US Department of State
3.8 of 5 279 reviews
www.careers.state.gov Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Department of State Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Apr 7, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 118 reviews

                             

90% Approve of the CEO

US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry

(31 ratings)

89% of employees recommend this company to a friend
118 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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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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1 person found this helpful  

The issues are amazing; the job unparalleled.

Senior Advisor (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

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

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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US Department of State

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

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

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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outstanding internship opportunity

Intern (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

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

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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Wonderful and Informative Internship

Economic Sanctions (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

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

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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Great Adventure and Family Friendly

Foreign Service Officer (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

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

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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Great exposure to what it's like to work in the public sector

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

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

ProsPassionate employees, great sense of purpose, very rewarding to be working toward goals that effect change, excellent opportunity to hear about the many career tracks people pursue to end up at State

ConsBureaucracy is always challenging and high-visibility engagements are dictated by White House policy more so than State

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Civil Service will hit a glass ceiling

Management (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

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

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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Highly rewarding experience. Affords one the opportunity to serve our country via some very unique assignments.

IT Manager (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at US Department of State full-time for more than 10 years

ProsDedicated professionals, rewarding assignments (both the job and location), benefits

ConsConstant moving, next assignment bidding process, politics

Advice to Senior ManagementIt takes many spokes to make that wheel go around smoothly! Value all your employees equally and stop putting your Officers (Econ, Political...) on a pedestal.

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 118 reviews posted anonymously by US Department of State employees.