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An excellent learning experience, albeit unpaid.

Former Employee - Collections in Washington, DC
Former Employee - Collections in Washington, DC

I worked at US Department of State full-time (Less than a year)

Pros

I 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.

Cons

The 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 Management

Allow 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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  1. Stay Away!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The cafeteria has an excellent array of cuisines.

    Cons

    Management and Senior Management are incompetent.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Great if you're in it for the long haul

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Public service, world travel, free overseas housing, decent pay. If you'd like to travel the world and aren't too picky about where you're going, then State is for you. It might be Ciudad Juarez, Baghdad, or Paris, you just don't know what will open up. You can lobby more as you rise in the ranks. Pay is pretty good but it's hard to live in DC on your salary if you have kids and a stay-at-home spouse.

    Cons

    Promotion is highly structured and there's lots of bureaucracy. Strategy and planning are needed but the building seems to constantly be responding to the latest crisis. This can dramatically impact work-life balance for years at a time.

    Advice to Management

    Organizational culture shift is overdue to increase innovation and adaptibility.


There are newer employer reviews for US Department of State
There are newer employer reviews for US Department of State

See Most Recent

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