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cmortenson (
Posted on Monday, November 29, 2004 - 12:06 pm:   

My husband and I are interested in applying for the Peace Corps and are about halfway through the paperwork. He is an attorney, and I have a master's degree in Public Policy and have been working in state government for about 4 years.

We have been having trouble with our recruiters. Our local recruiter in on a college campus and we get the distinct feeling from her that she may have never dealt with a slightly older married couple before. She has made some extremely disparaging commments towards us about the fact that we have been "working on our careers" instead of volunteering (both of our careers are in public service) and that we are "highly unqualified" for any placement because we have not been volunteering recently. She refused to even discuss any of our concerns with us until after we had been in a volunteer position for 3 months, promised to send us the volunteer assignments that we should be doing in the local area, then we never heard back from her.

Our file has apparently been transferred to the regional office, where the recruiter is even more condascending and rude.

We both feel as if we are highly qualified professionals with a lot to offer in terms of concrete project management and work experience, possibly more than idealistic 22 year old college students. (With all due respect.) We could easily be working in consulting making significantly more money, but want to serve our country in a non-military capacity. Also, my father was a Peace Corps volunteer in the 60s where he met my mother, and I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for the Peace Corps. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to join.

We are ready to quit this process. I don't understand the enormous amount of hostility we are getting from the recruiters, who honestly don't seem to want us in the program. I don't know what the problem is, and any frank advice on what is going on would be very helpful.

They won't talk to us about what the process is like for married couples (except to say "you have no idea how competitive it is") and we can't find any information anywhere.

Please help. Should we just give up?
traveler2 (
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 - 6:33 pm:   

Try this site-more info. avail. We served as a married couple. Not sure why you are getting such neg. responses. Don't give up! Good luck.
traveler2 (
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 - 6:34 pm:   

Try this site-
more info. avail. We served as a married couple. Not sure why you are getting such neg. responses. Don't give up! Good luck.
anonymous (
Posted on Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 8:54 pm:   

here's what i say: give up. i have no idea why they are telling you that you are underqualified, but this process is just a sampling of some of the peace corps nonsense you will hear all the way from recruiting to your completion of service.

i am currently serving as a volunteer and don't plan on ending early, so that is the perspective from which i am saying this. in our NGO / Municipality development program, most of the volunteers don't really do anything, and those that do generally work at a level below what their education and training is. i'm not saying this is wrong or bad, but i am saying that it is absurd for them to say that you don't have the necessary experience.

if you finish your applications i am sure you will both get accepted, but once you get to site, don't expect to do anything remotely relating to your field of work, if that is what you want to do. there is a chance you might be, but don't count on it. there is next to no communication between recruiting and your country of service, especially with regards to finding appropriate placement to match your background and expectations. for example, i am in the Master's International Program in Urban Planning (this is a program where I do a year of grad school then two years service and then one year of more grad school) and even though the entire recruiting process was based around Urban Planning and this Master's International Program, the person in charge of my placement once I was in-country had actually never heard of "Urban Planning," much less the Master's International program, so needless to say my placement is completey unrelated to planning.

But, there are the upsides. The Peace Corps is a great chance to travel, do some good, and open up some job opportunities. Whereas it seems that both you and your husband are entering as professionals, you might end up dissappointed at how things turn out...or maybe not. The Peace Corps files all of this under "flexibility," but it is a little more than that. Serving isn't only not what you expect, it isn't what they tell you it will be. They may tell you that you will be working with teachers, not children, and you end up teaching 3rd grade. They may tell you during recruiting that you will work on city water systems and you end up being assigned to search for grant money for an NGO supporting people with cancer.

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