Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 28 September 2014
Updated 28 September 2014
391 Reviews
4.3
391 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures (in 32 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.  

    Appreciation comes with perspective.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Volunteer  in  Yerevan (Armenia)
    Former Employee - Business Volunteer in Yerevan (Armenia)

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

    Pros

    You get to do amazing things with full autonomy right out of college.
    You meet people who are incredibly interested in you and your background.
    You get to learn about another culture and what it has to offer.

    Cons

    The cultural differences are sometimes frustrating and patience only gets you so far.
    Making the difference that some people set out to make is usually a fools errand.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes treat volunteers like college students. Perhaps that's because so many are, but some additional freedom would have been nice.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Peace Corps Volunteer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Advisor  in  San Agustín, Copán (Honduras)
    Former Employee - Business Advisor in San Agustín, Copán (Honduras)

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

    Pros

    Great experience to experience life in an underserved community. Great opportunity to have a positive impact. Great relationships are built and you get to see how well you handle being outside your comfort zone.

    Cons

    It gets lonely at times. It is a grassroots effort, so finding a sustainable solution for problems may be difficult. It takes time to really understand the problems people face and by then you realize your service is over

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find collaboration possibilities: USAID, other NGO's, etc. to work on projects together (they bring resources, volunteers bring manpower).

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Toughest job I'll ever love.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - School & Community Resources Volunteer  in  Pretoria, Gauteng (South Africa)
    Former Employee - School & Community Resources Volunteer in Pretoria, Gauteng (South Africa)

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

    Pros

    Though quite challenging, the rewards you claim from successful projects and goals attained is absolutely amazing. The level of personal development and growth you gain is unmatched from any other work experience. Traveling in country or outside the borders is always a perk.

    Cons

    The application process is long and demanding. At respective sites/villages, volunteers are responsible for their own health and safety, which requires good-judgement and awareness. Compensation is minimal since you are a volunteer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Once in a life-time opportunities but inefficient bureaucracy.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Education Specialist  in  Mbabane (Swaziland)
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in Mbabane (Swaziland)

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

    Pros

    Integrate into a community across the globe. Build life-long relationships. Change the lives of your neighbors and friends while building life-long relationships and building capacity to solve persistent challenges.

    Cons

    Inefficient bureaucracy often gets in the way of progress on projects. Overly focused on volunteer retention verses quality of work-product.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hold volunteers more accountable to meeting objectives and press them to engage and overcome challenges rather than find excuses.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Once in a lifetime experience

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

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

    Pros

    You get to travel to a new country and immerse yourself in a new culture. You get to plan your own projects based on your community's needs plus have one-on-one interaction with people in your community. The Peace Corps staff in country are very supportive plus you have all your fellow volunteers who help you out and whom you can collaborate with.

    Cons

    You will get lonely because it will probably be the first time you have ever been away from your friends and family for a LONG time. However you learn your limits from that so that's good. If you really like a structured work day and such and are not good at planning by yourself it will also be hard for you. Also, many programs are in countries with no running water or electricity so if you're high maintenance that's something to think about too.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep funding Peace Corps! :)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great experience with a lot of learning and continuous change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Specialist  in  Rabat (Morocco)
    Former Employee - Financial Specialist in Rabat (Morocco)

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

    Pros

    Peace Corps has a lot to offer in terms of personal development. It is a great organization to work for non-profit in terms of different tasks and activities.

    Cons

    Rotating management can sometimes be exhausting. Also, training opportunities are limited in terms of software training, certificates like project management and continuing education.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in training of local employees at host countries and open job rotation overseas for them whenever possible. They have a lot to offer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great life-work balance and experience for furthering career or earning MA degree

    • 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

    Minimal oversight. Very good for people who are outgoing and self-motivated. Great work-life balance. Compensation is low, obviously, but no problem getting by on allowance.

    Cons

    Pre-Service Training could be better, but is pretty useful in terms of cultural and linguistic training.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    An amazing adventure

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

    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
  10.  

    Wonderful colleagues committed to making a difference.

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    I loved working at the Peace Corps. I was initially a Volunteer but this review is about working for the Agency as an employee. The office culture was professional yet fun and each day I got to talk about my overseas service with coworkers and potential applicants. It was a great way to transition back into life in the US. My immediate managers trusted us to get on with things and knew that each employee would get the job done, even if our methods were sometimes unconventional!

    Cons

    As a US government Agency, Peace Corps is not entirely immune to politics. Dealing with the politically appointed senior leadership was sometimes frustrating as it would usually take them a few months to figure out what direction they wanted the Agency to go.

    Peace Corps has a "five-year rule" which limits employment and reduces institutional memory. This has its good and bad points but most importantly, from a career perspective, is that growth is limited. Working for Peace Corps might mean sacrificing your career ambitions but I do not regret it and found most aspects of the job to be very rewarding

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Amazing experience I wouldn't take back for anything, despite its bumps in the road

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Local Government Capacity Builder  in  Francistown (Botswana)
    Former Employee - Local Government Capacity Builder in Francistown (Botswana)

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

    Pros

    - Gratifying work, knowing you made a difference
    - Cultural experience, living in a different country, living like locals
    - Freedom to work in unstructured environment and choose what secondary project(s) you start

    Cons

    -It's disheartening that more projects you start fail than succeed!
    -Quite a lot of volunteers had problems with Peace Corps Staff (in Botswana), mainly for lack of transparency and feeling like staff is not on their side. I personally can't complain.
    - Lack of choice: Peace Corps sends you where they want, you don't choose what country you serve in

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY!

    note: Peace Corps Management in each country is different, so I cannot generalize all of Peace Corps here.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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