US Department of State
3.8 of 5 308 reviews
www.state.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of State Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Jul 2, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 139 reviews

                             

90% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(39 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend
139 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    1 person found this helpful  

    It's a stable job with decent pay and benefits and lot of opportunity to travel

    Office Management Specialist (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    Pros1. Travel opportunities: You receive federal holidays, local holidays (when stationed abroad), and 13+ days of vacation annually.
    2. Free housing (while stationed abroad)

    Cons1. NO opportunities for career advancement
    2. Management is disinclined to allow training opportunities

    Advice to Senior Management1. Treat FSOs and Specialists equally.
    2. Learn what specialists actually do, so that you may more effectively evaluate their job performance and assit with professional development.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great Opportunity

    Coordinator (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    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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    Excellent Internship at the State Department

    Intern (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    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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    2 people found this helpful  

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

    Facilities Management Branch Chief (Current Employee)
    Arlington, VA

    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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    2 people found this helpful  

    The issues are amazing; the job unparalleled.

    Senior Advisor (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsYou're representing the United States of America. Need I say more?

    ConsBureaucracy, Foreign Service Mafia, Political Appointees, Bottom Feeding Incompetents.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDe-fund USAID.

    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  

    US Department of State

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsOne the best Federal Agencies to work for. The benefit structure especially health care and TSP matching is extraordinary.

    ConsThe only real Con is that State is Foreign Service oriented. Foreign Service officers are then central employee core and taken care of. Civil Service personnel are second tier relative to FSOs. Be prepared for that.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCivil service staff are the backbone of the knowledge of the Department. Treat them more fairly and give them the same opportunities as is offered to FSOs.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Wonderful and Informative Internship

    Economic Sanctions (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsSupervisors committed to ensuring that you have an interesting and productive summer experience. Also, interns work on substantive policy issues and work closely with all levels of management.

    ConsJob offers are not a part of the internship program and the summer internship is unpaid. Therefore, you have to re-apply after you graduate and it can be very difficult to transition from an internship to a full-time job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    outstanding internship opportunity

    Intern (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsInspiring. Feel like you have a true opportunity to make a true impact in the world. Great visibility to leadership.

    ConsExperience the typical red tape you would in any federal government institution. Understandable frustration over budget cuts with little-to-no opportunity to overcome them.

    Advice to Senior Managementinternship program is great. continue to expose interns to as many projects as possible.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great Adventure and Family Friendly

    Foreign Service Officer (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsWorld Experience, Pay, Benefits, Paid to learn languages, tight-nit

    ConsBureaucracy, Paperwork, Gossip, middle management issues, politics

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Civil Service will hit a glass ceiling

    Management (Current Employee)
    Washington, DC

    ProsIf you're on a hot project, you can have a real effect on how the US deals with a particular issue. You can choose to immerse yourself in a subject area for years and become a national-level expert. You can seek out opportunities to work for top policymakers.

    ConsAlmost all jobs above the GS-13 level are reserved for Foreign Service and political appointees, so many long-term civil service employees become somewhat bitter. With the high percentage of political appointees, leadership changes drastically every 2-4 years, and some issues go in and out of style with no deep bench.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage more long-term employees to do more joint duty details at other Departments and Congress, see how everything fits together.

    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 in Washington, DC — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for US Department of State CEO John Kerry. All 139 reviews posted anonymously by US Department of State employees.