US Department of State Reviews

Updated 23 April 2015
423 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
3.9
423 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
128 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Good place to start career

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

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Supportive people and great networking

    Cons

    Inefficient and prone to politics

  2. Helpful (2)

    Foreign service can be very difficult, surprising lack of professionalism among some

    • 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 a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Traveling the world, although you often do not have much say over where you go, sometimes exposed to very interesting issues, but a lot of it is boring paper pushing, varies hugely from Embassy to Embassy

    Cons

    Quality of coworkers is not as high as expected, very difficult to get anything done in such a huge bureaucracy, you can be sent anywhere in the world and told to do any job regardless of your interests or background, it can be incredibly difficult in families

    Advice to Management

    Change the Foreign Service entry process, so many good candidates do not make it while many mediocre ones do, do a better job of weeding out people who are terrible managers or otherwise incompetent

  3. Not Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fulbright Researcher in Mumbai
    Former Employee - Fulbright Researcher in Mumbai

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I was on a Fulbright fellowship which was really sweet. I traveled to India and got to do a lot of cool stuff that I wanted to. And there was very little oversight so you could be your own boss.

    Cons

    Foreign countries are difficult to live in. Really think about what you want to achieve during Fulbright. Also, I don't speak much Hindi so I had trouble to communicate with co-workers. Kind of odd review of state department huh!

    Advice to Management

    none.

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


  5. Super opportunity to learn and network

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC (US)

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

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Interesting work, great opportunity to network if you make it happen.

    Cons

    Not a lot of assistance for future employment with the Department.

    Advice to Management

    Develop some type of program where your qualified interns get preferential handling for open positions.....giving back for the free labor you received. If not, then pay the interns.

  6. Intern

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Opens a lot of doors and made a lot of contacts, direct experience with diplomacy, friendly people, intense workload

    Cons

    Bureaucratic at times, not very challenging overall

    Advice to Management

    Utilize your interns better- they're free labor!

  7. Helpful (1)

    Interior Designer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA (US)

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Such a rewarding job! Opportunity for growth and advancement is A+.

    Cons

    PSC do not receive full benefits such as the Direct Hires/GS positions. GS can't get fired as easily as a contractor/PSC.

    Advice to Management

    Communication & respect!

  8. Good. Even better under Hillary.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State full-time

    Pros

    You're doing the most important work in the world. Lots of talented colleagues, and the opportunity to work on amazing issues with global impact.

    Cons

    Long hours, below market compensation, a sprawling, sometimes duplicative bureaucracy, senior leadership that is only interested in two or three issues -- and frequently picks the wrong battles.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that there is a world beyond the Middle East. Try to focus a few hours a week on long-term strategic goals beyond pet priorities.

  9. Information Management Specialist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Information Technology in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Information Technology in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    You get to live and work in awesome places all over the world.

    Cons

    You have to live and work in some truly awful places.

    Advice to Management

    Great organization to work for.

  10. Community Liason Officer

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

    I worked at US Department of State

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Always changing interesting work.
    You wear many hats.

    Cons

    Paperwork and reports are time consuming

  11. Foreign Service Officer

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

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The State Department offers great travel opportunities and interesting work. it is an opportunity to see the world, get paid and serve our country at the same time. There are also nice benefits includiing paid housing and schooling for kids while serving overseas.

    Cons

    Very top heavy with very little incentive for innovation or change. Multiple layers of clearance and supervision that dampen any attempts to streamline or make operations more effiicient.

    Advice to Management

    I would say to management that you recruit a very talented pool of individuals and the work is interesting and that a plan is needed for taking advantage of that talent. Not everyone needs to fit the cookie cutter mold

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.