Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews

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3.7
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Horacio D. Rozanski
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Pros
  • Work-Life balance is pretty awesome (in 295 reviews)

  • High opportunity ceiling; great benefits; worthwhile challenges; ability to influence work that matters (in 106 reviews)

Cons
  • It's challenging to find proper work/life balance (in 114 reviews)

  • It is not uncommon for a person to be hired and then let go in a few months for "lack of work" (in 49 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great name for your resume, but keep options open.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance, benefits, diversity of work/projects, locations of offices. Hard to beat in terms of benefits.

    Cons

    Being a "hard charger" on the government side is not always seen as a "good thing"; sometimes, promotions take a "wait your turn" or are biased towards a particular skill set, rather than based on a holistic evaluation of an individual's ability to lead and/or manage. Leap from Associate to Senior Associate is a chasm; needs to be less based on having the right "advocate" and based more on the ability of the individual to contribute to the growth of the firm and quality of leadership/management demonstrated by that individual.

    Advice to Management

    Reward the people who take initiative and continue challenging people to retain talent.


  2. Young and 2 years in; a fair perspective

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Career opportunities and professional development are stressed at Booz Allen and if you are driven individual you can achieve very satisfying growth with this firm. On the other hand you can also settle into a slow steady growth if you are happy to just do your work and go home. These options will allow anyone to be satisfied with Booz Allen as an employer. Above personal growth the people that work for Booz Allen are of the highest caliber and create a work environment where your greatest resource are your peers. The wealth of knowledge and experience is a great place to work and learn how to excel as a government consultant.

    Cons

    The bottom line is that Booz Allen is a very large firm, as a result there are certain aspects of the organization structure where you really feel like a small fish in a big pond. The assessment process is annual and a pain and most likely isn't structured as effectively as it could be. Also your experience is contingent on the contract you work on and your senior management. I know of people who had pretty bad experiences getting stuck on a team with a boss that didn't care about their growth and work that was boring. It can be hard when you find yourself in that position but then one of the benefits of a large firm can shine through when you transfer internally to a better position.

    Advice to Management

    Always keep an open door policy and really mean it.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Booz Allen is a great place to work as long as you know how to network and be your own advocate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Herndon, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    For the most part, Booz Allen Hamilton has great senior leadership. They always ask me what I want to work on and try their best to make sure their plans with me correspond to my own career goals. I think if something is not working or you are unhappy, they would rather figure out a comprise then have you leave. I always feel that my bosses are watching my back and keeping a look out for opportunities that I may be interested in. This alone has kept me at Booz Allen since I started working there. Because of this I have developed a loyalty towards my group and it would take a lot for me to leave. For a new college graduate, Booz Allen is a great place to work. Most of the people I work with are in their 20s. It is an easy place to make friends and work with people in a similar situation as you. That being said, there are also people there of all ages. It is a good mix people from different backgrounds and experiences: technical or personal. Another great reason to work at Booz Allen is job security. Since Booz Allen split from its commercial side, essentially making the whole company government contracting, we are not affected by the economic down turn. Another reason is that Booz Allen is a private company. We do not have to answer to share holders and the partners do not have to downsize to improve profit margins. I feel extremely secure with my job.

    Cons

    Sometimes your work doesn't always speak for itself. You can do great work, but if no one notices it then it really didn't happen. You have to be your own greatest advocate. Make sure people notice your work. Your admin manager is not always on the same project as you, so when it comes down to your annual review, you need to best convey your accomplishments. It also helps to have other people advocating your accomplishments such as your project managers your worked with and fellow colleagues. Also, to be successful at Booz Allen, networking is key. This isn't necessarily a downside, but if you are not social, you will be lost in the fray. This is not saying that you will not like working at Booz Allen, but to get recognized and open up the opportunities you want, you need to network as much as possible. One downside I have experienced at Booz Allen is that your admin managers don't always necessarily do all the work to find a project for you. If your own group doesn't have work for you, then you have to start looking for billable work outside your group. Your manager helps you out, but at the same time, you are doing most of the work yourself. Finding opportunities in the company, sending out e-mails, following up, and interviewing with those project to get on. This can be a good or bad thing. You have the ability to guide your own career, but at the same time it can sometimes be annoying and cumbersome to make sure you are billable. This being said, usually when I jump on a project, you are able to stay on for at least 6 months to 2 years depending on the project. But it is the times when I am rolling off a project that this situation happens. Different people in Booz Allen have different experiences with this, but my experience has been that I do most of the work to find myself a new project. Ultimately, the onus is on your admin manager, but you need help the process out as much as possible. If you are not billable for a long amount of time (1-2 month +), your employment at Booz Allen can end. I have never seen this happen, but I have heard of it happening in other groups. With all of this being said, I have been 100% billable the whole time I have been at Booz Allen. This whole point comes back to my networking comment beforehand. The more your network, the easier it is to find your next project. Another downside with Booz Allen is that their tuition reimbursement amount, in my opinion, is lower than it should be. They offer $5,000 a year, but with rising tuition costs, I think it should be raised. This could be a non-issue for you if you are not looking to get another degree. They do on the other hand offer $2,500 towards a certification or training class, which might be more inline with people who aren't interested in a degree.

    Advice to Management

    The advice I would give to Senior Management is that if you want happy employees, make sure that you try to incorporate their career goals into the plans that you have with them the best you can. If employees see that through Booz Allen, they can achieve their career goals, then they will be more likley to stay. Even if they are on a bad project, they know that on the next project, you will try to help them obtain one that more aligns to what they want to do.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Be prepared for cumbersome assessment processes

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technology Consulting Associate in Honolulu, HI
    Former Employee - Technology Consulting Associate in Honolulu, HI
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This is an organization that truly values its employees. The environment is dynamic and challenging, but overall rewarding.

    Cons

    The company lives by its core values and expects its employees to live by those same values. The annual assessment process scrutinizes these values and can be very competitive, particularly if an associate is up for an advancement. These processes can be cumbersome and time consuming. Bottom line, administrative tasks can be overwhelming.

    Advice to Management

    Provide a means to streamline administrative work so consultants can focus on providing the best service possible to its clients. Also update the BAH sharepoint portal. A great tool to share information, but the technology is inadequate given the alternatives that are available today.


  6. Fast paced and great for professional growth

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Falls Church, VA
    Current Employee - Consultant in Falls Church, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent pay $5000 towards education Professional Growth

    Cons

    Inconsistent promotions - Lazy bums getting promoted over more qualified employees.

    Advice to Management

    None


  7. Booz is good

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Associate in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Salary is very comparable if you negotiate. Comprehensive benefits. Peers are envious of Booz Allen employment.

    Cons

    Hours expected to work to get ahead. If your not carefull you can get forgotten. You have to really want to get promoted.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to subordinates.


  8. Helpful (2)

    A diverse, intellectually-focused firm that should weather the current storm and be positioned for continued growth.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Associate in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Above all, there is a real commitment to living by its core values. This is not to say that incidents don't occur which violate them - but that they appear to play a larger role in the day to day culture of the organization than any other consulting firm I have worked with/for. As well, they are reinforced by a true 360 performance evaluation process. This process is time consuming, but in many ways it provides a buffer against favoritism and bias influencing salary and promotion decisions,by mandating a broad range of feedback sources and oftentimes also involving an objective 3rd party reviewer to collect and compile input into an initial evaluation. The workforce impresses in the range of experience, with colleagues from a variety of different backgrounds including private sector consulting, engineering, military service, intelligence and security fields, and the non-profit world. This diversity of background is one aspect of the Firm's overall diversity approach, which was energized in past years by the Board Diversity Initiative, and is now reaching its 5-year anniversary. While the workforce comes from diverse backgrounds, an appreciation for the intellectual rigor brought to addressing problems unites them; Booz Allen's work style and training in logical problem structuring and analysis helps to reinforce this commonality. Finally, the overall stability of the organization during current and previous economic cycles represents a clear advantage during this time, and with potential opportunities growing in the years following the Booz Allen/Booz & Co. separation, the future outlook continues to be positive.

    Cons

    The quality of life at Booz Allen definitely depends upon the project an individual is assigned to. In particular, there are the "black hole" engagements where someone may be staffed and not reappear for years; this is even more typical with government clients than in the private sector. While this can help with career advancement by positioning someone to know a client well and grow their business case for moving into a management role, it can also prove stultifying for those individuals who enjoy the frequency of change and new experiences that consulting has traditionally offered. As well, Booz Allen - rightly or wrongly - suffers from the perception that its compensation is not in par with the market, due in part to the perceived quality of life trade-offs (e.g. limited/no travel for staff). This will continue to be an on-going challenge, although those who actively engage their leadership can sometimes drive for improved salary adjustments - a case where the "squeaky wheel" approach works well. Finally, as in any organization, politics are a consideration; in Booz Allen, they come into play in part with the competition for advancement encouraging territoriality around specific clients and/or capability areas.

    Advice to Management

    The middle levels of the company - the Associates - need to have their roles clarified and potentially broken down, with more incentive for those Associates with more experience and responsibility, potentially including inclusion in the annual bonus programs. Apparently this initiative is under consideration, but action definitely needs to be taken sooner rather than later. In addition, progress still needs to be made on integrating teams across markets/capabilities - while there has been improvement over the past, Booz Allen still has many overlaps that create confusion among potential clients and recruits, and exacerbate some of the internal tensions.


  9. Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Awesome team environment, great projects, amazing management.

    Cons

    The pay is on the low end. I could make a heck of a lot more money at another consulting firm, but the work/life balance wouldn't be as good. Also, There need to be better opportunities for younger employees to transition from the firm to an MBA program and back again, it would make the difference between staying with Booz Allen or going to another consulting firm after business school. I don't know if you do it through more funding for MBA programs, etc, but we need to do a better job on it.

    Advice to Management

    There need to be better opportunities for younger employees to transition from the firm to an MBA program and back again, it would make the difference between staying with Booz Allen or going to another consulting firm after business school. I don't know if you do it through more funding for MBA programs, etc, but we need to do a better job on it.


  10. Smart people....but BAH takes "full time" to a whole new level

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Associate in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Intelligent colleagues. Some flexibility in schedules when appropriate. $5000 tuition reimbursement annually for employees. Ridiculous amount of food available at most meetings. Many resources are available...provided you have the time to research/access the most effective way to reach these resources. Post office on-site in McLean.

    Cons

    Don't know anyone at BAH who actually takes a vacation...you may not work ten hours/day when you"re off...but you'll still be working! The assessment process (especially for Global Operations team) is inefficient, unwieldy, cumbersome and redundant....even worse, the assessment process does not hold management accountable for managing their employees. Senior leadership is not in touch with their staff.

    Advice to Management

    Show the employees that you value their contributions...revisit the salary/compensation structure and invest in your employees


  11. Helpful (1)

    Booz Allen is A Decent Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    One of the best reasons about working at Booz is the fact that its a prestigious firm and is ranked very well in comparison to its competitors like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. Additionally, they seem to pay competitively as well. Work life balance is very important to the firm. On more than one occasion, I have been told by management that my family comes before my work. That is a relief and it actually encourages you to work more. The firm also holds a lot of different events for employees; however, I rarely see upper management attending those events. I wonder why that is...perhaps they have much better places to spend their millions.

    Cons

    Could pay more. The salaries could be better. Especially since the firm brings in over $4 billion annually.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees more. Share the wealth.



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