US Department of State

  www.state.gov
  www.state.gov
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

US Department of State Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated September 2, 2014
Updated September 2, 2014
333 Reviews
3.9
333 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
83 Ratings

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)

More Highlights

149 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Mixed Internship

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

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

    Pros

    Internship 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.

    Cons

    Summer interns may also have to do some office admin work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Excellent Internship at the State Department

    • 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 as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Office 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

    Cons

    Clunky 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 ManagementAdvice

    The usual statements about clunky government work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 3 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Facilities Management Branch Chief  in  Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Facilities Management Branch Chief in Arlington, VA

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

    Pros

    If 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Go 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    The issues are amazing; the job unparalleled.

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

    I worked at US Department of State full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    De-fund USAID.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    US Department of State

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Civil 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    outstanding internship opportunity

    • 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 as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Experience 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 ManagementAdvice

    internship program is great. continue to expose interns to as many projects as possible.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Adventure and Family Friendly

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

    I worked at US Department of State full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, Paperwork, Gossip, middle management issues, politics

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Wonderful and Informative Internship

    Current Employee - Economic Sanctions  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Economic Sanctions in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Department of State as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Supervisors 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.

    Cons

    Job 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.

    Recommends
  11.  

    Great place to intern, but don't expect immediate employment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA

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

    Pros

    I worked at the Foreign Service Institute, where they train diplomats. The office I worked was full of wonderful, smart people from all different backgrounds. As an intern, you have the opportunity to take classes and trainings, as well as attending some intern-only "field trips" to the Capital or other embassies. My projects were all great. I was able to lead a few while I was there, and I also led some office meetings. Generally, it was a very good experience, and I made a lot of connections. There is a reason that DoS is one of the top best picks for internship opportunities.

    Cons

    - General struggles against security issues (but that's normal for the government)
    - Other interns were in other offices, where they didn't have good experiences (one of the interns I met showed up the day he was supposed to, and the supervisor had no idea they even were getting an intern)
    - In other internships, there might be the opportunity to be offered employment after graduation from a college or university, but the Department doesn't/can't offer that directly, you have to apply to the very few positions in the U.S. like everybody else or take the Foreign Service Exam in order to become a foreign service officer

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Worked for US Department of State? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.