US Department of State

  www.state.gov
  www.state.gov
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US Department of State Reviews

Updated 24 September, 2014
Updated 24 September, 2014
338 Reviews
3.9
338 Reviews
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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
87 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • See the world while serving your country (in 13 reviews)

  • I worked at the Foreign Service Institute, where they train diplomats (in 25 reviews)


Cons
  • The biggest turn off for me were actually the foreign service officers (in 29 reviews)

  • This can dramatically impact work-life balance for years at a time (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Itern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern

    Pros

    Great way to get a feeling for how the organization operates. Build a knowledge of the organizational structure.

    Cons

    You are limited in your portfolio. There wasn't enough time to see a project from start to completion.

  2.  

    Great experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at US Department of State full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I accepted an internship position at the China and Mongolia Desk. It was a fantastic experience. You do get the chance to network and have access to interesting cables. The security clearance ain't bad either.

    Cons

    That said, they really need to give more than just a transportation stipend for all the extra hours you can work. This unpaid internship nonsense has to stop in general, but especially regarding the federal government.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    DOS offers unlimited opportunities for growth and experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    For those interested in learning about new cultures and how the US interacts with them, it offers one of the best environments to do so. There are many opportunities for international travel and living overseas for helping others and for making a difference. Most of all, you make lifelong friendships and excellent professional connections.

    Cons

    There is an insider/outsider mentality that veils the department. At times, it can seem somewhat like a "Glee" club with too many smiling faces hiding their true feelings. In order to excel in this environment you must know the inside game and play it well. Insiders that accept you will teach you the hidden dos and don'ts for success.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think and step outside the box sometimes

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Summer Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern  in  Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at US Department of State as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Tremendous exposure to the inner workings of the foreign policy machine.

    Cons

    Human Resources are a disaster. The internship itself was totally unorganized and provided very little guidance or mentorship.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    State needs to consider restructuring its internship program to fall more in line with private sector standards of organization.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Positive internship within HR dept

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Arlington, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA (US)

    I worked at US Department of State part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Learned a great deal of how the govt works especially in HR matters

    Cons

    Nothing really. I dont have anything

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    The internship in Public Affairs was fantastic! No complaints.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern

    Pros

    Fun, varied work environment, challenging.

    Cons

    No cons to speak of, very much enjoyed my time there.

    Recommends
  8.  

    The review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - MSG
    Former Employee - MSG

    I worked at US Department of State full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing training and travel experience.

    Cons

    bad sleep schedule. long hours.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    US Departmetn of State - Management Intern

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Pros

    Really cool experience.

    Cons

    Difficult to use experience to get foot in door as a permanent position (does not necessarily help with passing the FSOT)

  10.  

    FSO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Officer
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Officer

    I worked at US Department of State full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Taking part in making and carrying out the foreign policy of the United States is incredibly rewarding as well as intellectually challenging.

    Cons

    Long hours are the norm and are expected at all levels of service; commitment to a lifestyle of moving every 2-3 years is difficult for those with family responsibilities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The impact of "reform" of the promotion system seems to have confused more FSOs that it assisted in developing career plans.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great Place to Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    The kinds of projects you work on and the experience and knowledge you gain, not to mention the advantage of being able to put State on your resume, somewhat make up for it being unpaid. Worked with smart, hardworking people -- State Dept. employees are 'diplomatic' in how they communicate with each other, so office atmosphere is very congenial. Plus, there are usually happy hour parties every other Friday.

    Cons

    I worked in a 'functional' office instead of a regional office, so I was able to work about 22 hours a week and still attend grad school full-time. Work consisted of day-to-day tasks and one long-term project -- not too stressful. However, I've heard from other interns that the regional offices are understaffed and desk officers are overworked, and interns are just running around putting fires out all day. If possible, do an internship at an embassy or consulate overseas -- more responsibilities, substantive work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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