US Department of State

  www.state.gov
  www.state.gov

US Department of State Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated December 18, 2014
Updated December 18, 2014
375 Reviews
3.9
375 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • If you work for the Foreign Service, you get to see the world in so many meaningful ways (in 30 reviews)

  • See the world while serving your country (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • The biggest turn off for me were actually the foreign service officers (in 32 reviews)

  • This can dramatically impact work-life balance for years at a time (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

152 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Foreign Service - The Best Job in the Government

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

    I worked at US Department of State

    Pros

    Living overseas, variety of positions, excellent training opportunities, travel galore, high level of responsibility very early on in your career, excellent work-life balance, outstanding benefit package including pension and Thrift Savings Plan (government 401k).

    Cons

    Limited choice of opportunities early in career, possible separation of family for some danger post assignments (Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.), long hours and weekend work possible depending on assignment, changing positions and countries every 2-4 years is required but up to 5 years is possible in Washington, DC. Limited reward for performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation is oftentimes lacking for those that work hard. Human Resources system is broken.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great Experience

    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I worked in an office within the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. It was fast paced and always interesting. If you are considering a career in the Foreign Service, this is a great way to find out if the work if for you.

    Cons

    You work for free for long hours. It is expensive to live in D.C. The bureaucracy of the State Department can get really frustrating.

  3.  

    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 an 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
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    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 an 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
  6.  

    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
  7.  

    Full of interesting issues and people, but culture can get political and underhanded.

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

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

    Pros

    Interesting work
    Diverse and very smart colleagues
    Good benefits
    Can work on very high impact issues

    Cons

    Bureaucracy can be limiting, especially for those not on a political track
    Travel can be fatiguing
    Long hours

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    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
  9.  

    Great internship

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

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

    Pros

    paid, open door policies, everyone willing to share their experiences and help you grow. great for students

    Cons

    you're either doing nothing or too much

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    create more structure in the internship programs, like a mandatory project or presentation. sometimes interns had to chase officers and ask for parts on a project

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Summer Intern

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

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

    Pros

    Willingness to work with you so you do what you want. Great chance to network.

    Cons

    Structure of the internship itself ( regarding documentation upon arrival) should be streamlined for interns to begin work without hassle.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great Internship Experience

    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Was given lots of responsibility and exposure to interesting issues/problems/people. They treat you like an adult and equal, so expectations can be high, but it's a fantastic environment in which to learn.

    Cons

    Sometimes the expectations are a bit ridiculous when you consider you're working for free. I'd often find myself doing the same job as someone getting paid 100k+ sitting across from me. This would irritate me a bit, but it's just the reality of the job market these days. Gotta pay your dues!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a better way to allow interns to transition to full-time or part-time positions.

US Department of State Photos

Work at US Department of State? Share Your Experiences

US Department of State

 
Click to Rate
or

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