Four U of R Alumni Share Why the Peace Corps is a Great Way to Build Your Career

A volunteer with braided, black hair walks among young students.The University of Redlands hosted a panel of alumnus and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers––Sherry Manning ‘05, Chad Robinson ’11, Matt Robinson ’09, and U of R Director of CAS Study Away, Andrea Muilenburg. The panel event launched the new Peace Corps Prep Certificate Program now available at the University of Redlands.

In this brief article, hear a summary of the reasons why these U of R alumni and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers find their experience a critical part of their success.

  1. Sherry Manning, Founder and US Executive Director of Global Seed Savers believe serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines in 2006 transformed her professional path. In fact, she founded her non-profit organization, Global Seed Savers because of her experience with the Peace Corps. “I learned countless lessons that I apply today to the work I’m still doing. I learned that we aren’t always right and that trusting local voices is essential. I learned that good development is in the hands of the community.”


  1. Matt Robinson, National Client Analyst for General Services Administration, says he gained skills in project management from his work with Peace Corps. “I was a part of many projects where you are responsible for everything: timelines, roles, leading meetings, following-up, budgeting—the whole aspect.” Robinson uses these skills each day at his current job.


  1. Chad Robinson, Workforce and Management Planning Specialist for the Peace Corps says the Peace Corps taught him the importance of tenacity. “I learned how not to give up, how to surge ahead, persistence.” He continued,“It’s a trait that translates to everything. When met with challenges, Peace Corps Volunteers rely on creative solutions.”


  1. Andrea Muilenburg, Director of CAS Study Away at the University of Redlands, says her Peace Corps experience pushed her out of her comfort zone. Despite feeling uncomfortable speaking in public, she was put in a situation where she had no choice. “It pushed me because I had to learn to speak and give workshops, not in my native language.”

The Peace Corps gives individuals professional development and skills that translate to any professional context. If you are interested in the Peace Corps and would like to learn more about the Peace Corps Prep Certificate Program, visit our resource page and consider applying.

By Kelly Dries
Kelly Dries Executive Director