US Department of State Reviews

Updated March 30, 2015
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  1. Internal Audit Manager, Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (part-time contract)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Internal Audit Manager in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Internal Audit Manager in Arlington, VA

    I worked at US Department of State part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, interesting work with extensive overseas travel

    Cons

    bureaucratic, a contract job with no advancement opportunities, but ideal for a retiree. Must have foreign service and audit or financial management experience to qualify

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Intern at Foreign Post

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

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Highly positive internship experience -- depends on diplomatic mission, but there are ample opportunities for gaining substantive professional experience.

    Cons

    Unpaid, but can seek out scholarship funding

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. Solid employer

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State

    Pros

    Strong mission driven community. Job structure ensures there is a diversity of tasks. The people you work with tend to be the best of the best and everyone cares about the same goals.

    Cons

    Because of the job structure, there is frequent turnover within the team. Projects and strategic vision is often lost in the shuffle. Would be difficult to enjoy if you don't buy into the Department's culture.

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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Good experience although DOS is generally risk-adverse and reactive

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

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

    Pros

    I have worked with amazing people while with State and really enjoyed my overseas tours. Working at Main State in DC is a very different experience, although it was helpful to serve in DC and learn about our dynamics with our leadership, Congress, and other agencies. The hours and pay are reasonable. It is a privilege to represent the U.S. government.

    Cons

    There seems to be an aversion to innovative thinking or risk-taking. This can be stifling for those officers who want to make changes that would benefit the Department as a whole. In addition, while we spend an inordinate amount of time working on long-term strategy documents, they are almost never used and we spend time instead dealing with the "crisis of the day". This prevents long-term planning on issues we could actually impact. Too often, State Department leaders fail to listen to country/technical experts and make decisions based on political winds. This reflects our overall poor relationship with Congress and our inability to explain effectively the importance of our work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop a more effective way of working with Congress and explaining what the State Department does. Balance the political winds with advice from real country/technical experts. Develop leaders in the Department who have management skill. Too often, people are promoted due to years of service instead of competence.

    Recommends
  6. Summer Intern - Undergraduate student

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Fantastic internship, learned so much about how a government agency works and had the opportunity to network with a lot of higher-ups in government. I'm sure this will open many doors for me in the future.

    Cons

    Little direction, at times there wasn't much to do in the internship. Wish there was a solid project lasting the entire 10 weeks to keep busy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More direction with interns.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. Mostly positive

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

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

    Pros

    Advancing U.S. foreign policy priorities; implementing international arms control treaties

    Cons

    24/7/365 operation where individual employees matter; during contingencies the Center is always at risk of not having enough employees to do the job

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Severe lack of leadership at all levels in the AVC Bureau

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. Live Overseas, See the World, Get a reliable Paycheck

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Travel is amazing, I've seen more than 20 countries in 10 years
    -USG benefits are great, retirement,healthcare, schooling for family overseas
    -The Money is pretty good for the work completed

    Cons

    -Never get rich
    -Budget is constantly being cut
    -Constantly competing for new jobs
    -Sometimes have to live in places you'd never previously consider
    -Some hardship tours away from family
    -Seem pretty obsessed with "quota filling"

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. Wonderful

    • 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 US Department of State full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    As in any job, I have found, who you are around makes your whole experience. The people at the State Department are great. There is a culture of knowing that you are doing something important and acting well on it.

    Cons

    Some interns (me) go unpaid. It just did not seem right for me to be in a position where it was difficult to rent or buy food when I was giving so much of myself; but, If asked, I'd do it again.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay wise.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Great Experience

    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern

    Pros

    Incredible opportunities to meet upper level employees

    Cons

    Long application process takes months

    Recommends
  11. Big Government in a Small Department

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Unique opportunities to see exotic parts of the world
    Dynamic environment
    Critical function in providing diplomacy for the U.S.
    Great opportunity to meet people from far off places.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, bureaucracy
    Small offices, Large personalities
    Stovepipes and silos slow progress and increase frustration.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stronger strategic vision and plan
    Breakdown stovepipes and silos

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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