US Department of State
3.8 of 5 280 reviews
www.careers.state.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of State Reviews

Updated Apr 15, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 280 reviews

                             

91% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(64 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend
280 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

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  • Approves of CEO

 

Mixed Internship

Political Section Summer Intern (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

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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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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Excellent Internship at the State Department

Intern (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

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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Great Opportunity

Coordinator (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

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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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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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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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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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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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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Great for overseas travel, but Foreign Service Officers always consider themselves superior to Civil Service personnel.

Facilities Management Branch Chief (Current Employee)
Arlington, VA

I have been working at US Department of State full-time for more than 10 years

ProsIf you want to see places around the world, and gain a much higher appreciation of the U.S., this is the place to work. Over the past 12 years, I have been able to get paid to travel to the U.S. embassy in 33 countries, and the locally employed staff are (almost) always glad to cooperate with the Americans in their country. Working in the office that supports the operations and maintenance of all embassies is a great challenge every day, and I have a greater ability to plan and initiate programs that will enhance the long term operation of these U.S. properties.

ConsThe biggest challenge is that every two years, there is a rotation of mid-level Foreign Service Officers who arrive with "attitude". Some arrive with the intent to move up at any cost, and will make deals with other Foreign Service officers to keep talented staff in their place. Others want to make positive changes, only to get frustrated by the bureaucracy, and then decide, "I'm outta here in X months!"

Advice to Senior ManagementGo beyond the "fad of the day" and embrace the reality that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations is 80% about success in operations, and only 20% in planning, design and construction.

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 — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for US Department of State CEO John Kerry. All 280 reviews posted anonymously by US Department of State employees.