Booz Allen Hamilton

  www.boozallen.com
  www.boozallen.com

Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
2,184 Reviews
3.3
2,184 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Shrader
Ralph W. Shrader
1,321 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good Work; Bad Management

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

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, manageable travel, and good pay - but that's just the current contract with the client enabling these "pros". I have never worked at the Booz Allen Hamilton corporate locations to know how company policies affect its employees.

    Cons

    Client-facing work = no career management, apparently. Complete lack of guidance on career development, strong push on NOT asking for any promotions or expecting a fair assessment of work quality. Common reason to deny any kind of a promotion or pay raise, is "you cannot bring in any new business, so don't expect any career advancement."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let your client-facing staff just become cogs in the client's machinery to the point where they become just a temporary staffing solution for the client. They are YOUR employees, treat them as such! Client-facing staff shouldn't be ignored and forgotten, especially when they work in areas far from corporate HQ. Career managers need to get involved with their remote client-facing employees and well, manage careers and not just approve time-sheets and expense reports..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Very constructive and educational experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
    Current Employee - Consultant in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent company to start off your career in the region (MENA), given its outstanding reputation and brand recognition.

    Cons

    The firm isn't really multicultural.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More emphasis needed on intellectual capital

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Very mixed results

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    Well-oiled machine, great resources and processes. Great opportunity for a young engineer to gain experience and mentorship. Some really great managers who have a lot of balls in the air, keeping people employed during very uncertain times.

    Cons

    Micromanagement. Insane micromanagement. These people need to be medicated. If you are already experienced, you should probably look elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You hire people with security clearances, stick them in any position that is funded, then let their clearances expire with little to no support in finding a position which will sponsor them. Then, you send out mass emails asking them to help you recruit new employees with high level security clearances. That is a formula for creating a disgruntled employee.

    You have too many lower level managers on SOME of your teams, otherwise no one would have had time to micromanage. I've seen other managers stretched too thin.

    Though everyone understands protecting other vendors' proprietary data in theory, practical application falls short. You are expected to magically never receive proprietary data, when the customers keep sending it to you.

    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Not bad, but could be soooo much better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Impressive depth of knowledge and professional ability across most of the firm. They truly do employ experts in their respective fields. The networking opportunities are awesome. If your heart is into public service and missions that matter, but you rather skip some of the politics involved in being a government employee, it's a great place to work AND learn about yourself.

    Cons

    Major pay difference when compared to boutique software engineering & big data firms and the other major technology players is making it hard to attract and retain talent, especially as folks care less about "brands" (i.e. "delivered to you from Booz Allen") and more about quality of services or products. Benefits took a dive recently with the advent of CDH plans...so more out of pocket expense for health care with no salary offsets to compensate. The smaller firms understand this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop selling your software engineers on reduced salary vs. career opportunity. Eventually we get smart and realize how to find/make our own opportunities after we build our networking skills. You're going to have trouble retaining senior talent to develop your junior workforce, and thus will lose on the quality front and lag in your conversion to a technical services company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Interesting work, requires internal networking for follow-on work

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

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

    Pros

    Opportunities for variety in work. Work with smart people and interesting projects. On the job training for skills and paid training for certifications. If your current project ends, management works with you to find other projects.

    Cons

    Sometimes work isn't ideal based on your skills and interests, depending on available projects. Networking internally nets more work but is often difficult due to team silos and client side work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Changing Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Technologist in California, MD
    Current Employee - Staff Technologist in California, MD

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Booz Allen is a good company to start your career out at. They great job mobility program and encourage their employees reach their educational goals. There is collaboration across teams to get things done and make Booz Allen and one voice.

    Cons

    Constant change in the company makes it hard to get use to how we are suppose to operate. It seems as if the company has shifted it focus from it employees to its stakeholders, since it went public, which has made it less desirable to work for.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 8 people found this helpful  

    Once-Prestigious Firm Now Slashing Benefits

    Current Employee - Lead Technologist/Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Lead Technologist/Associate in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    The firm has built a good reputation over its many years of existence. For my market, people at the Principal level and below are good, upstanding. Meeting with your manager is usually license for a free lunch (at least in my management chain). Quarterly management meetings are a restaurant have been fun and good for network. The firm really came through and covered client-side people during the government shutdown in Fall 2013. The firm finally offers a career map for technologists and engineers, although it remains to be seen whether that will increase upward mobility. Internal social network is active and informative.

    Cons

    Benefits are being slashed on annual basis:
    - The retirement contribution, which was above average (10% of pay, but vested) when I joined, is at or below average now (6% of pay with 100% vesting at SIX YEARS).
    - The 2015 health insurance choices have been unveiled and they are OUTRAGEOUSLY BAD. The lowest plan is far worse (higher premium, higher OOP max, higher deductible) than the cheapest (and only) high-deductible plan last year. The only Aetna plans left are high-deductible, and the deductibles are way too high when compared to the premiums.) Pharmacy benefits also are subject to the same deductible now. I'm curious how many people the firm will lose over this.

    There is an expectation that you make up non-billable hours (e.g. firm-mandatory training). You are expected to do an annual self-review, even though it's not required and you can't charge it. (None of this is particularly new.)

    Lead associates and senior associates get overworked. They (especially lead associates) are expected to do management basically for free after putting in a full week being billable to the client.

    You used to be able to count on job security at a big firm, but that is no longer the case. The lack-of-work notice comes as soon as you end your work on a contract and you have precious little time to find a new position before being shown the door. What is the point of working for such a large firm?

    Sick time included in paid time off (which is four weeks for new Associates).

    Attrition seems to be high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Beef up your benefits before you lose all your top talent to better (especially smaller) companies.

  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Disappointed given its reputation/image

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

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

    Pros

    Salary and vacation package is generous.

    Cons

    Luck of the draw in terms of which team one is hired or move to. A bad boss means no promotion, no feedback, left in limbo at the client site, not protected against bullying/harassment by customer. In my case I was assigned what turned out to be a very dysfunctional organization that within the year had replaced its own senior management and treated its contractors like trash or worse (self included). My immediate supervisor, a nice competent man but worried about his own promotions/rise etc, did nothing to protect us at the site. His boss --my hiring boss-- was a complete a-- who was so full of himself that he had zero interest in his minions except for his few pets. But what particularly struck me as red flag, was how during a week's orientation, as we were being indoctrinated on the privileges of working for such an esteemed company, I noted (and raised a fair question) that it appeared the BAH's immense success was tied to its one sole customer, the US Govt. I asked is this was perhaps a risky model i.e. all eggs in one basket and what if this funding source dried up (this was asked circa 2009)? Wouldn't it be prudent to branch out a bit? Needless to say, my question/comment wasn't appreciated. This should have been another red flag.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better management off campus i.e. at client site. Less fawning of (sole) client at the expense of one's own employees when the work site is beyond dysfunctional and yet the motto remains "the customer is always right."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    I expected more......

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

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time

    Pros

    Flexibility. You can work remotely if you want and if your assignment permits it. It’s well known company in the DC area and there is the perception that everyone who works there is super smart and that it is a well run organization. The missions of the clients supported are interesting and many coworkers are nice.

    Cons

    No work life balance. Working at Booz is a series of fire drills and poorly run projects. Its not uncommon to spend long hours working on something that is 'high priority' and later learn that what was asked for was never even looked at.

    Lots of arrogance, pretention, and ego at the senior associate and higher level. There is an unspoken dynamic that people at this level know everything and that pretty much no one below that level knows anything….so you end up indulging the senior staff by nodding and smiling – which makes their egos even bigger. And you do this even when it is obvious that they don’t know what they are talking about - and yes, there are people in Booz who have no clue as to what they are doing.

    Career paths are limited. Raises, promotions, and bonuses are generously sprinkled across ‘leadership’ while the majority of employees – the ones actually doing the work – get very little for their contributions. Lower level employees are just supposed to be happy to get the honor of being deemed good enough to work at Booz. It’s definitely a culture of haves and have nots. The average employee could get the same job somewhere else, earn the same salary if not higher, be appreciated more, and not have to deal with the weird organizational dynamics at Booz.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company’s culture is in need of a massive overhaul from the top down. Trim the fat at the top levels - there’s too many people up there - and it's not obvious what they are doing to move the company forward. Bring in some fresh leadership from the outside so they can provide a new perspective. Listen to employees. Treat all employees as though they are valuable and that they also contribute to the organization's success. Hold poor and disorganized leaders accountable….starting with the ones in the SIG.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Senior Consultant

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    Fast paced environment. Highly respected firm.

    Cons

    Must be willing to put in 60-70 hours a week to move up. You won't always work on projects you like and your project can change at any minute. If you want to move up and are willing to put in the effort, you also have to be liked by your superiors. The great benefits of the past are slowly going away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to everyone's ideas and don't be so concerned with how you look to your superiors. Take care of the people who are working for you.

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