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Career Center Recruiter Series: The Peace Corps

On Thursday, September 29, Lori Dunn visited Emmanuel College to speak about her experience with the Peace Corps.

Dunn is originally from California and volunteered in the small country of Azerbaijan in an education job from 2009 to 2011. She spoke highly of her experiences and how being in the Peace Corps affected her.

“Peace Corps gave me a chance to grow up,” said Dunn.

Anyone that is willing to volunteer and immerse themselves into another culture has a chance to apply. Currently, the Peace Corps ranges from those fresh out of college to their oldest volunteer of age 87.

The main drawback for some that get accepted might be the idea that they do have to agree to be alone for most of their 27-month long commitment. Volunteers will travel together, but once they are placed in their host family’s home, they might be alone for the rest of their experience.

The benefits for many outweigh the drawbacks.

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Some benefits also include student loan deferment or forgiveness as well as noncompetitive entry to government jobs for one to four years after service.

Family and friends from back home will have the opportunity to speak with you while you’re abroad. They’ll have a direct line to you, a direct line to Peace Corps itself, or both.

If you’re looking to volunteer in a specific country, you can visit their website as each Peace Corps country has their own informational website describing the culture and what you could do there. Vietnam has just became a Peace Corps country recently.

If you are looking to apply, there are a few things you’ll need; a 2-3 page resume specifically highlighting your volunteer and internship experience, a cover letter, and a 500-word statement about why you want to join the Peace Corps. Visit peacecorps.gov to view the specific requirements for each job as they can vary.

Dun also suggests highlighting the top three countries or a sector that you’d be most willing to go to in your cover letter so those viewing your application can grasp on to a better idea of where to place you. If you’re up to go anywhere, be sure to mention that too.

The most common jobs are ones in Education. Health and Environment is also one of these largest areas while Agriculture is one of the smallest and hardest to get into.

“Every single year [for youth development jobs in Nicaragua], there are like 2,000 applicants for 10 jobs. It’s ridiculous. You don’t want to be in that pool. You don’t want to fight it,” said Dunn.

Leaving the area you’d like to be in open, or giving a list of more than one country can only benefit your chances of being selected. When you do apply, you’ll be notified of what day you’ll be notified of your acceptance or rejection, and what your departure date will be.

After applying, Dunn warned future applicants to not send emails asking if they have seen your application yet. They have to go through thousands and chances are they might not have even seen yours yet so hang tight. If any changes need to be made or you’ve gained more experiences definitely send out an updated resume.

Dunn’s biggest piece of advice is to apply as early as possible as they have a consistent rolling application process.

There is bad news if you are looking to leave in April, May, or June of 2017 though. The deadline to apply is Saturday, October 1.

No worries if you aren’t taken this time around though. You’ll have another chance to submit an application as the next deadline is January 1.

Overall, the Peace Corps can be a gratifying experience for those that choose to volunteer. As Dunn stated, “There’s beauty in cultural differences,” and this organization is a great way to get immersed and educated in a world beyond your own.

If you are interested in learning more about available jobs visit peacecorps.gov/openings. If you have any questions regarding the organization itself or the application process, Dunn has made herself available to contact:

Lori Dunn

ldunn@peacecorp.gov

(857) 415-7830

Merisa Boyd ’18 is a Staff Writer for The Hub. She can be contacted at boydm@emmanuel.edu and on Twitter at @merisafaith.

Posted by on October 10, 2016. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.