US Department of State Reviews

Updated 26 October 2014
Updated 26 October 2014
357 Reviews
3.9
357 Reviews
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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
98 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • If you work for the Foreign Service, you get to see the world in so many meaningful ways (in 28 reviews)


Cons
  • The biggest turn off for me were actually the foreign service officers (in 31 reviews)

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

More Highlights

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

    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.  

    Summer Intern - Undergraduate student

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

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

    Pros

    Fantastic internship, learned so much about how a government agency works and had the opportunity to network with a lot of higher-ups in government. I'm sure this will open many doors for me in the future.

    Cons

    Little direction, at times there wasn't much to do in the internship. Wish there was a solid project lasting the entire 10 weeks to keep busy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More direction with interns.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great Experience

    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern

    Pros

    Incredible opportunities to meet upper level employees

    Cons

    Long application process takes months

    Recommends
  7.  

    Embassy CLO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CLO in Nouakchott (Mauritania)
    Former Employee - CLO in Nouakchott (Mauritania)

    I worked at US Department of State part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, good pay and enjoyed working with my coworker

    Cons

    Embassy limitations, and overworked at times.

  8.  

    Wonderful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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

    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
  9.  

    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 (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Washington, DC (US)

    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
  10.  

    Big Government in a Small Department

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Analyst in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Program Analyst in Washington, DC (US)

    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
  11.  

    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 (US)
    Current Employee - Foreign Affairs Officer in Washington, DC (US)

    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

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