Peace Corps

  www.peacecorps.gov
  www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated December 15, 2014
Updated December 15, 2014
423 Reviews
4.3
423 Reviews
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
112 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 23 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.  

    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
  2.  

    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
  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    Life Changing

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Everyone knows the pros of the Peace Corps. You get to travel to a foreign country for free and live like the locals. The experience is so much more than that, but you have to find out the pros for yourself.

    Cons

    Everyone has a different Peace Coprps experience. You go in understanding that you don't have a choice over where you serve, you just serve because that is what you want to do.

  6.  

    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.

  7.  

    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
  8.  

    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 (more than an 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
  9.  

    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 (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
  10.  

    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 (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
  11. 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

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