Booz Allen Hamilton

  www.boozallen.com
  www.boozallen.com

Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews in McLean, VA

Updated November 17, 2014
Updated November 17, 2014
2,219 Reviews
3.3
2,219 Reviews
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Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Shrader
Ralph W. Shrader
1,338 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 105 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 47 reviews)

More Highlights

504 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great company to work with.

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

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

    Pros

    Culture and mission are on point. Enjoyed working with them. The exposure and experience unbeatable

    Cons

    Not able to work with them for longer period of time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 11 people found this helpful  

    Smart People, but an Erosion of Culture and Benefits

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

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The firm has a lot of very smart people, and is very friendly to scientists and veterans. They have a large footprint across the federal government, so there are a good number of opportunities. The firm seems to do a better job of weathering events like the government shutdown than their peers (SAIC, BAE, etc...). There is a decent level of stability given the industry.

    There are high ethical standards, a focus on quality work, and opportunities to advance.

    Cons

    Since the Carlyle buyout and the IPO, there has been a series of cost cutting efforts that seem to focus on improving the P&L in time for each quarterly earnings announcement. Over the last few years, we've had:

    * a (poorly executed) move to hoteling that killed any sense of team cohesion.
    * reduction in the 401(k) (Actually, the previous program was a 10% profit share, now it is a 6% match that only pays out if you are still employed at the firm at the end of the year)
    * Reduction in health insurance (a switch to high-deductible plans)
    * Watering down the 360 degree assessment process to one that amounts to little more than a checklist.
    *(They even got rid of all plants in the offices as a way to save money)

    Every couple of years, management tries to dramatically shift the organization with the promise that This Time Is Different. There have been switches back and forth between functional and market aligned structures. There was the One Firm push to integrate the commercial and government businesses ("we are one firm, we can work together"), followed by the split of the two halves ("we were really two separate businesses, with different models and cultures"), and the attempt to recreate a commercial business ("This time will be different").

    When I started, the firm's culture, reputation as a premium brand, and benefits were the big draws. I don't think any of them are particularly notable anymore.

    Over the last year there have been a bunch of efforts that are hard to look at with an unjaded eye -- the "Ed talks" are the firm's take on Ted talks (having a senior vice president give a speech while walking around on a stage really doesn't capture the whole Ted experience); knock-offs of Shark Tank, and superficial talk of innovation fill our email boxes along with videos of our new president's "Connect Tour." Some employees are paid to try and build excitement on Yammer. A lot of effort goes into what one might call "influence operations" to convince employees that management is on their side.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look back to the basics that made the firm great. It probably isn't possible to undo the cost savings you've already imposed since the IPO, but you can staunch the bleeding.

    You've managed to erode the corporate culture through hoteling and a watered down assessment process. The email campaign about the new health care plans was tone deaf.

    We've got to rebuild the culture. Give Principals more autonomy. Figure out a way to get teams working in the same place.

    Perhaps the only thing you could do to hurt morale and team culture more than you have would be to move to open office plans. You made a mistake with hoteling -- don't amplify it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Booz Allen has been a great place to work; benefits have taken a plunge

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

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

    Pros

    Teams have a strong work ethic and peers are outstanding. Booz Allen has incredible client delivery which helps bring more business in. Employees have the ability to learn the full lifecycle of managing government contracts which is very valuable.

    Cons

    Administrative burden is excessive. It's challenging to find proper work/life balance. Job security is a non-issue during contract period but finding billable work can spike anxiety levels.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees are responsible for the outstanding client delivery. Don't reward exceptional work by diluting what had been amazing benefits. The switch to Consumer Driven Health Plans (high premiums / high deductibles) is taking a toll on employee motivation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    The prestige is nice, but that's about it.

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

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

    Pros

    Many of my coworkers became close, personal friends. Honestly, I probably stayed a couple of years too long just because of that. There are also lots of resources available to you that you don't get at smaller companies. For the most part, walking into a room and saying "I'm from Booz Allen" still gets you instant credibility in a whole lot of places.

    Cons

    Despite being a seasoned professional in my field when hired, I quickly realized that I was brought on to be a very expensive intern for my vice president. My days consisted of making power point presentations, excel spreadsheets, scheduling meetings, and listening to other people brief my material. It took me a couple of years to be given even a modicum of the responsibility I had for years prior to joining the firm. Once I had it-- and excelled-- I was repeatedly promised promotions that never materialized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior leadership has created an organization that is so internally focused and political that it lets a lot of talent and good ideas slip through the cracks. Formal recognition of good workers is needed as well as a thorough house cleaning of the enormous amount of dead weight walking the halls.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Declining

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Associate (Project Manager) in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Associate (Project Manager) in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There is a real opportunity to be entrepreneurial and build the skills that you're seeking.

    Cons

    You tend to get locked into federal contracting. It's not consulting. It's just helping overworked, understaffed federal employees do their job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Fun and Enjoyable Time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in McLean, VA

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible Hours, working remotely,

    Cons

    Small fish big pond kind of thing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote smaller teams

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    solid experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA

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

    Pros

    Great resume builder and helps to hone your skill set, either as a generalist or a SME.

    Cons

    Office culture can be unnecessarily competitive and stiff, lack of trust since the company went public several years ago

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    focusing on staff will assist in getting monetary results

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Pleasant experience overall but hate the cubicle. Need more meaningful projects.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Really work with smart, intelligent people. Training opportunitites abound.

    Cons

    A lot of times there's no autonomy, mastery, or purpose in assignments. I don't like the cubicle and work-life balance is not accessible to most folks on client site. And, it's very hard to find the opportunities with telework/telecommute options although the firm wins lots of awards for such.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Very hard to get a promotion and raises are very slim

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company to Build Your Consulting Career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in McLean, VA

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

    Pros

    BAH has all the benefits of a large consultancy (extensive in-house training, competitive salary, variety of industries). This allows junior staff to receive comprehensive training on the basics of management consulting as well as more advanced training on Project Management, Strategic Planning and industry specific certifications. Your personal growth is all dependant on how much you take charge of all the opportunities available to you.

    Cons

    It can be difficult at times to get onto projects that are not within your organizational team, resulting in difficulty gaining a diversity in project experience. Also, you must "own your brand" to be successful. This means networking, attending additional training outside of the required training classes and pitching yourself to senior colleagues to build your reputation as a great asset.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While the organization has gone through various changes (private-equity purchase, reorganization, scandal). The company has done a sufficient job to separate the brand from the negative press. It is going to be important to develop a comprehensive strategy to attract and retain new talent that will help the firm retain and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Federal powerhouse with plenty of opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA

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

    Pros

    Respected brand with plenty of agencies to support. You get to work with plenty of smart people who have a wide array of backgrounds.

    Cons

    Working with government agencies can be un-fulfilling at times, and Booz salaries aren't always the best, particularly for younger employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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