Booz Allen Hamilton

  www.boozallen.com
  www.boozallen.com

Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews in Huntsville, AL

Updated September 8, 2014
Updated September 8, 2014
2,185 Reviews
3.3
2,185 Reviews
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Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Shrader
Ralph W. Shrader
1,320 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is generally pretty good but also depends on the client you support (in 294 reviews)

  • High opportunity ceiling; great benefits; worthwhile challenges; ability to influence work that matters (in 103 reviews)


Cons
  • The Work Life Balance that it promises is often not the reality (in 112 reviews)

  • It is not uncommon for a person to be hired and then let go in a few months for "lack of work" (in 46 reviews)

More Highlights

13 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Best company I have worked for among the five governement contract companies I have been employed by.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Military Analyst in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Military Analyst in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    A very professional and caring atmosphere driven towards mission accomplishment and a happy client employee relationship. Work toward a collaborative future as a team, made me feel at home. Challenging work and very fare compensation and an excellent benefits package, the best I have been a part of to date.

    Cons

    I have little negative to say about the company. I was in a unique situation which didn't help me out. Both of my first line leaders left the firm and as a lone on-client-site employee I got lost by the next level of leadership who really didn't know me or what I was doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care and Communicate

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Fantastic company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    This was one of the only places where I was surrounded by driven, intelligent, professionals. The work life balance was great, as was the compensation package. I liked the ability to work for multiple clients as well. They spend an awful lot of money on individual training too. It's a great chance to travel to other Booz Allen locations and network with others in the company.

    Cons

    I really didn't have any negative experiences when I was there. I know some of my other co-workers were less then satisfied with some of their Senior Associates though. Working on client-site is difficult to maintain a corporate identify when your leadership chain isn't keeping you involved or informed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure on-site employees are effectively communicated with.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Good Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great professional development program, competitive pay and benefits

    Cons

    Not a lot of contracts in my location, They were removing/ changing benefit packages.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Wow. Not worth it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity to learn new things.
    Lots of resources available, if you could justify them.
    Working with some very smart, very motivated people.

    Cons

    One of my customers referred to BAH as "the virus".
    Big promises, no follow-through.
    Hard to tell who's really looking out for you and who's trying to stab you in the back. (Based on conversations, though, this is unique to the office I was in).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 9 people found this helpful  

    This once great consulting firm has become an outsourcing company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are pockets of the firm that still retain the former greatness of the Booz Allen culture. The collaborative spirit, adherence to core values, thought leadership, excellence in everything that they do, career development for all staff, professionalism (acting that way and treating others that way), client service, hiring the best and brightest. To date, I have not run upon anything quite like those aspects in my 10 year career. I learned things at Booz Allen that I would never have learned elsewhere, and really the "secret sauce" of what made Booz Allen great could really work anywhere.

    Cons

    Things were great when I first hired onto Booz Allen in 2008. Then things went quickly south. First the Carlyle buyout in mid-2008 which changed things a little but not appreciably. Then going public in late 2010 when the Partners said "nothing would change" when in fact everything changed (weekly utilization drills, increased scrutiny of expenses). Then the mass hiring in 2011 of unqualified staff for non-existent positions in the ill-timed, ill-advised "Take Share" initiative. Then the mass downsizing in 2011-2012. Bit by bit, the firm has become beholden to the shareholders versus what it was always beholden to: its clients. This has led the company to value a "butts in seats" outsourcing approach to government contracting versus the classical management consulting approach of the gilded age of Booz Allen. No longer are people valued at Booz Allen, they are just a commodity to be sold cheaply. When your task runs out, you're out the door. In some fairness to Booz Allen leadership, the clients (or really, client, the Federal Gov't) don't value thought leadership in the classical sense (The gov't provides the thought leadership, right?). Joking aside, I don't think that Booz Allen knows what hit them since the change was so gradual they really think that nothing has changed in the culture of the company.

    One last thought and that is that the management at Booz Allen made a fatal mistake in relying on the double-digit annual revenue growth model where the firm's revenue grows fast, faster than the infrastructure can keep up leading to a growth-binge-growth-binge model where profits come from the infrastructure not keeping up. This model may have been great for the fat years, but is dismally insufficient for the current fiscally constrained environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go private again. This is what you always said was your big strength. Being private meant you could take long-term risks without worrying about immediate payoff. You could keep people on the bench longer because you weren't as worried about profit margins. You also didn't waste all that time on quarterly earnings reports and other drills.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    It's all about the "Company"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Company offers excellent salaries and benefits; however, those benefits have corroded significantly over the past 4 years, especially since the company went public.

    Cons

    Lack of work and life balance. Less than productive atmosphere - all about climbing the corporate ladder rather than doing the best in the job one holds.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow employees who are interested in doing their current job well, not becoming a manager, to do so without pressure to constantly take on higher level duties. Not everyone wants to be in charge.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Booz Allen Hamilton in transition...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL
    Current Employee - Associate in Huntsville, AL

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong historical culture of smart people, strong core values, doing quality work for government. Geographical offices across the country, primarily in places of concentrated federal operations. Good employer for veterans. Good employer for working mothers.

    Cons

    Company is going through a major transition -- went public in 2010, and is still dealing with the ramifications to its business model and culture. Company is doing better than its industry peers in this tough economic climate, but it can be a ruthless place to its employees right now -- pressure to maintain billability can be brutal.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Booz Allen has been and still is evolving

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Huntsville, AL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Huntsville, AL

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    I've had the opportunity to work on great projects, utilizing my skills and experience, while expanding my skillset and knowledge base. These opportunities have helped me grow and develop both technically and personally. I've been able to work on other projects that don't fit my experience or career path while I'm waiting for a more appropriate project/opportunity to begin.

    Cons

    I've also had to work on many projects that did align with my skills, experience, or career goals. I had to work on these projects in order to maintain employment until a project more suited to me began. Job security, which used to be a huge pro, is now very uncertain once your project ends. Expectations are not clear and job security varies on an individual level according to undefined/unclear metrics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We need to create and utilize positions for pure business development. So much efficiency is lost by not using appropriate subject matter experts that aren't trained in the art of developing business to develop proposals for work that they know nothing about.

    No opinion of CEO
  10. 16 people found this helpful  

    Horrible experience, stay away if you're technical/IT/systems engineering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Former Employee in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Former Employee in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    -Great hard-working people below the management levels
    -Free water and coffee at the local office
    -Teammates often share dedication and work ethic

    Cons

    -Dishonesty in hiring practices. You're told that you're hired to do a job long term, and then discover that you'll be doing something totally different and it's short term
    -Unappreciation for technical/engineering employees. Only those at a level IV or above get the glory.
    -There is NOT a flat org chart. Employees are designated at levels and there is a certain pecking order. If you get on the wrong side of a higher level as a level I or II (Consultant or Sr. Consultant), look out
    -Technical decisions are made poorly, political motives take precedence
    -Oppressive culture, you have to work the overtime and bow to those above you or you will be forced out
    -Focus seems to be on making bodies billable instead of properly fitting qualified personnel where they would be better utilized
    -Many workers dread a lack of work letter (or LAW), as the company does not assist you in finding billable work, creating a culture of fear. No communication or clarity from management on status of your contract
    -Exodus of knowledgebase from office, many leaving for greener pastures and limited passing of knowledge
    -Although the company culture forces a strange dress code upon its employees that is often mocked by government customers (expect to wear suits and ties), people are talked to and treated unprofessionally (vindictive behavior by managers, threats, grudges, etc)
    -Leadership ignores suggestions, requests, advice of best practices, etc., and marches on their own agenda which can create ethical dilemmas for those executing tasks
    -Little to no support from leadership on site, as they are often more concerned with employee reviews or business proposals.
    -Leadership is completely blind to the low morale of the workforce
    -Reviews grade you on business development instead of quality of work/support of the customer/etc. Thus, unless you're bringing in new contracts promotion is impossible (as well as raises). This applies to EVERY employee, even if you're tasked with engineering/technical work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start appreciating your technical staff. They're the ones that make it happen. If you cannot communicate and be honest with your workforce, what hope do you have of staff retention. Also, have HR be honest with potential employees.. work life balance is poor, what their job will really be, etc. Booz Allen felt more like a TekSystems or staffing agency with a silly dress code than it did a strong defense contractor with presence and respect in the local market. People joke that this place is a revolving door and a LAW letter could come at any moment. All the turnover will only hinder growth in the Huntsville market. You're drawn into Booz with all the flashy marketing of career growth/work life balance/long term career and quickly discover that it's the polar opposite.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 13 people found this helpful  

    Consulting company turned staffing agency

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    Lots of intelligent and capable folks to work with under the management level
    Diverse industry engagements and work force to be invovled with

    Cons

    Horrible senior management, zero guidance or leadership support
    Engagements are more about putting bodies in seats, rather than challenging consulting work
    Management only cares about folks being billable or getting billable
    No loyalty or support, be billable or be gone, even if you were billable and lost your contract due to the company's decision
    Work Life balance only exists if you are in a senior leadership position and getting a regular bonus

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop selling new hires on exciting and challenging "consulting" work they will be doing
    Listen the folks on the ground doing the work, respect their opions and insight
    Promote from within, make sure to look at results and not just their contact list
    Stop hiring senior leadership position from outside of the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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