgable medical staff; Cancel Peace Corps and open Response type work to the public

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    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.

  8.  

    Good for entry level, not as a focused career step.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Panamá (Panama)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Panamá (Panama)

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

    Pros

    Great way to get started in international development immediately out of college, or stay involved after retiring. The specifics of your job will be left up to chance and your own initiative, so this can be a good thing if you are lucky and find a way to shine.

    Cons

    Stipend barely covered living expense, let alone work expenses. Weak organizational structure results limited opportunities to demonstrate skills important to other international development organizations, such as monitoring & evaluation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Not as advertised - Namibia Health Volunteer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Windhoek (Namibia)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Windhoek (Namibia)

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to see another part of the world
    Other Volunteers
    Plenty of time to yourself

    Cons

    The biggest issue was lack of work. I left early largely because of this. I was not the only one. Most people I spoke with in my group had maybe 1-2 hours of real work per day (and that was if they were lucky). This is not due to laziness, this is due to lack of connections in the community and little support from the Peace Corps. If you go, be prepared to be an American ambassador more than anything else. Note: This is not a development job. I rarely heard of a project that was sustainable.

    Cons: little to no site development by Peace Corps staff, safety concerns, Peace Corps does not take any negative feedback from volunteers seriously

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please start listening to the volunteers that leave early instead of blaming them. This program has some major flaws that need to be addressed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Stressful Environment of Office of Budget Analysis

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

    I worked at Peace Corps as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    -Work with lots of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who are passionate about their experiences, and always have a good story to tell.
    -Some cool special events and guest speakers from local and international government officials.

    Cons

    -Extremely stressful government position dealing with possible furloughs and constantly shrinking budget
    -Stale environment on financial floor

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Other offices seem to have a lot more fun, but in OBA it was extremely boring, uninteresting and stressful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    It' not the Peace Corps. It's the TEACH ENGLISH OVERSEAS CAUSE YOU CAN'T GET A REAL JOB AT HOME CORPS!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Youth Advisor in Baku (Azerbaijan)
    Former Employee - Youth Advisor in Baku (Azerbaijan)

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

    Pros

    Living in a country, learning a few critical languages, perfect if you've got a degree and can't find a job, great reason to travel. The glamor factor of the name because the outside world is clueless.

    Cons

    A written mission but ineffective when it comes to development work. We are NOT development workers. It's not all that it use to be. Forget using Peace Corps to get a decent job but looks great for graduate school. It's a shabby organization that has no clear direction. The sexual assault for women is outrageous and people come home with illnesses they can't get rid of. You often find yourself bored. Waste of time in hinde sight. Peace Corps has been around for 50+ years and are any countries that we serve in better? Think hard before you join. It's not all that is cracked up to be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set clear cut goals. Slash the amount of time volunteers need to be in country. Put volunteers in a place where real impact can happen. I won't happen at the top up. Add nutritionist and psychiatrist to your medical staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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