US Department of State Reviews

Updated 30 August 2014
Updated 30 August 2014
326 Reviews

3.9
326 Reviews
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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
81 Ratings

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

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. 1 person found this helpful  

    Summer Internship

    • 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 as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    I worked abroad in an embassy and I had a mixed experience. The positives is that my boss allowed me to experience the different sectors of the embassy and encouraged me to be involved in different sections. The first week or so was a little slow, but after I got all my briefings I got more work to do that filled my day. I had the menial tasks like making copies, but I also got to help on big projects which was great. Everyone, even the higher ups would check in with me to see how I was going and was very kind. I was also given housing and transportation to the embassy. Without the provided housing and transportation I would not have been able to intern, since the position is unpaid.

    Cons

    The biggest turn off for me were actually the foreign service officers. I assumed that foreign service officers were open minded since they are essentially the face of the U.S. Some, not all, of the officers looked down a lot on the country and the people who lived in the country. Some of them made fun of the people they rejected for visas, they were often rude to the local staff and to the people who worked in the cafeteria. They referred to the country as stupid and sometimes to the people as unintelligent. Some took pride in the fact that they were diplomats and police officers wouldn't stop them for traffic violations, so they drove recklessly. These behaviors made me question if the foreign service would ever be a track I would pursue and sometimes overshadowed the very positive things I was experiencing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider a stipend for inters.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great place to work!

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Culture of hard work, senior management interested in continuously improving the Department, compensation is on par with other gov organizations, opportunity for advancement, encouraged to think outside the box and to be creative.

    Cons

    Horrible work life balance, senior management interested in continuously improving things - even when there is no need, up our out FS system makes employees overly competitive, serious cultural divide between FS and CS.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes things are not broken. Don't try to fix everything - over and over again.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great Place to Work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Pros

    You're making US foreign policy. What could be more gratifying? I've really considered myself lucky to be at State.

    Cons

    It's a high pressure environment. Sometimes it's hard to find the right work-life balance. State can also have a highly competitive environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    MGT does a great job. No major complaints. When other federal agencies were laying off employees, our management worked hard to keep us employed.

  11.  

    Logistics Advisor

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, a lot of training opportunities and great options to grow.

    Cons

    You need to know someone to be hired or promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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