Peace Corps Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
384 Reviews
4.3
384 Reviews
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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

33 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    An amazing adventure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    It is a way to see life from a completely new perspective and do something truly worthwhile.

    Cons

    Many people cannot sacrifice so much of themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing, I loved my time.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Intern

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

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

    Pros

    The communications team at the organizations is comprised of top notch people who will give you a plenty of opportunities to learn more. The office culture was interesting because you get to interact with people who are passionate about improving the world.

    Cons

    The process for obtaining the security clearance was a bit cumbersome and definitely required a significant amount of persistence. Generally, the office felt a bit sterile.

  3.  

    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 for 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
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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    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
  7.  

    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
  8.  

    Great Experience

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

    I worked at Peace Corps as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    The company offers great training and staff development opportunities. The ideology of the organization makes it a meaningful experience.

    Cons

    May be required to deliver work that exceed work hours, Compensation only in Comp time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow for more upward mobility

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Former DPT overseas

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director of Programming & Training (Department)  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Director of Programming & Training (Department) in Washington, DC

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Best job within the government (granted, many jobs can't even compare) - and you are close to your 'beneficiaries' in the field. Programming & Training is the heart and soul of getting trainees ready for service, and in keeping them supported while they are PCVs. Very rewarding work.

    Cons

    PCHQ is a growing bureaucracy, and your work life will be increasingly affected by new rules and regs, more reports and changing initiatives. A lot also depends on your country director, as each has leeway to define the job and define the atmosphere at post.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep growth of PCHQ in check. More money to support the field, not add new offices in Washington.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Meaningful work in unstructured environment

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

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

    Pros

    Great people, make a difference, learn about yourself. Experience working abroad for USgov agency is good practice for other jobs with flaky management and unpredictable environments

    Cons

    Management cycle regularly so there is little institutional memory. Volunteers are expected to fend for themselves and solve their own problems, sometimes in very trying or challenging situations. Little funding for capital/documentation/overhead, so things are more difficult than they should be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create more enduring support structures for volunteers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Epic experience in Niger

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

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

    Pros

    Cross-cultural sharing, learning a new language, making life-long friendships, experiencing the challenges and opportunities of the developing world

    Cons

    Difficult transitions - both going into and coming out of Peace Corps. But these transitions in themselves are excellent learning and personal development achievements.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open Peace Corps programs in more countries. Increase visibility/ awareness of Peace Corps in the US.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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