US Department of State
3.8 of 5 308 reviews
www.state.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of State Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Jul 2, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 139 reviews

                             

90% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(39 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend
34 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great experience, exciting environment.

    Public Affairs Intern (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    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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    2 people found this helpful  

    Former Foreign Service Officer (Generalist)

    Foreign Service Officer (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsExcellent training, benefits and opportunity to contribute at senior levels when serving overseas in smaller nations. Especially enjoyed working in the Africa Bureau, where the Department has a lot of autonomy in conducting US foreign policy

    ConsThe promotion system, like the military, is stultified and seniority based. On the occasions I had to work with political appointees, I found them difficult and generally unqualified.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Office of Broadcast Services

    Chief Engineer (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsAccess to state of the art equipment and staff to create media content

    ConsEverything they say (oxymoronically) about government workers and bureaucracy is true. Only veterans can "make the cert" to be even considered for employment.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Excellent

    Budget (Current Employee)
    Arlington, VA

    ProsGreat potential for learning as the agency receives relatively low funding (compared to DOJ, DHS, DOD). They attempt to achieve a lot with as few people resources as possible.

    ConsBig government - slow to implement change (if you're young). Contractor vs. GS Employee culture. Little in the way of mentorship across GS-Contractor lines.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBuild in more promotion potential in both the GS and Contractor worlds. Federal gov't in general is on a freeze for raises. They need to lift this freeze. Hard to compete with private sector in this regard. People want raises after a couple years of work without having to jump ship into another role/agency.

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

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    outstanding internship opportunity

    Intern (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsInspiring. Feel like you have a true opportunity to make a true impact in the world. Great visibility to leadership.

    ConsExperience the typical red tape you would in any federal government institution. Understandable frustration over budget cuts with little-to-no opportunity to overcome them.

    Advice to Senior Managementinternship program is great. continue to expose interns to as many projects as possible.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Wonderful and Informative Internship

    Economic Sanctions (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsSupervisors committed to ensuring that you have an interesting and productive summer experience. Also, interns work on substantive policy issues and work closely with all levels of management.

    ConsJob offers are not a part of the internship program and the summer internship is unpaid. Therefore, you have to re-apply after you graduate and it can be very difficult to transition from an internship to a full-time job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great place to intern, but don't expect immediate employment

    Intern (Former Employee)
    Arlington, VA

    ProsI worked at the Foreign Service Institute, where they train diplomats. The office I worked was full of wonderful, smart people from all different backgrounds. As an intern, you have the opportunity to take classes and trainings, as well as attending some intern-only "field trips" to the Capital or other embassies. My projects were all great. I was able to lead a few while I was there, and I also led some office meetings. Generally, it was a very good experience, and I made a lot of connections. There is a reason that DoS is one of the top best picks for internship opportunities.

    Cons- General struggles against security issues (but that's normal for the government)
    - Other interns were in other offices, where they didn't have good experiences (one of the interns I met showed up the day he was supposed to, and the supervisor had no idea they even were getting an intern)
    - In other internships, there might be the opportunity to be offered employment after graduation from a college or university, but the Department doesn't/can't offer that directly, you have to apply to the very few positions in the U.S. like everybody else or take the Foreign Service Exam in order to become a foreign service officer

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Work with great minds and learn the best in Diplomacy

    IT Intern (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsMany learning opportunities for interns (tours, career fairs, presentations).
    Work with diverse group of people on important issues.

    ConsSlow to implement new technologies.
    Interns may find themselves with not much to do, but with the right initiative you can find a niche.
    Doesn't seem like a lot of interns go on to full-time employment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed better structure for intern training and career conversion.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Exceptional leadership opportunities and diverse portfolios

    Senior Advisor (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsGreat benefits, diverse work that always keeps me interested, a lot of room for taking on work that I find personally interesting, good team members, excellent network.

    ConsNot always great management, constant tension between foreign and civil service, heavy turnover leads to unstable working environment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage leadership training and management training, acknowledge and follow legal differences in foreign and civil service work force.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great experience

    Foreign Service Officer (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsVariety of projects; incredibly smart co-workers; travel; lifestyle

    ConsResults not strictly measured; knowledge management across Embassies lacking

    Advice to Senior ManagementStick to the Mission goals

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at US Department of State reviews and ratings in Washington, DC — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for US Department of State CEO John Kerry. All 34 reviews posted anonymously by US Department of State employees.