Peace Corps

  www.peacecorps.gov
  www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 26 November 2014
Updated 26 November 2014
416 Reviews
4.3
416 Reviews
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
110 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.  

    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
  2.  

    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
  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    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
  7.  

    A worthwhile experience

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

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

    Pros

    - Minimal oversight
    - You get what you put in
    - Great training

    I was a year out of college and placed as a health volunteer in a coastal village in Madagascar. Halfway through my service I decided that health education was not the best way to leave an impact on my community, so I started a business with a local family to dry and sell fruit and teach sustainable business practices. It was awesome. The experience and the friends are forever.

    Cons

    - Limited structure (if you need structure)
    - Poor post-service career choices unless you want to work in development or education

    Peace corps provides fantastic soft skills and perspective. If you are fixed in your ways, you will learn to be flexible or fail. However, unless you intend to pursue a career based on soft skills (politics, sales, NGO work), you are going to have a rough time readjusting. I'm transitioning to engineering, so there's a big skill gap that I need to make up.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    RPCV

    • 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

    Grassroots and HQ experience. Fantastic opportunity to travel and gain a foothold in international development.

    Cons

    Experience necessitates personal growth and development, in country and HQ staff offers little support

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Life changing experience - 'the toughest job you'll ever love'

    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Being a Peace Corps Volunteer is a unique and life changing experience. Also if you're starting a career in international development it is absolutely essential to have this experience first - there's no other job or organization that will allow you to learn a local language and live like a local. Without this viewpoint it's impossible to become nearly as effective an international development professional.

    Cons

    Often peace corps volunteers struggle with the isolation of being a PCV, but overcoming this is also one of the positive parts of the experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so soft on volunteers and stop being afraid to admin sep people. Staff should treat being a PCV as a job, and if PCVs aren't doing their job they should be fired.

    Recommends
  10.  

    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...

  11.  

    Wonderful experience of truly living in another country, however Peace Corps provided little positive support.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer

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

    Pros

    You get to learn a new language and understand a different culture the way many will never get the opportunity to. It provides you with great independence and the opportunity to work on leadership and project development skills (which are great for a variety of future careers). The monthly stipend you receive is enough to let you live in the village you're in, but if you plan on traveling around you will need to come with some money from home.

    Cons

    Just like working with any government agency, there are many rules and regulations in place. I personally lived in a smaller country so I had a lot of unwanted control on my projects and schedules. Usually if you are working for an organization, it is expected that you have management and supervision from superiors. However, because you are told to be independent and to be an individual volunteer in your respective communities, it is hard to truly make an impact and do projects that you think will benefit your community when you feel constricted my Peace Corps' regulations and management. The amount of control you feel from your supervisors differs from the type of person is staffed there at the time. It may be worthwhile, before accepting your invitation to the country, to ask people currently serving there now about their opinion of the director and program managers.

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