US Department of State

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US Department of State Reviews

Updated 24 September 2014
Updated 24 September 2014
338 Reviews
3.9
338 Reviews
Rating Trends

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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

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State

    Pros

    constant evaluation allowed me to improve all the time

    Cons

    some time the constant evaluation can be intimidating

  2.  

    Good company

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Not too bad to work for, fairly good training opportunities and pay is okay. Best thing is the colleagues , many of which have worked for years with each other.

    Cons

    Not very good with other benefits such as flexi working , seem to be behind the times. Management changes every few years which can be challenging

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    London Embassy internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Intern in London, England

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

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great experience, good benefits, hard work

    • 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 5 years

    Pros

    You 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.

    Cons

    Moving 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 ManagementAdvice

    Flexibility with part-time or leave without pay after people become parents would probably help with employee retention.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Passport Clerk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Passport Clerk  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Passport Clerk in 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    U.S. Department of State Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - FPU Intern  in  London, England
    Former Employee - FPU Intern in London, England

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

    Pros

    You 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.

    Cons

    A 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    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
  9.  

    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
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    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

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