US Department of State

  www.state.gov
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US Department of State Reviews

Updated Jul 27, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 311 reviews

90% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(77 ratings)

87% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

311 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Internships vary widely

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsAbility to work in huge DC federal agency, make contacts. Looks good on resume.

    ConsQuality of internship depends hugely on which bureau it's in -- working in an area bureau is a lot more rewarding than working somewhere like ECA, where I did, because you get to do more hands-on research. Make sure you are really passionate about the work of the bureau before accepting the offer, not just international affairs in general.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay your interns!

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Bureaucratic But ...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsUnique global opportunities and responsibilities. Sometimes you feel like you could make a difference.

    ConsDespite the responsibilities given, the decision making is stifled and managers are hit and miss.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake a difference, don't just talk about making a difference.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Internship

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat work-life balance, great location, prestigious work environment, and a newly renovated cafeteria. People are generally helpful, although not necessarily friendly.

    ConsThe competitive work environment can foster adversarial relationships among staff members. If you metro to work every day, the Foggy Bottom metro station can be a bit of a hike in the DC summer heat and humidity.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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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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    • Approves of CEO

     

    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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    Awesome!

    Legislative Management Officer (Former Employee)

    ProsTravel and see the world, make life-long friends, get amazing experiences that you can't find anywhere else, great salaries

    ConsConservative political opinions are rarely respected.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage great team building within departments, especially in difficult working conditions.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Intern (at US Embassy abroad)

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsDepends on where you're posted. My internship at a "cushy" posting had great work-life balance. It was also helpful to see what a FSO does day to day while also exploring a new country. Also great to have on your resume.

    ConsTurns out what some FSOs do day-to-day can be really uninteresting. Job can get monotonous or dull. Sometimes relationships with foreign national staff can be stressful. You need to be the kind of person who gets bored easily or loves change to enjoy the FSO life.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great outfit

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    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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    Great Place to Work if looking for a job with good security

    Passport Specialist (Current Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsNo weekends, work with true professionals. Set working hours.

    ConsYou really do not get a chance to get to know com workers. Everyone is expected to do their job without interruption. You must have exceptional attention do detail to do this job and the ability to apply applicable laws in approving passport applications.

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Internship

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsOverall experience working as an intern in political affairs was excellent. The chance to interact with major figures in foreign affairs, as well as to acquire experience in the diplomatic channels of the U.S. government was second to none.

    ConsThe experience that interns have at State is heavily dependent on which office or post they are assigned.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe application system for interns should be separated by the education level. Currently, all applications are pooled into one, meaning that more experienced/educated applicants are competing against those in college or even younger. Given the rise in applications by older and more educated applicants, the system is becoming increasingly unfair. Also, management should make greater efforts to create a uniform intern experience throughout State instead of leaving it up to the willingness of individual offices to give interns meaningful work to complete.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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