Organization of American States Reviews

Updated April 20, 2015
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  1. Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Summer Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Summer Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Organization of American States as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great place to work.
    Very professional environment full of extremely interesting people.
    You learn from a very interdisciplinary perspective

    Cons

    Few job opportunities
    Sometimes the amount of work can be very overwhelming
    high pressure

  2. Mediocre employees, corruption.

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

    I worked at Organization of American States full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    You work in a nice city like Washington, DC

    Cons

    If you don't know Latin America, well come work here and you will see how the corruption is it like south of the border. A lot of employees (no all of them though) are hired just because they are family or friends of the managers. A lot of them are mediocre, not professional, not prepared, not educated. Probably only about 10% of the employees are a good match to their jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Quit

  3. Great Dissapointemt

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

    I have been working at Organization of American States

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great internship where you can meet amazing people from all over the world.

    Cons

    People are not very dedicated. The cultural organization does not promote ethics nor innovation. The consultants have a work contract for 3 - 6 months and they get to find out if their contract gets prolonged at the end of the previous contract, so they can never plan long term.

    Advice to Management

    Change management entirely.

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  5. Disappointing Internship

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Organization of American States

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    You have the potential to make a lot of interesting professional connections from different countries. There are also some opportunities that the internship exposes to you such as the International Development Bank. It also looks good on your resume.

    Cons

    Overall I found the work environment to be unprofessional and negative. I worked in the Secretariat of Multidimensional Security and most mornings when I came in I would hear people yelling at one another or bad-mouthing each other in the hallways . Additionally, my supervisor was clearly unprepared to have an intern. She never sat down with me to discuss expectations or objectives of the internship- she would simply throw random tasks at me with little explanation. Additionally, she spent a lot of her time on non-work related activities. There was clearly little to no commitment to the Organization on the part of the employees which is most likely due to the fact that even if you worked very hard, there was little appreciation for your work.
    Some interns I spoke with had slightly better experience but I found that many were unsatisfied by their work at the OAS. While some, like myself, found that they did not have enough work to do throughout the week, others felt that they were being taken advantage of and had a workload that was much too heavy for an unpaid intern. My advice: Unless you're interested in learning about what NOT to do in a work environment, think twice about accepting an internship here, especially if you have other options or internship opportunities.

  6. Good salary, big uncertainty and lack of opportunities to grow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Consultant CPR in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Consultant CPR in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Organization of American States as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Time flexibility. People get there at 9.30-10
    - Nice crowd of young people
    - If you don't speak English well, you will probably be fine.
    - Good work-life balance.

    Cons

    - Huge uncertainty for contractors CPRs. You never know if your contract will be renewed.
    - Lack of any benefit if you are a consultant.. They use that term only to avoid providing benefits to consultants but require you to work as a full time employee. No benefits at all (no paternity/maternity leave, no health insurance, no pension)
    - Lack of career opportunities to become staff. Staff personal is decided mainly based on politics and not on merits. Some staff do not even speak English, but they know politicians in their home countries!!

    Advice to Management

    - Be consistent with the values you promote in the Americas. Do not discriminate against consutlants CPRs. Guarantee your employees (yes, consultants are employees because they are required to work full time at the office and can have a huge work load) basic labor rights, such as health insurance and vacations.

  7. This is a great place to start if you are an intern

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

    I worked at Organization of American States

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Multicultural environment.
    Great location in Washington DC.
    You can get a sense of international affairs
    Visits to other international organizations
    Chances for networking

    Cons

    The number of interns who get hired is limited.
    Lack of organization and accountability.
    Not sure whether you can transfer the skills of an OAS job to any other job or market if you are able to stay.
    Long hours for interns.
    Internship is unpaid

    Advice to Management

    Give opportunities to people based on their skills and not on their political connections.

  8. Good, but could be better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern
    Former Employee - Intern

    I worked at Organization of American States (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Flexibility in activities
    Constant organization of important events makes the program very interesting
    Staff is friendly and very helpful in accommodating your concerns

    Cons

    Chances of getting a long-term project are low
    Not enough office space
    Sometimes the staff is too busy trying to meet deadlines that they cannot assign tasks for the interns

  9. Great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Organization of American States as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - Diverse and engaging environment

    Cons

    - Sometimes the amount of work is overwhelming

  10. An international opportunity to broaden experience , but don't stake your career on it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Writer-Editor in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Writer-Editor in Washington, DC

    I worked at Organization of American States full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Depending on the field and department, you can find great opportunities to tackle challenging assignments far above your pay grade. Because it's an international organization, you work with people from all over the Americas and you may even travel. Some of the staff are outstanding and dedicated. Aim for a 2-3 year term to build up your CV and contacts, and then move on.

    Cons

    Plenty of short-term contract work, but pay and benefits only fit for entry-level or non-US professionals looking for a chance to work in Washington. Extremely hard for an American to get on board. This is not the World Bank or IMF. The OAS is a dysfunctional organization caught between the political deadlock of 30-some countries and mediocre management that prizes survival over innovation and decent treatment of staff. Each year the option of a career track for staff declines. Getting hired as staff is essential to job security, and even then your supervisor or OAS management can take arbitrary actions. Also a kind of enclave environment cut off from US job market.

    Advice to Management

    Where to begin? It's become a third-tier organization with only pockets of quality. Unless management can work out a long-term deal with the Latin American and Caribbean governments for survival, clear mission and better budget, this place will become a shell and perhaps even be dissolved.

  11. Helpful (1)

    Good addition to your resume

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Washington, DC

    I worked at Organization of American States full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - It was a great job right out of college, I attained some solid skills that have helped me get some great jobs.
    - My boss was amazing, although I've heard horror stories from coworkers in other departments about their supervisors.
    - The internship program is amazing (if you can afford to live in DC and work full-time without compensation of any kind). I learned a lot of wonderful things and, even better, met so many amazing people from across the world. It's a great way to network because many interns go on to do amazing things.

    Cons

    - You can't get hired unless you intern there first, and the internship is unpaid.
    - Because it relies mainly on donations from member states, the OAS has intense money issues. Since I left the organization, they've eliminated entire departments. The remaining employees are way overworked because they're not replacing the individuals who leave or are fired.
    - Almost all of their employees are hired as 1099 contractors with 3 month long contracts so they can terminate you at any time (mostly due to their money problems). This makes it stressful as every three months I had to job search because I didn't know if I would still have my job next week. One time they didn't tell me until 4 days before my last day that I was getting to stay another 3 months. When my job finally WAS eliminated due to lack of funding, I was actually relieved because at least whatever I got next would be stable.

    Advice to Management

    - Manage your money better, put a cap on salaries and use the extra money to sufficiently staff your organization.

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