Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 17 October 2014
Updated 17 October 2014
400 Reviews
4.3
400 Reviews
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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

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  1.  

    A powerful forum for cross-cultural exchange

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    A great way to gain regional expertise. One of the best ways to learn a useful foreign language. Good way to build a strong network of peers interested in international development, international affairs. Generally the institution attracts an open-minded, solid, a fun bunch! A wonderful way to give yourself a uniquely challenging work experiences. Forces you to grow in unexpected ways

    Cons

    Security issues, especially for women. You may get sent to a very unpleasant place. Expect extreme cultural shock depending on your country of choice.

  2.  

    Not just an idealistic decision, but also a practical career choice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Volunteer in La Romana (Dominican Republic)
    Former Employee - Volunteer in La Romana (Dominican Republic)

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

    Pros

    There are certain things that you can only learn from having the real-world experience, and Peace Corps is a very unique way of having the chance for this type of learning. The experience can vary by country, but I found the staff to be very supportive and the trainings were good at the beginning. Also, they have just recently made some changes to the application and project assignment process that look promising, so check that out. Lastly, if you're interested in a career in development, this is a great jumping off point.

    Cons

    A lot of the experience depends on the specific project you are assigned to, and not all of them are great. You do have some say in the type of project you want to be part of once you're in-country though. A whole lot of it depends on what you make of it and there is significant autonomy. Some people are ready for that and some aren't, but it can really satisfying and interesting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is some tension between the goals of the PC, basically between the cross-cultural goals and achieving actual development outcomes. I think PC can set higher expectations about the development outcomes. The cross-cultural piece is important, but it is not sufficient to give volunteers the impression that just doing that alone is enough.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Communications Intern in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Communications Intern in Washington, DC (US)

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

    Pros

    The communications team at the organizations is comprised of top notch people who will give you a plenty of opportunities to learn more. The office culture was interesting because you get to interact with people who are passionate about improving the world.

    Cons

    The process for obtaining the security clearance was a bit cumbersome and definitely required a significant amount of persistence. Generally, the office felt a bit sterile.

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  5.  

    Challenging my weaknesses and strength, this position because a very rewarding experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Youth Development in Kiev (Ukraine)
    Former Employee - Youth Development in Kiev (Ukraine)

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

    Pros

    Hands on cross-cultural skills, international relations, government agency work, gained language skills, and a new perspective of life over all.

    Cons

    So much personal growth is needed. But this is nothing close to a con.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great need to continuously improve as you do now.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Volunteer

    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Lusaka, Lusaka (Zambia)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Lusaka, Lusaka (Zambia)

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

    Pros

    The experience is incredibly valuable. Don't expect to change the world or your village at that. But concentrate on the few really willing and open to learning. The experience depends solely on what you do to make it great. Or not.

    Cons

    Staff were helpful most of the time. but there are some fundamental issues of transparency and efficiency assuming mostly due to the bureaucracy of the whole organization.

  7.  

    Experience was amazing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Girl's Education Extension Agenit in Kouvé (Togo)
    Former Employee - Girl's Education Extension Agenit in Kouvé (Togo)

    I worked at Peace Corps (more than an year)

    Pros

    Getting to experience first-hand different cultures, gaining life experience, and really valuable soft skills. Living by your self in a host community is an amazing opportunity that most people never get to experience.

    Cons

    Sometimes it can feel lonely and like there is a lack of guidance, but it is also a great opportunity to learn to deal with ambiguity and be more flexible.

    Recommends
  8.  

    Amazing place to work!

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Most challenging but rewarding experience of my life! Peace Corps offers an amazing opportunity to give back through service and work with really great people.

    Cons

    Expect to be flexible! Learn how to make do with limited resources; it is a key component for success. The toughest job you’ll ever love!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Hardest Job You Will Ever Love

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Your service is what you make it. You can really get involved in the community, in your work, and in friends and have a lasting impact long after you leave.

    Cons

    .. or, you can be sad, lonely, depressed, and miserable. It's your choice. It is what you make it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Attract new volunteers just like every other company is doing.. Make it worth their time and lives by offering them jobs after!

    Recommends
  10.  

    very rewarding - hardships are nuanced and location-specific

    • 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

    freedom to develop projects; interesting areas; lots of personal growth; opportunities to travel and meet interesting people

    Cons

    resources, lack of support, very bureaucratic (it's a government agency); high turn-over among leaders and volunteers, often vague and ambiguous expectations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    spend more time on the ground with volunteers.

  11.  

    There's a reason why "the toughest job you'll ever love" is still one of their slogans.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Economic Development Adviser
    Former Employee - Community Economic Development Adviser

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

    Pros

    Apart from being immersed in another culture and language for over two years, I think the main pros are also the cons. This experience will test to to your limits mentally and physically. There was almost no direction in what to do once at site. It can be really difficult, overwhelming, and isolating. But by the end of those 27 months, you can look back at what you've accomplished and say that you made that happen. You initiated meaningful projects and made a real impact on your community not because someone told you to do it, but because you saw that's what needed to be done and did it. And by overcoming those enormous obstacles, it just makes that feeling that much more meaningful.

    Cons

    Other cons were the bureaucracy of decision making from Washington and sometimes volunteers in my country feel as if they weren't supported enough by the medical staff. Keep in mind, however, that I felt very safe and that the medical staff-volunteer relationship will vary drastically within one country, let alone from country to country. It just depends on what your expectations are and the alacrity and American professionalism of your country's medical unit.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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