https://careers.state.gov

U.S. Department of State

intern

June - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

The people in the office, the connections and network I built, the mission of the Bureau - CSO (Conflict Stabilization Operations)

What I wish was different

I wish I had consistent, substantial work. I felt like it was just everyday random tasks. I felt like there were many days where I had no work and I’d always go around the office looking for more work.

Advice

Take advantage of where you are, get coffees and lunches with people in your bureau, not in your bureau. Hear their career paths and experienced and learn from what mistakes they might have made.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Public Affairs Intern

May - August 2017 • Rome, Rome

What I liked

Great mentorship opportunities, clearly a recruitment tool for the Department, very much felt like part of the team, lots of times for info sessions about different parts of the Department and US government

What I wish was different

It was unpaid, also gave very little housing assistance/advice

Advice

Be the first to mark this as helpful

Intern

May - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Substantive foreign policy work and working with members of congress and their staff in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs.

What I wish was different

Advice

Be the first to mark this as helpful

Political Intern

June - August 2018 • New York City, NY

What I liked

I enjoyed the environment at the US Mission to the United Nations. The people were incredible and very nice to work with. I liked attending meetings, note-taking, and writing about important issues.

What I wish was different

I wish I could have stayed longer.

Advice

I would have extended my internship for a longer period of time to get more out of the experience. In addition, I would have taken a job on the side, because living in New York is expensive and the internship is unpaid.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Summer Intern

May - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

The exposure to foreign policy coordination and the level and amount of projects I was able to work on.

What I wish was different

I wish I had more time at the internship, and that I was able to connect with more Michigan alumni.

Advice

Never give up! Tenacity and persitence is key. Two years ago, I would never have dreamed that I would obtain a State Department internship, and now, I feel like I can pursue anything I set my mind to.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Regional Security Intern

June - August 2017 • Budapest, Hungary

What I liked

I loved the constant change involved with my job. I didn't have a day to day schedule, which made going to work exciting every day.

What I wish was different

I wish I had chosen a post that involved language and more of my Homeland Security/immigration focused background.

Advice

You have to ask for work, and make sure you spend a day or two learning about other sections of the embassy. It will give you a much more well-rounded experience.
1 person found this helpful

Front Office Intern - Oceans, Environment, Science Bureau

June - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I was given the responsibility to work on the same kind of work that permanent staffers do. My supervisor trusted me with copy editing speeches, memos, and internal reporting products. The subject matter of all the materials fascinated me, given that I study energy and environmental policy. I enjoyed feeling like the work I was doing was important for achieving US foreign policy goals within environmental diplomacy. I also got to work on my editing skills, which is both valuable and transferable.

What I wish was different

Advice

3 people found this helpful

Intern

May - July 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Seeing diplomacy in action was very thought provoking. I got to see what I study in the classroom actually in practice.

What I wish was different

They gave us a lot of flexibility but I wish the experience was a bit more structured in advance so that there were clearer learning goals.

Advice

If you do not ask, the answer is an automatic no. Do not be afraid to ask if you can help out with a certain project or grab coffee with someone who you believe can help guide you or be a good mentor!
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Foreign Service Institute Intern

July - August 2018 • Arlington County, VA

What I liked

I enjoyed learning about Department culture and what it entails to be a Foreign Service Officer.

What I wish was different

Getting paid.

Advice

One piece of advice is go to every intern event and network with other interns not just employers.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

us department of state intern

June - August 2019 • Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region

What I liked

I was able to experience all aspects of work as a foreign service officer. Because of that, I was able to meet Chilean government officials and members of the private sector and see how the US government work with foreign countries to create stronger bonds. I was also able to practice my Spanish and travel!

What I wish was different

Advice

Get involved in as many projects and possible and volunteer to go to meetings. Even when they don’t seem interesting, they are great learning experiences.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Political intern

May - July 2018 • Colombo, Sri Lanka

What I liked

What I wish was different

Advice

Be open to any projects assigned to you. Also, know that what you expect going in will probably not be anything like your experience.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Intern

May - July 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Learning about the Department of State and Diplomacy.

What I wish was different

The internship was unpaid.

Advice

Be prepared to learn, and always be willing to step outside your comfort zone.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Department of State Student Intern

May - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I loved working with real-world issues. I was excited to go into the office every single day because what I was doing made a difference in what was happening around the world. I also loved learning about a field I initially knew next to nothing about. I worked with the technology side of weaponry, so every day not only was I learning about the internal workings of the government but also about a new field that I am now very interested in. Above all the actual work, the people who I worked with this summer were absolutely incredible. They were all experts in the field, and people who want to work towards a common goal. I also enjoyed how many netowrking opportunities were built into the program. I was able to explore other areas of the Department of State that may better fit my interests.

What I wish was different

If I could change one thing about my experience, I would have extended my internship. There is only so much that one can do in 10 weeks, and even though I knew I was making a different and taking the burden off of my office, by the time I had a good hold on the information I was working with it was time to leave.

Advice

Take advantage of every opportunity and talk to everyone you can. Everyone has a story, and they are more than willing to discuss with people who are just getting started in this field.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Student Intern

May - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

The responsibility that was given to me in my office; the work I did to advance human rights.

What I wish was different

I wish my internship had been compensated.

Advice

Set up coffee chats with as many people as possible while at your internship.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Executive Office Intern

June - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

The opportunity to work on meaningful projects and feel purposeful and engaged.

What I wish was different

I wish the ability to return would be more of a direct path.

Advice

Always take credit for your accomplishments as they will only lead to further successes. Don't back down or shy away from recognition from others.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Intern in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

May - August 2017 • Washington, DC

What I liked

The office environment was incredible, I met so many amazing individuals who are smart and dedicated, and I learned about foreign affairs and the U.S. government.

What I wish was different

I would not have changed a thing.

Advice

Take advantage of going to meetings and setting up meetings/coffees with people while you are there!
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Fellow, U.S. Mission to the United Nations

June - September 2017 • New York City, NY

What I liked

I loved the access I was given to the inner workings of US foreign policy and the variety of the work I got to do--I worked on issues relating to every country and got to do a wide variety of work that simulated the type of responsibilities a Foreign Service Officer would take on.

What I wish was different

I wish there had been more work to go around. I had to fight to get assignments and keep myself busy.

Advice

Be present, and be proactive. Go to staff meetings, ask to tag along to things, try to develop strong professional relationships with one or two people who will trust you with bigger, more significant work than standard intern fare.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Intern

June - August 2017 • Washington, DC

What I liked

It was a great to see how (at least one slice) of the federal government works. I was a part of a small team that was very supportive of me - the office environment is a huge determinant in how your experience goes. It's also great to have something on my resume that genuinely reflects what I want to do in the future (rather than just a typical part time job, i.e. waitressing).

What I wish was different

Advice

Be innovative - don't just do what you're told, but try to come up with something that you can own and that will be a great experience to tell a future potential employer about. For example: hold a round-table discussion, write a paper, fix an inefficient process in the office, etc.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Diplomatic Relations Research Intern

August 2016 - May 2017 • Washington, DC

What I liked

This was a virtual internship, so I got to work from home at times that were convenient to me. My supervisor always let me know how the work that I was doing was being used to help American diplomats which made the experience very meaningful. The work that I did not only helped me to explore a career path that I want to pursue, but the research, writing, and analysis skills that I honed have helped me in my classes and with grad school applications.

What I wish was different

Though I enjoyed the convenience and versatility of a virtual internship, it would have been nice to have an in-person relationship with my supervisor and co-workers.

Advice

Make an extra effort to communicate with your supervisors and co-workers. Working closely allowed me to improve my work as an intern and has given me a meaningful networking connection that could be helpful in the future.
3 people found this helpful

U.S. Embassy Seoul Economic Team Intern

July - August 2017 • Seoul, South Korea

What I liked

The team of people I worked with bonded together like a family, so it was a great working environment. I also got to attend weekly meetings with the Ambassador and write proposals and background of events for him, so that was a great experience. In addition, I was able to attend events with visiting Congressional Delegations and top Korean conglomerate executives to take notes of their discussions.

What I wish was different

I wish the background check would not have taken so long, so that I could have started my internship earlier.

Advice

Come to the internship with ideas of what you might want to research about you host country, and come with a set of goals that your would like to accomplish during your time there. If you ask for more responsibility, then your advisor will often give you more tasks to do.
3 people found this helpful