Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 17 October 2014
Updated 17 October 2014
400 Reviews
4.3
400 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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.  

    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 (more than an 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
  2.  

    Be entrepreneurial

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Panamá (Panama)
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Panamá (Panama)

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Personal development, laying in hammocks

    Cons

    Lack of accountability, lack of direction, lack of measurable outcomes, lack of evaluation, lack of resources

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Don't expect to last as a staff if not your home country

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

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

    Pros

    Worked as a Program Trainer (staff) in Latin America and proved to be a great experience. I got a change to get to know each one of the volunteers prior to them being placed on their communities, work with different communities, and work with all the different staff at the office throughout the trainings. Salary/benefits were above average for local conditions, however, definitely not competitive when compared to other large governmental organizations. Time-off was great. There were several months during the year when we would work 60-80 hrs/week, but were able to accrued extra time and then take additional time off. Office culture was above average, great staff and good management overall.

    Cons

    Upper management was not able to provide effective strategies for Project Managers to improve their quality of work. This resulted in high trainer turnover over 5-7 years due to working relationships with PM--most likely because of political strings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's good to suggest for staff to "manage up", but it comes a time when the PMs need to improve their quality of work and actually do their job and manage.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5.  

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

    Pros

    If you are committed to helping people in the developing world and have some ideas for programs that you would like to develop and test, this is an ideal environment. PC provides language training, some additional education, the Peace Corps brand, some say "government issued and a stipend. There does not appear to be a requirement to comply with performance standards nor a penalty for spending your days watching videos.

    Cons

    Egregious violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It took 2,5 years of applications, document submissions and appeals to be finally accepted with ADHD. You might think that once you finally get in your difficulties are over, but not so! They repeatedly harassed me and tried to fire me. Finally did...

  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 (more than an 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 (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 (more than an 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 (more than an 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 (more than an 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

Work at Peace Corps? Share Your Experiences

Peace Corps

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.