Peace Corps Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
384 Reviews
4.3
384 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
99 Ratings

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 21 reviews)


Cons
  • Admin doesn't quite understand the realities of being a volunteer, but that depends country to country (in 21 reviews)

  • 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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great Experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Once in a lifetime experience to work in a community that you would not have otherwise had access to. If you are interested in living overseas, PC is a great way to try it without incurring as much risk.

    Cons

    Definitely some challenging times living in another culture and being away from any real structure. Teaches you how to manage yourself.

  2.  

    Life-Altering Journey of Self-Discovery

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

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    A wonderful experience, volunteering with the Peace Corps was the best job I've ever had. I discovered new things about myself, learned new languages and skills, and made friends for a lifetime. I ended up extending my service for an additional 13 months because I fell in love with my host country and fellow volunteers. There is ample opportunity to take your own unique approach to accomplishing programmatic objectives. However, I would recommend careful consideration of the sacrifices that volunteer life entails to anyone considering serving in the Peace Corps. It truly is the hardest job you will ever love but it is not for everybody.

    Cons

    The life of a volunteer can be incredibly physically and emotionally challenging. There are many barriers to success that require an extremely self-motivated personality to overcome.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve PCMO, for the good of all.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Peace Corps volunteer experience is unique and really once in a lifetime stuff.

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    You are granted real-life opportunities for cultural exchange, adaptation, learning a new language and grassroots international development work. Every experience is totally different and special in its own ways. You are really challenged as an individual to make the most of a very unstructured and resource-low experience, however that also makes for that much more possibility and growth.

    Cons

    There is not much direct oversight of projects, so you have develop the discipline and self-initiative to create the structure and coordination necessary for effective work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Each post is different, as are the sites, so I think it is just important to be flexible and considerate.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Life changing experience leading to future opportunity.

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

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

    Pros

    Independence, self-motivated, flexible schedule, priceless perspective, short-term contract

    Cons

    Lack of structure, bureaucracy, post hardships, limited resources, short-term contact

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Multiculturally diverse and inclusive environment but a little behind on tech innovation.

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

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

    Pros

    The place is very internationally diverse. People are generally friendly, nice, inclusive, curious and respectful of other cultures and languages. There are lots of professional development opportunities- mainly because of the high turnover rate- you have to learn quick and be open to getting many duties as needed assignments (this depends on the dept).

    Cons

    A challenge of working here is that work-life balance varies by dept. and there is no consistency. It seems that only those who are pregnant, have kids, or have families can telework. Professional development also varies by dept. You often have to relate professional development classes to your job-- how about if you've excelled at your entry/mid-level position? Are you given to grow outside of your position to a career after Peace Corps? Again that depends on your dept's leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have more work-life balance opportunities- be consistent in enforcing it. Have more professional development opportunities that would truly allow you to grow outside of your present position.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Working 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.

    Cons

    In 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 ManagementAdvice

    1) 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.

    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Be there for the right reasons

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Great international experience, helps build a really strong network, and the training helps you develop hard-skills.

    Cons

    You are a volunteer, so the pay is small, but manageable to live on.

  9.  

    GREAT experience

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

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Love it! I was sent to South Africa to live.

    Cons

    Isolation in the village can be challenging.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support sending volunteers home more.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    I did youth development work from 2011 to 2013 in rural Morocco.

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

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

    Pros

    Peace Corps work is as hands-on as it gets! I enjoyed teaching English as a Foreign Language to all ages and levels of learners and leading critical skills development programs with youth, especially young women.

    Cons

    The high turnover innate to the Peace Corps allows for some gaps in the programming. I was unfortunate to be trained for my service during one of those gaps, which left me quite uncertain how to begin my service. It was an obstacle I overcame.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would advise management to nominate volunteers on the basis of their expertise and place them accordingly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in two countries

    • 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

    Pros

    As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you receive world-class language, cultural, and position specific training in-country. Further, the Peace Corps has a great reputation which will follow you after your tenure

    Cons

    As a government entity, the Peace Corps is susceptible to slow government response times and red tape when it comes to seeking to receiving feedback and proposing new ideas.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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