US Department of State

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  www.state.gov

US Department of State Reviews

Updated 11 December, 2014
Updated 11 December, 2014
373 Reviews
3.9
373 Reviews
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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
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Review Highlights

Pros
  • If you work for the Foreign Service, you get to see the world in so many meaningful ways (in 30 reviews)

  • See the world while serving your country (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • The biggest turn off for me were actually the foreign service officers (in 32 reviews)

  • This can dramatically impact work-life balance for years at a time (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  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.  

    Overseas Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pol/EconOne of the "-stans"
    Current Employee - Pol/EconOne of the "-stans"

    I have been working at US Department of State as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great opportunity to get experience in diplomacy. "You'll get the most out of this and we'll get the most out of you if we treat you like an FSO, so that's what we're going to do." Housing was provided, although this isn't as likely in some of the European posts. Great way to experience foreign culture, and one of the few USG internships that you can do overseas.

    Cons

    The expat community can be pretty insular. Workload was bipolar- sometimes we had too much work and were struggling to keep up, other times I came into work and read the news all day.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    I love it!

    • 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

    Pros

    Great place to work. There is a lot to do and every day is different.

    Cons

    You will always be living in different places.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Summer Intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern

    Pros

    Depends on which office you're in. I worked in a office where the number of staff was small so there was much more interaction between interns and the staff. I was also given much more autonomy over my projects and felt like I learned a lot from the summer internship.

    Cons

    Some interns shared that in other offices, they did more routine paperwork and assistance. These offices were usually bigger so there wasn't as much interaction between staff and interns.

    Recommends
  6.  

    Working for the State Department was a great experience.

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

    I worked at US Department of State full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work, smart and capable colleagues, collaboration and opportunities to make a difference.

    Cons

    Need to sensitive to and aware of a variety of issues at all times.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Exciting but unpredictable

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Pros

    You get to see the world

    Cons

    Limited control over where you go - subject to fate

  8.  

    Great Experience

    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I worked in an office within the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. It was fast paced and always interesting. If you are considering a career in the Foreign Service, this is a great way to find out if the work if for you.

    Cons

    You work for free for long hours. It is expensive to live in D.C. The bureaucracy of the State Department can get really frustrating.

  9.  

    Rewarding, mostly, despite the bureaucracy

    • 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

    Pros

    Making a significant contribution; helping people
    Good pay and benefits
    Variety of challenges, varied activities within any given workday
    Get to work with intelligent good-hearted people

    Cons

    The bureaucracy. Can be frustrating, slow, and offer little room for creativity
    Poor managers: while subject matter expertise is important, these people often do not make the best managers nor do they seem to like the role
    Being dependent on an annual budget from Congress, which is always late, makes it hard to plan.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take morale problems seriously and take steps to address them

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Fulfilling work, great coworkers, see the world

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I've enjoyed my first two experiences with the Foreign Service. If you come in on the track that is the best fit for you (in my case, Political) you should enjoy it. The bureaucracy actually takes care of you pretty well, contrary to what many assume of the federal government. The work is varied and sometimes exciting. If you're talented and work hard, you can do good things for your country. If you're up for living abroad most of your life -- away from your family, core friends, and support network -- you'll have some amazing experiences. Pay and benefits are good - a big step up from my non-profit past. I also have a lot more autonomy than I had in the non-profit world; as a Foreign Service Officer you are rather empowered to do what's best for your country.

    Cons

    Unfortunately State has been overshadowed or muscled out more often than it should be other, better-funded agencies of the government (Defense, etc.) I've had some bosses who stand up for State's rightful territory but others who have not. Also, you REALLY have to be dedicated to government service and living overseas for years at a time, in places that may not be your first choice. If not, don't sign up.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Internal Audit Manager, Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (part-time contract)

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

    I worked at US Department of State part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, interesting work with extensive overseas travel

    Cons

    bureaucratic, a contract job with no advancement opportunities, but ideal for a retiree. Must have foreign service and audit or financial management experience to qualify

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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