US Department of State
3.8 of 5 280 reviews
www.careers.state.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of State Reviews

Updated Apr 15, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 280 reviews

                             

91% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(64 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend
280 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "I worked at the Foreign Service Institute, where they train diplomats"
    in 20 reviews
  • "See the world, protect the best brand in the world - the US"
    in 10 reviews
Cons:
  • "Foreign Service officers are then central employee core and taken care of"
    in 26 reviews
  • "The biggest challenge is that every two years, there is a rotation of mid-level Foreign Service Officers who arrive with "attitude""
    in 15 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Approves of CEO

 

London Embassy internship

Intern (Former Employee)
London, England

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

ProsThe city is, of course, extraordinary and the people working at the embassy are an impressive group city. Most FSOs have come from hardship areas and are treasure troves of information about various parts of the world. Because of the embassy's size there are many different agencies represented in the building, which provides a good opportunity to speak with people carrying out a variety of missions for the US Government. Also, the embassy and the UK's central position in US European policy means that a lot is happening around the embassy at any given time.

ConsThe mission's size is as much a detriment as it is a benefit. FSOs don't have the time to brainstorm for projects and didn't seem too compelled to bring the interns into their work unless the interns made a push to be involved. This is most frustrating for interns who don't have well-defined interests or a specific topic or region they would like to focus on during their tenure. Also, the internship is unpaid, without housing or transportation stipends of any sort.

Advice to Senior ManagementA more formal, structured intern program would help the interns feel better connected to and more engaged in the embassy's work.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great experience, good benefits, hard work

Foreign Service Officer (Former Employee)

I worked at US Department of State full-time for more than 5 years

ProsYou get to really be at the front lines of diplomacy. The job of a foreign service officer is very well respected and the benefits are great (free housing, home leave, medical care). Plus, you get to see the world.

ConsMoving every few years can become wearing. The Dept. of State is very much USG and as such there is a high level of bureaucracy to navigate.

Advice to Senior ManagementFlexibility with part-time or leave without pay after people become parents would probably help with employee retention.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Passport Clerk

Passport Clerk (Former Employee)
London, England

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

Pros-Pay is rather well provided it was an easy job.
-Great group of fellow co-workers and the environment was wonderful.

Cons-Difficult to get hired provided weak UK economy and 100s of applications per job posted.
-Even with a Bachelors degree it was difficult to get this position that requires only a high school diploma.
-Security Clearance is a bit of a pain due to length of process.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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U.S. Department of State Internship

FPU Intern (Former Employee)
London, England

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

ProsYou get to see the world, you get a sense of importance and duty, you get to serve your country. One of the best places to network due to fluidity of workforce. I had good management. Had the opportunity to meet famous people, particularly in politics.

ConsA bit of an elitist atmosphere, a little bureaucratic, as and FSO you are forced to relocated every couple of years. You dedicate your life to the job. Many Internships (as was mine) are unpaid.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Mixed Internship

Political Section Summer Intern (Former Employee)
Washington, DC (US)

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

ProsInternship experience differs from office to office. The best case is if the office has substantive work to do, with fewer regular FSO's available. In that case, summer interns often fill in for actual FSO work, though it is closely supervised.

ConsSummer interns may also have to do some office admin work.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great outfit

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at US Department of State full-time

ProsTravel is exciting, interesting and frequent.

ConsAt times, travel can be a bit much.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work.

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Excellent Internship at the State Department

Intern (Former Employee)
Washington, DC (US)

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

ProsOffice Culture, Professional Growth, Transportation Subsidy, Access to learning materials and speakers, Mentorship, Learning, Employee Benefits (Credit Union, Cafeteria, Gym), Food Trucks, tuition reimbursement plan for FTE's

ConsClunky government work, niche, seniority over superiority, government salaries, slow-moving work, work can be too niche, cafeteria is nicer at other agencies, gym is somewhat expensive, memo edits take forever, no pay for interns

Advice to Senior ManagementThe usual statements about clunky government work.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great Opportunity

Coordinator (Former Employee)
Washington, DC (US)

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

ProsWonderful, knowledgeable staff that are truly dedicated. Get to know them as they are often masters in their subject areas. Also, a great cafeteria and opportunities to travel.

ConsLONG hours, sometimes into the morning. Make sure to check your work/life balance and ensure that you are taking some time for yourself. Also, the HR system is very confusing and there is a lack of understanding as to what items go to whom, and the job training is sparse. Need to be a self-starter for this role.

Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to streamline HR, too confusing of the hierarchy.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at US Department of State

ProsPeople who are amazingly dedicated to the country and the their mission.

ConsPoor career trajectory for non-FSOs or non-PMFs.

Advice to Senior ManagementMake a plan to retain talented civil servants.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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HR

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than 8 years

ProsThe Department of State is not just a job but a career. The benefits are great as well. I love working here.

ConsThis is not just a job but a lifestyle. You have to be able to juggle work and family life which can sometimes be difficult. Especially when living overseas.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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