Peace Corps
4.2 of 5 319 reviews
www.peacecorps.gov Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated Apr 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.2 319 reviews

                             

96% Approve of the CEO

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Carrie Hessler-Radelet

(71 ratings)

96% of employees recommend this company to a friend
319 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures"
    in 29 reviews
  • "Supervisors are host country nationals"
    in 16 reviews
Cons:
  • "It can be difficult to be away from family and friends but think about it this way"
    in 6 reviews
  • "There is a five-year rule in place which means most who work for Peace Corps cannot make a long-term career out of it"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
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Experience in a developing country

Peace Corps Volunteer (Current Employee)
Accra (Ghana)

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

ProsTraining was done very well and I felt some what prepared for the adventure of two years in a village. It was the best decision I ever made, and I would take back all the amazing experiences I had over two years.

ConsThe experience is what you make of it, so it must be a self starter. Also, it is very difficult to live away from friends and family for two years. Being a Peace Corps Volunteer takes a lot of patience, acceptance, and tenacity.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Peace Corps volunteer experience is unique and really once in a lifetime stuff.

Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)

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

ProsYou are granted real-life opportunities for cultural exchange, adaptation, learning a new language and grassroots international development work. Every experience is totally different and special in its own ways. You are really challenged as an individual to make the most of a very unstructured and resource-low experience, however that also makes for that much more possibility and growth.

ConsThere is not much direct oversight of projects, so you have develop the discipline and self-initiative to create the structure and coordination necessary for effective work.

Advice to Senior ManagementEach post is different, as are the sites, so I think it is just important to be flexible and considerate.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Life changing experience leading to future opportunity.

Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent (Former Employee)
Washington, DC (US)

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

ProsIndependence, self-motivated, flexible schedule, priceless perspective, short-term contract

ConsLack of structure, bureaucracy, post hardships, limited resources, short-term contact

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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The best experience of my life.

Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)
Lomé, Plateaux (Togo)

I worked at Peace Corps as a contractor for more than 3 years

ProsCreated a new way of thinking. Started a full life of adventure. I made really strong relationships and learned more in the three years than I did at college.

ConsThe work can be unstructured. You will have to overcome loneliness and overcome a lot of mental and physical battles. It is a long commitment.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Had a good experience day-in/day-out, but was not a strategic way to advance professionally.

Country Desk Officer (Former Employee)

I worked at Peace Corps full-time

ProsWorking as HQ staff: 1) Great collegiality/teamwork in the office! 2) Great devotion and sense of mission! 3) You'll definitely like the people you work with and create a network.

ConsIn terms of career development, Peace Corps is a place where if you take an entry level job hoping for a chance to move up; then either it will happen quickly (about a year) or not at all. Don't think staying on longer will increase your chances. And in terms of salary history, you're better off working somewhere else first to establish a decent salary history and then joining staff. If you come directly from being a Volunteer you can get stuck at the bottom of the pay scale in your career for a long time.

Advice to Senior Management1) Empower staff; 2) establish a system for responding to the turnover and institutional learning issues caused by the 5 year rule; 3) Establish a baseline pay for former Volunteers joining staff - don't penalize their years of service to the nation by treating them like they have no salary history/experience.

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Volunteering is a full time job

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Peace Corps

Pros- Great experience
-- Peace Corps is tough but the experience gained is invaluable. Both professionally and personally.
- Lifelong connections
-- The people you meet will be with you for the rest of your life (for better or worse). This includes other --
-- volunteers, staff and HCNs

Cons- Support
-- Peace Corps support is spotty. Sometimes it is the best you could ever hope for and the next moment you
-- realize you are completely on your own in a foreign country without proper training (see training below)
- Flexibility
-- Peace Corps is a large government organization and it shows when a volunteer or staff member tries to
-- work outside of established norms
- Training
-- Peace Corps training is great except for when it isn't. The language and culture training is amazing but the --- technical training is lacking.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the volunteers more. Have a better system to listen to the field.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Multiculturally diverse and inclusive environment but a little behind on tech innovation.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

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

ProsThe place is very internationally diverse. People are generally friendly, nice, inclusive, curious and respectful of other cultures and languages. There are lots of professional development opportunities- mainly because of the high turnover rate- you have to learn quick and be open to getting many duties as needed assignments (this depends on the dept).

ConsA challenge of working here is that work-life balance varies by dept. and there is no consistency. It seems that only those who are pregnant, have kids, or have families can telework. Professional development also varies by dept. You often have to relate professional development classes to your job-- how about if you've excelled at your entry/mid-level position? Are you given to grow outside of your position to a career after Peace Corps? Again that depends on your dept's leadership.

Advice to Senior ManagementHave more work-life balance opportunities- be consistent in enforcing it. Have more professional development opportunities that would truly allow you to grow outside of your present position.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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You have to make the most it

Secondary Education Volunteer (Current Employee)
Nampula, Nampula (Mozambique)

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

ProsInternational experience, a chance to grow and develop as a person and a employee

ConsSometimes you have to make the most of a bad situation, they cannot guarantee everything will work out, you have to go with the flow

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Health Volunteer

Health Volunteer (Former Employee)
Kabwe, Central (Zambia)

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

ProsBest decision I have ever made for myself. You get to see the world in an entirely different perspective because you live within your host country's culture and traditions. If you have passion for development and the human condition this is the perfect opportunity. If you want adventure and a soul searching journey this is the best way to do it.

ConsThe administrative staff locally is not as attentive at times, possibly due to location. I was living in a rural mud hut and supplies were limited in my area. The medical staff in my country was one of the worst in the entire program worldwide. They had terrible judgement and also did not pick up the "emergency line" for 2 hours when I had a "real" emergency. Luckily, I was a health volunteer and lived nearby the clinic.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your volunteers and take our reports seriously as well. I would have loved to get more feedback on my projects and how I could be a better resource to my community.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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HIV/AIDS Work in Botswana, Africa

District Community Liaison (Former Employee)
Gaborone (Botswana)

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

ProsThe opportunity to live alone in Botswana rare relative to other African countries. I found that refreshing and sometimes a little nerve wracking. You go planning to meet really interesting Host Country Nationals (HCN) and you end up meeting some amazing fellow Americans as well!

ConsNot enough accountability by host country staff and excessive demands and regulations on volunteers. Training was the toughest part of my Peace Corps service for reasons of acclimating, and dealing with PC staff.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement is entirely different country to country. The management in Botswana was not entirely accustomed or exposed to American customs and culture, so communication was difficult when dealing with sensitive issues (as perceived by Americans).

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Peace Corps reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for Peace Corps CEO Carrie Hessler-Radelet . All 319 reviews are posted anonymously by Peace Corps employees.