https://www.state.gov

U.S. Department of State

Intern

June - August 2023 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I enjoyed the ability to engage concrete policy work.

What I wish was different

I wish there had been a bit more structure, particularly given summer turnover rates.

Advice

Apply! Even if you're not interested in IR, there are so many opportunities.
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consular intern

August - November 2022 • Doha, Qatar

What I liked

I like that there were a lot of opportunities to network.

What I wish was different

I wish they had set goals and expectations for the internship program.

Advice

Push for what you are interested in working on with your supervisor.
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Political Affairs Intern

June - August 2023 • New York City, NY

What I liked

I enjoyed the level of engagement that my supervisors gave me. It was very hands-on and I felt included in the process.

What I wish was different

Some days were very slow and unengaging.

Advice

Make as many connections as possible, government positions are very competitive and the knowledge you gain from this internship will put you ahead later on.
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Intern

May - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

In-depth dive into DC politics and how the Department works among other executive departments.

What I wish was different

Wish it was paid!

Advice

Apply early, be on time with deadlines, and expect to be challenged.
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intern

December 2017 - March 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Amazing experience where I really got to learn what it was like to work for this Government agency. I worked with amazing people.

What I wish was different

I wish I could have been paid

Advice

Take every opportunity you can to meet with people that work there. Ask them to coffee!!!
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Public Affairs Intern

February - May 2019 • Munich, Bavaria

What I liked

The investigative research was intense and fun. My coworkers were great and very helpful. A truly unique experience.

What I wish was different

I wish I had gotten paid.

Advice

Always plan ahead twice before setting out for an international internship.
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Community Liaison Office Intern - US Embassy Bangkok

June - July 2019 • Bangkok, Bangkok Metropolitan Region

What I liked

Working on a collaborative team.

What I wish was different

The nature of the work in the community office had no set routine and changed each day depending on who visited the office. It was difficult getting used to this lack of structure.

Advice

Anyone looking to work in the Department of State, and especially embassies abroad, should know this is a highly transitory period. It is likely your supervisor could change in the middle of your internship period as this is the time when foreign service officers are moved to their new postings.
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Public Affairs Intern

June - August 2018 • Tallinn, Harju County

What I liked

Opportunities to work in a constantly changing environment with a fun and diverse staff

What I wish was different

More opportunities to get outside of the office

Advice

You shape your internship. Make it what you want it to be and don't just hope things will turn out how you plan.
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Information Technology Clerk

May - July 2019 • Vienna, Austria

What I liked

It was a very professional setting which gives an insight into working with the United States government overseas. If interning, there are plenty of friends to make.

What I wish was different

Wish the workload was more diversified, but this could have varied by position.

Advice

Help out best you can. Every department could use help, so ask what you can do for others.
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Diplomatic Intern

May - August 2019 • Geneva, Canton of Geneva

What I liked

I liked living in a foreign country and working at the United Nations.

What I wish was different

I wish I had immersed myself in the culture more.

Advice

Learn as much background information as you can about your office's work.
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Intern

June - August 2019 • Lima, Lima Province

What I liked

Exploring a foreign country for 3 months!

What I wish was different

I wish I could have stayed longer.

Advice

I was able to choose the country I went to, and I chose Peru because I am studying the Spanish language and have a regional focus on Latin America. Chose a country where you can practice you foreign language skills.
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Intern

September - November 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Got to see how the government operates

What I wish was different

Wish there was more work prepared for me

Advice

Don’t be afraid to apply to internships across the country. Get out of your comfort zone.
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Congressional Intern

June - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I like going to and from work on the train, it made me feel more independent. I like attending hearings about various topics at the Capitol. And best of all, meeting like-minded individuals.

What I wish was different

I wish the workplace was more diverse.

Advice

Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
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Intern

May - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I loved getting experience in public service. I got to be involved in a wide variety of issues, meetings, and events. The people I worked with truly cared about making my experience educational and memorable.

What I wish was different

The State Department has a large internship program and the experience will be different for interns in each individual office. I wish there was more structure to my work in the beginning.

Advice

Take advantage of every opportunity! Say yes to trying new things, joining in on meetings, and taking on new responsibilities.
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Summer Intern

June - August 2019 • Portsmouth, NH

What I liked

The opportunity to do real, impactful work from day 1 and the relatively flat (for government) structure of the office. PSRO is one of the best places to work in the federal government, from the people, to the job, to the exposure to different areas for growth.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Intern

June - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

You get a behind-the-scenes look into U.S. diplomatic efforts around the world. The work you are tasked is truly impactful and you can see the results directly.

What I wish was different

I wish there were more events for interns to meet each other and more opportunities for networking within State.

Advice

Take initiative and ask for more responsibility. You get as much out of the internship as you are willing to put in.
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Consular Intern

May - August 2019 • Bern, Canton of Bern

What I liked

The opportunity to put the skills I had to work in a capacity that would be meaningful to my section's goals. Supervisors and officers are more than open to hearing about what work you would like to contribute on in order to make this a significant internship. Everyone was very approachable at the post I worked at.

What I wish was different

Assistance in housing options would have been helpful.

Advice

Be open to projects that your supervisors may bring to you. This is an opportunity to showcase any skills you already have, even if the projects are not directly in line with work you have produced prior.
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Financial Analyst Intern

June - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Mentoring atmosphere

What I wish was different

More involved financial work

Advice

Be proactive in the clearance process
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Public Affairs Intern

June - August 2019 • Singapore, Central Region

What I liked

I was immersed into the work being done in the embassy. I had opportunities to learn about different sections like consular, executive, security, and econ/political. I was assigned substantial work. I helped organize events and could attend them. I was trusted to handle actual work. Interning helped me to realize that I want to work for State after college. I talked to current employees and learned about their careers. I also got to live in another country!!

What I wish was different

It is a financial commitment living in another country without getting paid.

Advice

Take advantage of all the opportunities during this internship. You get to go to so many cool events and meet some very important people. Say yes to everything.
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Human Resources Intern

May - June 2019 • Manila, Philippines

What I liked

Love the environment! Work ethics! Very professional

What I wish was different

The training with the HR specialist

Advice

Better prepare for the worst scenarios in the work place.
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