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Peace Corps Volunteers Bring Skills, Perspective to GSA

GSA Blog, Washington D.C.

More than 30 GSA employees, myself included, recently packed into the former Administrator’s suite alongside agency hiring managers for a discussion with the heads of two federal agencies. The 30 of us all work at GSA, but we share another common bond as well: each of us spent two or three years of our lives living around the globe – some in rainforests, some in the freezing tundra, and some (as in my case) in the arid desert – as Peace Corps volunteers.

GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini received the Acting Director of Peace Corps, Carrie Hessler-Radelet, and other Peace Corps staff at a gathering at GSA headquarters to talk about what Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) can bring to government. The prominent messages to emerge from the talk: RPCVs have talent, and GSA, as well as any other government agency, can hire them.

As part of the discussion, the RPCVs each spoke about their path to GSA and how they felt their Peace Corps experience equipped them for public service. Among the things they brought to government: perseverance, flexibility, adaptability, work ethic, technical expertise, leadership and program management skills, and the ability to work under tight budget restrictions. And it wasn’t all talk – several of the GSA hiring managers in the room praised the work of RPCVs in their offices and divisions.

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