Peace Corps
4.3 of 5 318 reviews
www.peacecorps.gov Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated Apr 21, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.3 318 reviews

                             

96% Approve of the CEO

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Carrie Hessler-Radelet

(71 ratings)

96% of employees recommend this company to a friend
318 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures"
    in 29 reviews
  • "Supervisors are host country nationals"
    in 16 reviews
Cons:
  • "It can be difficult to be away from family and friends but think about it this way"
    in 6 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 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • No Opinion of CEO

 

Utterly Lacking in Substance

Country Desk Intern (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

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

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

ConsI 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 Senior ManagementGet it together.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Terrible experience after I was severely injured....

CBOD (Former Employee)
Bangkok (Thailand)

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

ProsVolunteers are GREAT people to have known

ConsMy 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)

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

ProsGreat cultural & language immersion

ConsMedical 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 Senior ManagementAssign 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

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Disorganization - Completely lost its way

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Peace Corps

ProsOther Volunteers are committed. The integration process of placement with host families was excellent.

ConsHighest 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 Senior ManagementHire 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.

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Not as advertised - Namibia Health Volunteer

Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)
Windhoek (Namibia)

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

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

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

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Stressful Environment of Office of Budget Analysis

Office Assistant (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Peace Corps as an intern for 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 Senior ManagementOther offices seem to have a lot more fun, but in OBA it was extremely boring, uninteresting and stressful.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

Youth Advisor (Former Employee)
Baku (Azerbaijan)

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

ProsLiving 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.

ConsA 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 Senior ManagementSet 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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The toughest job you'll ever, er, tolerate.

Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)
San Joaquín, Guanacaste (Costa Rica)

I worked at Peace Corps

Pros-Gives you unparalleled insights into another culture.
- I made a lot of friends (host country nationals and other volunteers).
- Allowed me to travel around Central America.

Cons-I didn't feel like my site was adequately vetted before I got there.
-Lack of clear job or mission.
-Unsupported by PC staff when I had problems at my site.
-The blame the volunteer mentality demonstrated by most of the staff.
-Extremely rigid rules.

Advice to Senior ManagementDo a better job of vetting sites and defining a volunteer's role before they get to their sites.
Create a more supportive atmosphere for solving volunteer problems.
Realize that most volunteer "bad behavior" is caused by the extreme stress we are confronted with.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Peace Corps - Being a PCV Is Great - Working at HQ Can Be an Less Great

Country Desk Officer (Current Employee)

I have been working at Peace Corps

ProsThe mission of the agency is in theory well-intentioned. The line workers at the agency headquarters are usually nice people, mostly RPCVs.

ConsManagement positions are largely political appointees (there are nearly thirty of them).

Advice to Senior ManagementRe-evaluate some of the ancient practices at HQ (some things seem to be based on processes defined in the 1960s and 70s).

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

Country Desk Officer (Former Employee)

I worked at Peace Corps full-time

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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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Peace Corps reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Peace Corps CEO Carrie Hessler-Radelet . All 318 reviews posted anonymously by Peace Corps employees.