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Peace Corps Reviews

Updated December 3, 2017
17 reviews

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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
5 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • You get to learn a new language and build relationships with people with different backgrounds (in 44 reviews)

  • Life changing experience you can't get anywhere else (in 39 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Not worth the stress"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Peace Corps (More than a year)

    Pros

    They pay for you to move abroad, lots of vacation time (2 days a month), depending on the country you're in decent healthcare

    Cons

    Readjustment allowance is weak, lack of diversity across the board, such a bureaucratic cluster, not always wanted or needed in your country (that's very much based on where you end up)


  2. "Misleading and Unprofessional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Volunteer
    Former Employee - Volunteer
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Program sounds great on paper but the process for clearance and staging is misleading and unprofessional

    Cons

    The clearance process is not guaranteed for accepted invitees which is clearly stated by Peace Corps, but what is misleading is the heavy financial burden and unprofessional nature of receiving the clearance. I paid $1,009 (with cost share reimbursements already factored in) for clearance procedures when I was told I would likely not receive clearance just 2 months before my departure. I did not hear from the clearance department for three months after I submitted all required information for clearance, and then I was told I needed to complete additional tasks immediately or my clearance would be denied. I could not afford to continue in the process with such little financial notice as the additional tasks were lengthy, expensive, and unexpected. Peace Corps reports that 90% of applicants can make it through clearance, but what they don't report is how many applicants have to withdraw their applications because of the cost barrier. The costs I incurred were with health insurance coverage and despite the Peace Corps cost share program that reimbursed me just $12 for the eye exam and $60 for dental, I still shouldered a large financial burden for a clearance that ultimately fell through. For future applicants to get a better feel of the costs you can expect here is a list of what I incurred:

    $75 Eye exam (with purchase of new glasses required by PC) deduct: $12 for cost share
    $20 various medical record transfer requests
    $25 Passport processing fee
    $19 Passport mailing fee (PC requires legal documents to be sent through Priority FedEx/UPS)
    $15 Passport photos
    $89 Dentist X-rays deduct: $60 for cost share
    $10 Fingerprinting Fee
    $19 Mailing of Legal Kit through Fed-Ex/UPS Priority (required by PC to send through priority mail)
    $809 (wisdom teeth removal although dentist clearly stated all teeth were asymptomatic)

    This breakdown does not include additional tasks that I was asked to complete after the initial screening when I withdrew my application. I just want other applicants to be aware of some of the unexpected costs of the program and no guarantee of departure. I missed a lot of valuable lead time to apply for other opportunities because Peace Corps only started processing my clearance requirements and adding new tasks just 2 months before my expected departure. One other aspect that many applicants are unaware of when applying, is that Peace Corps does not defer or forbear any student loans during service even if they were granted by the federal government. I know quite a few people that applied, but after receiving this information had to also withdraw.

    Advice to Management

    Be more forthcoming about the specific expectations for getting clearance and offer struggling students more support. Allow applicants more lead-time to get appointments and complete extensive paperwork/procedures after the initial submission for clearance so they can prepare financially. And, don’t discriminate against applicants that may not have perfect medical backgrounds but have been cleared by multiple medical professionals as fit for service.

  3. "Good for new grad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Volunteer
    Former Contractor - Volunteer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Peace Corps as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great opportunity to be around like minded people and travel the world.

    Cons

    Once out in the field, you are on your own. It can be scary if you need support - sometimes the nearest volunteer is hours or even days away. The organization values Americans over locals and it shows.


  4. "Volunteer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    I can't say there was anything truly positive that came from volunteering with the Peace Corps. They are an insulated organization that doesn't respond well to criticisms.

    Cons

    No professional development. We were treated like children. They also swept sexual assault under the rug. It is basically a large cult that refuses to listen to the concerns of volunteers. Would not recommend under any circumstance.

    Advice to Management

    Stop micro managing and listen to the volunteers in the field, they know better than you do.


  5. "Waited 3 months to start and was dropped"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Peace Corps as an intern

    Pros

    My friends who interned there have enjoyed their time there.

    Cons

    As the title suggests, I was "hired," then they took three months to tell me that I was no longer hired. Even if this situation is an outlier it was extremely unprofessional; my only advice is to apply and keep looking for something better, because there is a chance they are just wasting your time.

    Advice to Management

    Take less than three months to rescind your internships.


  6. "The friendliest people you'll ever want to stab you in the back."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There is a lot of love to go around in this building. The people who come to work everyday come because they care and have a common esprit de corps. There is lots of room for promotion and a great work life balance. Whats more when you leave, everyone is there to say a heartfelt goodbye.

    Cons

    Peace Corps is, at the end of the day, a government bureaucracy. Its ideals, hopes and dreams, inevitably fail to measure up to its achievements. Its political appointees pursue their own personal, Washington D.C oriented vendetta's with one another, with little regard for what goes on beyond its walls, in the Peace Corps community and with the Volunteers overseas.

    Advice to Management

    Stop bickering with one another, comport yourselves with apparent integrity, and learn to communicate better, with staff, with volunteers in the field, and with the 200,000+ returned members of the Peace Corps.

    Additionally, create a clear decision making process, one that isn't based on personal relationships, or ego, but on an understood, accepted and transparent process where the most reasoned or innovative idea wins.

    And never appoint political appointees who didn't serve as Peace Corps Volunteers. Period.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Should not be considered a government agency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    - Postive attitudes; 90% RPCVs at HQ

    Cons

    - no continuity due to archaic 5 year rule
    - not much professionalism
    - not much productivity
    - not much business ethic
    - some jobs seem improvised
    - cult-like vibe

    Advice to Management

    Too much time is spent on the PC culture instead of the daily workloads. The mission needs to be reformed to fit modern day.

  8. "Utterly Lacking in Substance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Country Desk Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Country Desk Intern in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Peace Corps as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It paid $10/hour as a work-study job.

    Cons

    I 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 Management

    Get it together.


  9. "Rural Education Development Volunteerin Zambia"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mufulira, Copperbelt (Zambia)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mufulira, Copperbelt (Zambia)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    The other volunteers you will meet
    The children you'll teach
    Ability to travel the world

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    Advice to Management

    Serious work needs done on the Peace Corps Zambia program.


  10. "Obsolete agency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Finance Instructor in Shenzhen, Guangdong (China)
    Former Employee - Finance Instructor in Shenzhen, Guangdong (China)

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    great 3 month stint but not much else

    Cons

    peace corps agency has become obsolete with Language schools that almost guarantee placement. Language school have good pay, one year contract renewable

    Advice to Management

    disband agency; not needed any longer


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