Peace Corps
4.3 of 5 316 reviews
www.peacecorps.gov Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.3 316 reviews

                             

96% Approve of the CEO

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Carrie Hessler-Radelet

(70 ratings)

96% of employees recommend this company to a friend
316 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
         
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  • Approves of CEO

 

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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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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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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Not as advertised - Namibia Health Volunteer

Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)
Windhoek (Namibia)

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

ProsOpportunity to see another part of the world
Other Volunteers
Plenty of time to yourself

ConsThe biggest issue was lack of work. I left early largely because of this. I was not the only one. Most people I spoke with in my group had maybe 1-2 hours of real work per day (and that was if they were lucky). This is not due to laziness, this is due to lack of connections in the community and little support from the Peace Corps. If you go, be prepared to be an American ambassador more than anything else. Note: This is not a development job. I rarely heard of a project that was sustainable.

Cons: little to no site development by Peace Corps staff, safety concerns, Peace Corps does not take any negative feedback from volunteers seriously

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease start listening to the volunteers that leave early instead of blaming them. This program has some major flaws that need to be addressed.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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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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The toughest job you'll ever love

Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)
Bamako, Bougouriba (Burkina Faso)

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

ProsGreat international experience. You learn a lot about what is development, and how so many others are doing it wrong. Hopefully you leave with a greater understanding of how to help others, without creating dependency.

ConsI like having clear goals and objectives, but individual site work for Peace Corps volunteers can be vague. For those that are creative, independent, or entrepreneurial this may be great. For those who like to be organized and end driven, you'll have to talk to other volunteers and program managers on how you can measure your impact and create small projects while you wait to figure out what your big project will be.
Also you might get sick, like all the time.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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I did youth development work from 2011 to 2013 in rural Morocco.

Youth Development Volunteer (Former Employee)
Washington, DC (US)

I worked at Peace Corps as an intern for more than a year

ProsPeace Corps work is as hands-on as it gets! I enjoyed teaching English as a Foreign Language to all ages and levels of learners and leading critical skills development programs with youth, especially young women.

ConsThe high turnover innate to the Peace Corps allows for some gaps in the programming. I was unfortunate to be trained for my service during one of those gaps, which left me quite uncertain how to begin my service. It was an obstacle I overcame.

Advice to Senior ManagementI would advise management to nominate volunteers on the basis of their expertise and place them accordingly.

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 316 reviews are posted anonymously by Peace Corps employees.