Peace Corps

  www.peacecorps.gov
  www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated November 26, 2014
Updated November 26, 2014
415 Reviews
4.3
415 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
110 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures (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 22 reviews)

  • Peace Corps has a "five-year rule" which limits employment and reduces institutional memory (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    The Peace Corps was not the experience that I had imagined it would be, but it was well worth it.

    • 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 as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you're an independent, self-motivated person who is okay with putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, the Peace Corps may be for you. It's a great way to gain new perspective on the world, as well as to contribute to a worthy cause.

    Cons

    The organization as a whole is committed to making things run smoothly and quietly. That means that if you want two years of solitude, you can have it (after the initial training, that it). On the downside, if you experience trouble at your site, you're on your own. Operations vary from country to country, but I found in my experience that the PC staff were not very supportive.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Guatemala Peace Corps

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Wonderful staff and many opportunities to develop projects and grow professionally

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    There's a reason why "the toughest job you'll ever love" is still one of their slogans.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Economic Development Adviser
    Former Employee - Community Economic Development Adviser

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

    Pros

    Apart from being immersed in another culture and language for over two years, I think the main pros are also the cons. This experience will test to to your limits mentally and physically. There was almost no direction in what to do once at site. It can be really difficult, overwhelming, and isolating. But by the end of those 27 months, you can look back at what you've accomplished and say that you made that happen. You initiated meaningful projects and made a real impact on your community not because someone told you to do it, but because you saw that's what needed to be done and did it. And by overcoming those enormous obstacles, it just makes that feeling that much more meaningful.

    Cons

    Other cons were the bureaucracy of decision making from Washington and sometimes volunteers in my country feel as if they weren't supported enough by the medical staff. Keep in mind, however, that I felt very safe and that the medical staff-volunteer relationship will vary drastically within one country, let alone from country to country. It just depends on what your expectations are and the alacrity and American professionalism of your country's medical unit.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great organization if finding value in your work is important to you.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Travel, challenge and essentially managing your own schedule and projects

    Cons

    Limited oversight from management made certain projects difficult to complete

  6.  

    Great experience, would recommend to anyone interested in working abroad

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

    I worked at Peace Corps (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility and insightful experience, would highly recommend to anyone

    Cons

    Strict policies and procedures when out of site

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Rewarding but challenging

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

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

    Pros

    Get to live abroad, they really take care of you, get to learn a new language, you'll always have a good story in future interviews.

    Cons

    You can get stuck in a bad situation. Peace Corps isn't very responsive to individual volunteers needs if their name is on the line.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There should be better feedback mechanisms for discontent. I and other volunteers felt very shut out at time, especially with legitimate isses.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    A small dysfunctional federal bureaucracy

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

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

    Pros

    As a staff member, civil service salaries and benefits are the best in the nation. As a volunteer in the field, the experience is usually very positive thanks to host country people.

    Cons

    Too many unqualified political appointees at HQ. Overseas staff not always well-qualified, resulting in hardships for volunteers. Very little oversight in Washington or overseas offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to volunteers. Focus on quality management for the long-term. Cut the bs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Life changing

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Peace Corps

    Pros

    The opportunity to take time out of your life to learn about others is phenomenal. We're there as ambassadors; learning about the people we're there for. The developing world is doing just that, developing.

    Cons

    The program itself is lacking; being there under the countries expectations is only appropriate if the country wants Peace Corps to develop and support. Not supplement what the country doesn't retain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the program already, JFK understood the importance of change.

  10.  

    Amazing place to work, despite term limits.

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

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Mission-driven international agency with mission to promote world peace and friendship through service to others. Staff at every level, in every position somehow tied to this wonderful mission on daily basis. Attracts best and brightest, with idealist temperaments, caring souls, and thoughtful leaders.

    Cons

    The Five Year Rule - statutory term limit from the Peace Corps Act of 1961. Most staff can only work here for five year term limits (some exceptions for up to three years more). Benefit of non-competitive eligibility for federal employment after three years at Peace Corps is great, assuming federal employers are willing to recognize this hiring advantage.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Toughest job you'll ever love

    • 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

    Pros

    Autonomy to explore any projects and careers that you want, learn language and culture, be able to work with local communities and share their culture.

    Cons

    Lots of alone time or time drinking coffee with your neighbors watching dust blow by.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be great if training provided more skills in emotional intelligence skills or sessions in the soft skills... I also wish they spoke more about the political decisions of why some countries and sites are chosen.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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