Peace Corps

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Peace Corps Reviews

Updated Jul 29, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.3 360 reviews

96% Approve of the CEO

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Carrie Hessler-Radelet

(90 ratings)

96% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures (in 31 reviews)

  • You go planning to meet really interesting Host Country Nationals (HCN) and you end up meeting some amazing fellow Americans as well (in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • Admin doesn't quite understand the realities of being a volunteer, but that depends country to country (in 21 reviews)

  • Five-year rule causes too much turn over, you need to be looking for a new job when you walk in the door (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights
360 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    Exceptional, Challenging Experience

    Peace Corps Volunteer Health (Former Employee) Brikama Ba (Gambia)

    Pros- PAID field experience
    - diverse options in terms of location placement, work opportunities, experiences i.e. health sector vs agfo, Latin America vs Eastern Europe, rural bush life vs island life vs developing urban area
    - unique opportunity for international experience while serving your nation
    - a large degree of freedom to determine your own work i.e. pick your own project

    - NCE when you complete service
    - graduate school fellowships/scholarships

    Cons- minimal input on country placement (could be a pro or a con, depending on your perspective)
    - limited emphasis placed on M&E of projects
    - limited institutional memory - can often feel like reinventing the wheel
    - placement country and staff capabilities vary heavily

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Really wonderful experience but can be a crap-shoot

    Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee) Kigali, Kigali (Rwanda)

    ProsTest your independence, great philosophy of working on a grass roots level and respecting host country nationals, an incredibly unique and potentially very rewarding experience.

    ConsPC didn't do a great job with matching volunteers with their interests all the time. Other volunteers weren't as driven as expected. It's the US government and things can get bureaucratic/politicy

    Advice to Senior ManagementHave a shorter, but more rigorous application process and baby volunteers less (especially during training). Allow volunteers more control over their placements.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

     

    Community Development Volunteer

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsBeing a Peace Corps Volunteer is an incredible experience. I loved my community, the high quality language instruction, and the community development projects in my country.

    ConsPeace Corps is a demanding experience, emotionally and physically. I would encourage all applicants to deeply reflect on whether or not this type of experience is right for them.

    The bureaucracy is frustrating, no matter what country you are in.

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    • Culture & Values
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    Peace Corps is not for everybody, but I have certainly never regretted my decision to join.

    TEFL Volunteer (Current Employee) Panamá (Panama)

    ProsOpportunity to dedicate your time to something about which you are really passionate about; ability to work independently without too much bureaucratic constraint and without the boss breathing down your neck or mandating your work hours.

    ConsFeeling a lack of productivity. Being a full-time community organizer can make you feel like hanging out and making friends is part of your job. (Which can also be a pro.) Type-As will have to learn to relax and go with the flow in order to get people to trust you and work with you on projects. Type-Bs will have to learn to be proactive in order to get anything done in your Peace Corps site.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement needs to be as willing as the volunteers are to get their hands dirty and deal with the unpopular and unsexy issues!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Timeliness? Not so much. Opportunity to test yourself and experience the world? Eee, bomma le borra!

    NGO Volunteer (Current Employee) Gaborone (Botswana)

    ProsI feel that I am part of a family of volunteers (even international ones) where we are bound together in this odd place, trying to figure out how to maneuver and support eachother. In my work with NGOs daily, I get to see beyond the reports, articles, and textbooks the dynamics of development on the ground and how messy if can be - but, also, since we have no clear job description, you can find your own strengths in working with host country nationals in developing sustainable changes (if it is possible).

    ConsStaff is unresponsive on the ground. We are not allowed to drive, can barely afford transport and communication, food is hard to fit in the budget if you want to go beyond grains (at least we are getting the local context), but with all this... It takes days for staff to remember to respond to a text or e- mail. Also, we need several layers of permission for basic things. Even my local friends wonder why we are sent here and expected to accomplish so much (even if we have no clear job description - we must report on and measure our activities quarterly) with few resources, bureaucratic rules, and unresponsive ness.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your volunteers and try to help adjust pay for those of us living in more expensive areas than the others. No area is the same - stop treating it that way! And please stop expecting us to have laptops, etc., then do nothing to help us get and maintain the appropriate sort.

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

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    It was life changing

    English Education Volunteer (Current Employee) Chisinau (Moldova)

    ProsLife experience that will be a huge asset to future careers. Empowering yourself and the community where you serve.

    ConsCultural challenges, weather, harsh living conditions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSupport volunteers fully and make sure their voices and concerns are heard.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    An opportunity to learn about other cultures and discover your strengths and weaknesses

    GSA (Former Employee) Cochabamba (Bolivia)

    ProsThis is one in a life time experience to grow. You have international exposure, improve language skills, learn how to work and adapt to work within a different culture and within bi-national teams.
    It gives you the opportunity to value what you had the opportunity to enjoy in US.

    ConsIt can be challenging at times to adjust to new cultures, salaries are not great,

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt can be bureaucratic.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Approves of CEO

     

    Formative experience - extremely helpful for defining future career

    Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee) Dakar (Republic of Congo)

    ProsGreat opportunities to learn from community because of independent work environment.

    ConsLevel of funding from Congress would allow for greater support for training and other support services for volunteers.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    A challenging experience that builds character and helps one understand how the developing world operates.

    CED Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee) Okongo (Namibia)

    Pros- Being able to work with diverse groups of host country nationals (HCN) and hear their stories.
    - Clearly seeing the results of your and your colleagues' work.
    - The ability to use a wide range of skills and having the freedom to take part in a number of unique projects.
    - Becoming an expert in the country and part of the world that you are assigned to.
    - Gaining basic proficiency in a foreign language.
    - Becoming integrated in and very close to a host family and a, typically small, host community.

    Cons- Peace Corps Pre-Service Training (PST) is often too broad and not specific or technical enough.
    - The potential and quality of volunteer sites often varies dramatically.
    - Peace Corps staff, like sites, vary dramatically in both ability and knowledge which can be frustrating.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe Peace Corps has a huge amount of potential. However, more technical training needs to be provided during PST on policies and document formatting requirements specific to the country that a group of volunteers is serving in. For example, providing more technical information during PST could help ensure that volunteers did not waste months of their time assisting HCNs with writing business plans and government contract bids that did not actually meet the basic requirements of the country's financial institutions and government offices. This was a situation I observed firsthand, on numerous occasion, during my own service that could have easily been rectified with a few additional country specific community economic development technical training sessions during PST.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    Amazing

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat people , great opportunities .

    ConsHard to get into as they keep their employees for a long time .

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work .

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

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