Why not join the Peace Corps?

This is the question I’ve been asking myself lately.  No really, it sounds hokey and tree-huggerish but I’m for real.

Here’s my thought process:

  • I’m not married, don’t have kids, and do not have a job lined up upon graduation.  Which is in one year. Therefore, I’m not attached or held down by anything.
  • Jobs are down, salaries are down.
  • What is 2 years out of a lifespan?
  • Imagine the resources and help I could bring to an underprivileged area that I have acquired from my life spent in higher education.
  • I’ve never been out of the country or even lived outside this state.
  • I have teaching experience and understanding of Spanish.
  • I would love the challenge it would bring.
  • I’m too spoiled and sheltered (see above) this would really open things up.
  • They give you a $6000 stipend when you get home to emerge back into the states.
  • You have medical and dental coverage.

Those are the pros but there are SO many cons I’m trying to stay optimistic…

  • You have to go for two years.
  • You do not get to pick where you go and who you go with (if you go with anyone at all). There is an exception if you’re married.
  • You live like the people you are helping, mud houses, no running water, etc.
  • Communication with those back home is not as easy as an email or call.
  • I’ve never packed for a long vacation in less than one bag, no heels, no makeup bag and hair straightener.  I’ve always had heat, AC, running water, clean water, a grocery store full of food, lots of friends and family nearby, etc. (this is the spoiled part).
  • Crazy bugs we’re not used to.
  • Language barriers (these are the sheltered parts).
  • Its kinda really super scary.

Like I said, there are lots of cons but wow the pros and wouldn’t it be such a great life experience so, why not?

Well what I am wondering is what would employers think when I get back?  Is this a resume booster? Would it be hard to jump back into ther real world and into a real job?  Is this a bad time for a break, should I go do PR first and then take a step back so I have the experience?

I don’t know, lots of things to think about and they tell you to apply 9-12 months before you wish to go which is getting closer by the day.

What do you guys think? I really would love to hear your thoughts from students like myself and from pr professionals and those that would hire all of us students…

Hope I’ve made you think a little about expanding your boundaries and taking a leap, even if its not as drastic as joining the peace corps!


2 responses to “Why not join the Peace Corps?

  1. Erin, I have been contemplating this same thing, except not with the Peace Core, but with the Teach for America program. It too is a two year program with some, but not total, control over where I live. In these economic times, it does seem to make since to try an experience such as these before heading into the direction my degree deems. I got some great advice from a neighbor that I believe is pertinent to this life decision. He said that in life you will pass through at least four different job opportunities before you find that perfect fit. He said, where you imagine yourself to be now can change immensely in the coming years and to just enjoy the ride and be confident that you will end up where you are supposed to be. So, in the advice of my neighbor, I say take the leap, try this experience and see where it takes you. Good luck!!

  2. Pingback: Comment on “Why not Join the Peace Corps?” « Beckman’s PR Blog

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