US Department of State

  www.state.gov
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US Department of State Reviews

Updated Jul 31, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 312 reviews

90% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(77 ratings)

87% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • See the world while serving your country (in 12 reviews)

  • I worked at the Foreign Service Institute, where they train diplomats (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Foreign Service officers are then central employee core and taken care of (in 27 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)

More Highlights
312 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

    1 person found this helpful  

    intern

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Prosconstant evaluation allowed me to improve all the time

    Conssome time the constant evaluation can be intimidating

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    London Embassy internship

    Intern (Former Employee) London, England

    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

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great experience, good benefits, hard work

    Foreign Service Officer (Former Employee)

    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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    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Passport Clerk

    Passport Clerk (Former Employee) London, England

    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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    U.S. Department of State Internship

    FPU Intern (Former Employee) London, England

    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

     

    An excellent learning experience, albeit unpaid.

    Collections (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsI had a great time learning about the operations and history of the State Department. It also had the added benefit of being tailored towards the industry I wanted to work in (museums), which you wouldn't normally think of State having. The employees I worked with were kind and extraordinarily helpful, and the office I worked in had a good mix of civil service and foreign service officers, so I was able to see both sides of the types of careers available at State. I was also able to attend a number of events focusing on the Department specifically and DC in general, which all helped my decision to seek further employment opportunities in the District.

    ConsThe fact that it was unpaid was a huge con. I know that this is in large part due to factors beyond their control, but it was frustrating nonetheless. I also found the bureaucracy to be a little stifling, particularly the security clearance process. A uniform approach to clearance is all well and good, but it is a bit ridiculous for a museum intern with no criminal history and fairly minimal foreign travel to have a clearance take as long or longer than someone who was actually working with secret documents, as opposed to documents that had been declassified years ago.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAllow for more flexibility in the clearance process, and pay your interns! Expand the Pathways programs so that "normal" interns aren't left in the cold after working for free.

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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Family Member Employment

    Community Liaison Office Coordinator (Former Employee) Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

    ProsLiving and working overseas is great! The kids attended excellent international schools and we had the opportunity to explore the world. Full time family member employment came with full benefits, including vacation, sick leave, etc.

    ConsAs a trailing spouse, every time your spouse transfers you need to find a new job. When you get to a new post, there may be many opportunities or none. You may have to wait up to a year for someone to leave post so that you can apply for a job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more opportunities for family member employment at each post. Regular part-time jobs with benefits during school hours would be especially appreciated.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Had a very intensive and progressive experience, while working with US State Department for the last 16 years

    Financial Analyst (Former Employee) Dushanbe (Tajikistan)

    ProsGreat team of local employees and very friendly job environment

    ConsPretty much low salary for the senior staff positions

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease try to reward your staff more often for all their job done, especially during the salary freeze

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Passport Specialist, I adjudicate applications for processing passports

    Passport Specialist (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsSomething different everyday. It is definitely a challenge everyday.

    ConsKeeping Focused on everything you do.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHave more Patience with employees

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great experience, exciting environment.

    Public Affairs Intern (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsIt was a very stimulating environment to work. There were lots of opportunities for interns to visit important places and hear important people. I was able to attend live press briefings at both the White House and the State Dept. Great exposure to the world of International Affairs. Everyone in my office was so friendly and welcoming, and I was given lots of responsibility.

    ConsThe application is drawn out because of the security clearance, but definitely worth it.

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