US Department of State

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  www.state.gov

US Department of State Reviews

Updated 11 December 2014
Updated 11 December 2014
373 Reviews
3.9
373 Reviews
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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
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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

Employee Reviews

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  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

    Pros

    Supportive people and great networking

    Cons

    Inefficient and prone to politics

    Recommends
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    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 an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  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 an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    none.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Overseas Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pol/EconOne of the "-stans"
    Current Employee - Pol/EconOne of the "-stans"

    I have been working at US Department of State as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great opportunity to get experience in diplomacy. "You'll get the most out of this and we'll get the most out of you if we treat you like an FSO, so that's what we're going to do." Housing was provided, although this isn't as likely in some of the European posts. Great way to experience foreign culture, and one of the few USG internships that you can do overseas.

    Cons

    The expat community can be pretty insular. Workload was bipolar- sometimes we had too much work and were struggling to keep up, other times I came into work and read the news all day.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    I love it!

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work. There is a lot to do and every day is different.

    Cons

    You will always be living in different places.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Summer Intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern

    Pros

    Depends on which office you're in. I worked in a office where the number of staff was small so there was much more interaction between interns and the staff. I was also given much more autonomy over my projects and felt like I learned a lot from the summer internship.

    Cons

    Some interns shared that in other offices, they did more routine paperwork and assistance. These offices were usually bigger so there wasn't as much interaction between staff and interns.

    Recommends
  8.  

    Working for the State Department was a great experience.

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

    I worked at US Department of State full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work, smart and capable colleagues, collaboration and opportunities to make a difference.

    Cons

    Need to sensitive to and aware of a variety of issues at all times.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Exciting but unpredictable

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Pros

    You get to see the world

    Cons

    Limited control over where you go - subject to fate

  10.  

    Great Experience

    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC (US)

    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.

  11.  

    Rewarding, mostly, despite the bureaucracy

    • 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

    Pros

    Making a significant contribution; helping people
    Good pay and benefits
    Variety of challenges, varied activities within any given workday
    Get to work with intelligent good-hearted people

    Cons

    The bureaucracy. Can be frustrating, slow, and offer little room for creativity
    Poor managers: while subject matter expertise is important, these people often do not make the best managers nor do they seem to like the role
    Being dependent on an annual budget from Congress, which is always late, makes it hard to plan.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take morale problems seriously and take steps to address them

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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