Peace Corps
4.3 of 5 352 reviews
www.peacecorps.gov Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated Jul 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.3 352 reviews

                             

95% Approve of the CEO

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Carrie Hessler-Radelet

(88 ratings)

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

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures"
    in 31 reviews
  • "You go planning to meet really interesting Host Country Nationals (HCN) and you end up meeting some amazing fellow Americans as well"
    in 18 reviews
Cons:
  • "Five-year rule causes too much turn over, you need to be looking for a new job when you walk in the door"
    in 7 reviews
  • "Being away from family and friends for so long, stomach illnesses, low wages"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

    • Culture & Values
           
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    • Comp & Benefits
           
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Utterly Lacking in Substance

    Country Desk Intern (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    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)

    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)

    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)

    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)

    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

    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)

    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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    1 person found this helpful  

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

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

    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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    2 people found this helpful  

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

    Country Desk Officer (Current Employee)

    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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    Guatemala Peace Corps

    Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)

    ProsWonderful staff and many opportunities to develop projects and grow professionally

    ConsNo work life balance. No freedom. Priorities are on keeping the post open, not on the life of the volunteers or the projects

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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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 352 reviews posted anonymously by Peace Corps employees.