US Department of State

  www.state.gov
  www.state.gov
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US Department of State Reviews

Updated 19 September 2014
Updated 19 September 2014
335 Reviews
3.9
335 Reviews
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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
85 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

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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
  2.  

    The internship in Public Affairs was fantastic! No complaints.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern

    Pros

    Fun, varied work environment, challenging.

    Cons

    No cons to speak of, very much enjoyed my time there.

    Recommends
  3. 2 people 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
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  5.  

    The review

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing training and travel experience.

    Cons

    bad sleep schedule. long hours.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    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.

  7.  

    US Departmetn of State - Management Intern

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Pros

    Really cool experience.

    Cons

    Difficult to use experience to get foot in door as a permanent position (does not necessarily help with passing the FSOT)

  8.  

    FSO

    • 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 10 years

    Pros

    Taking part in making and carrying out the foreign policy of the United States is incredibly rewarding as well as intellectually challenging.

    Cons

    Long hours are the norm and are expected at all levels of service; commitment to a lifestyle of moving every 2-3 years is difficult for those with family responsibilities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The impact of "reform" of the promotion system seems to have confused more FSOs that it assisted in developing career plans.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great Place to Intern

    • 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 as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    The kinds of projects you work on and the experience and knowledge you gain, not to mention the advantage of being able to put State on your resume, somewhat make up for it being unpaid. Worked with smart, hardworking people -- State Dept. employees are 'diplomatic' in how they communicate with each other, so office atmosphere is very congenial. Plus, there are usually happy hour parties every other Friday.

    Cons

    I worked in a 'functional' office instead of a regional office, so I was able to work about 22 hours a week and still attend grad school full-time. Work consisted of day-to-day tasks and one long-term project -- not too stressful. However, I've heard from other interns that the regional offices are understaffed and desk officers are overworked, and interns are just running around putting fires out all day. If possible, do an internship at an embassy or consulate overseas -- more responsibilities, substantive work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Foreign Service for 25 Years

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

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

    Pros

    If you have a strong motivation for public service, there are few places where you can have as much impact during a career. Working abroad, you are part of a much smaller team as compared to DC. Living abroad is great. Whether good or bad, the Department takes care of most of the complicated parts of living overseas. Housing and maintenance of your residence is included. You don't have to get your own visa. There is usually a commissary of food and alcohol so you don't have to do without your favorites from the States. It can be living in a bubble but the lack of hassle is nice.

    Cons

    It is a bureaucracy. Overseas, the bureaucracy is less but the home office can be insane! Moving from place to place involves far too many steps. Each time it feels like the bureaucracy is doing it for the first time. Despite the process for entering the Foreign Service being so rigorous, there are far too many bad managers. Most career managers are good but people promoted to the deputy chief of mission often have almost no management experience and then are managing 100 people. No wonder they fail. Except at the highest levels, members of the Foreign Service don't make policy. As a result, some find themselves advocating for policies against which they strongly object. One has to make peace with that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more management training for mid-level officers. Actively identify bad managers earlier. Doing 360 reviews at the time of assignments is not enough. Ensure that feedback from subordinates is taken seriously. Change the evaluation system so it doesn't depend so much on the quality of the writing of your boss and doesn't overstate accomplishments and their significance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  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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