US Department of State
3.8 of 5 281 reviews
www.careers.state.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of State Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 281 reviews

                             

91% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(66 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend
281 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

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

1 person found this helpful  

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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  • Culture & Values
         
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  • Approves of CEO

 

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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1 person found this helpful  

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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1 person found this helpful  

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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1 person found this helpful  

Excellent

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than a year

ProsThe foreign travel is excellent

ConsThe bureaucracy can be stifling.

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1 person found this helpful  

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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  • No Opinion of CEO

 

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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Excellent

Political Section Summer Intern (Former Employee)

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

ProsYou will not have another internship as hands on as this one. The post I interned at had me do tasks normal Foreign Service Officers would do. Therefore, I learned copious amounts in a short three months time.

ConsThe security clearance does take a long time, especially if you have traveled to many other countries. I would suggest getting it done early because the process takes a long time. Another con is that if you want to become a Foreign Service Officer, you have to pass the FSO test. It would be nice if your supervisors saw that you were fit to be an FSO they would give you the job, similar to what other companies do. But unfortunately, if you want to become an FSO you must pass the FSO test which can be difficult.

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

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It's a stable job with decent pay and benefits and lot of opportunity to travel

Office Management Specialist (Current Employee)
Washington, DC (US)

I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than 3 years

Pros1. Travel opportunities: You receive federal holidays, local holidays (when stationed abroad), and 13+ days of vacation annually.
2. Free housing (while stationed abroad)

Cons1. NO opportunities for career advancement
2. Management is disinclined to allow training opportunities

Advice to Senior Management1. Treat FSOs and Specialists equally.
2. Learn what specialists actually do, so that you may more effectively evaluate their job performance and assit with professional development.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Amazing, invigorating place to work, but lots of bureaucracy

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at US Department of State

ProsIntelligent coworkers, real mission gives you a purpose, you can have an impact

ConsSo much bureaucracy it takes months upon months to get hired

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at US Department of State reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for US Department of State CEO John Kerry. All 281 reviews are posted anonymously by US Department of State employees.