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Other Peace Corps after graduate school?

  1. May 29, 2016 #1
    This may be a silly (and, as a first year grad student, premature!) question, but I am wondering about the possibility of going into the Peace Corps after getting my Ph.D. in physics. My field of study is condensed matter physics, and I have begun working with a group doing some nanotechnology development (technically considered condensed matter physics). I really enjoy my research, but I simply do not think that I would be fulfilled in either academia or industry, although this opinion may change before I graduate. I want to use my skills and knowledge to help those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, but sadly nanotech development is expensive so I've sort of given up on this.

    However, as a backup, I am very interested in teaching at likely the post-secondary level in science through the Peace Corps. Has anyone ever considered (or better, done) this?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2016 #2
    Going in to the Peace Corp after you graduate can be a fantastic experience. I know people who have done it decades ago. My sister did it. I work with others who have done it too.

    If nothing else, it will ground you on what another part of the world is actually like. You will encounter a very different group of people than what you're used to. You may not advance your chosen field all that much, but you will be able to teach and learn a great deal from others.
  4. May 29, 2016 #3
    That is good to hear, thank you so much for your insight. Those who have done it after a PhD, were they in a STEM field? If so, were they able to get a job after returning? I'm sure that doing something non-career-related would kill my chances of being able to go into academia, but that's a sacrifice that I'm okay with. However, I would eventually like to work in something related to my field.
  5. May 29, 2016 #4
    One friend of mine was an Electrical Engineering graduate when he went in to the Peace Corp. He helped build the grid in a third world country.

    Honestly, if you're looking to broaden your horizons, this won't hurt your prospects. In fact, I tire of people who are so used to the same narrow minded point of view that they don't even know how to talk to someone who isn't of their background.

    This sort of thing is really a big eye-opening experience. I recommend it.
  6. May 30, 2016 #5


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    Hey Sam I Am.

    Having that sort of experience and perspective is a great thing for life and learning - even if it doesn't necessarily "gel" with the academic side.

    I think it will help you in life and build on what JakeBrodskyPE said.

    It's a good thing if you are committed and if you do pursue it I wish you all the best.
  7. May 30, 2016 #6
    Man, doing something like that would be my dream. Even if it weren't through the peace corps, being able to build up the technology in a country that truly needs it is my calling. I probably went into the wrong field for that though :P The more I think about it, the more joining the Corps is a great idea. Thank you for your insight! And to you also, chiro!
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