Booz Allen Hamilton

  www.boozallen.com
  www.boozallen.com

Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews

Updated December 16, 2014
Updated December 16, 2014
2,241 Reviews
3.3
2,241 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
1,350 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is generally pretty good but also depends on the client you support (in 295 reviews)

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


Cons
  • The Work Life Balance that it promises is often not the reality (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 Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place to learn consulting

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

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    An amazing amount of talented people all in one place. Significant access to customers and business development experienced is encouraged at all levels. I had very good managers with deep expertise, who helped me regardless of the time investment needed.

    Cons

    Not sure my management and opportunity experience was shared by others. Seniority definitely pays but downsizing and the economy have hurt the brain trust that was Booz Allen. New blood is good, but clients buy Booz Allen for experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grow people and let them flourish.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Lots of opportunities

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Very flexible career options. You will get a lot of guidance as you progress. Just make sure you communicate with your senior leadership and they are very good at responding.

    Cons

    It is very challenging to look for work if you're not cleared. While jobs exists, the competition internally among other consultants can be difficult.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Overall, my experience at BAH has been fantastic so far.

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    The Atlanta Team has so many bright, driven people that bring out the best in each other to really produce high quality work. Every single one of the projects I have been involved in and know about are so cool and very rewarding.

    While I will credit some of this to luck, I was lucky enough to be part of a great management team that really cares about my future and helping me grow.

    Cons

    While most of the benefits are good, it would be nice if Management could increase tuition assistance to match that of the rising tuition costs at schools. This would also allow for more certifications and training to invest in your employees.

    Also, I think that the end of year bonus system needs to be improved. Currently, unless you Sr. Management directly bringing in business for you team, you don't get any kind of annual bonuses.

    The new Consumer Driven Health Plans are a step down from the previous plans in my opinion, but I think this is a nationwide hit across almost all businesses due to the new healthcare laws, so I don't hold this against BAH.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Good experience overall and good coworkers

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits were good, although they are taking them away now. They used to give 10% of your salary bonus to 401k. now they match, which still isn't bad. Vacation time isn't bad. if youre there for 5 years you get quite a bit. I like the flexibility in logging in your time dependent on your boss. some contracts only allow you to work 40 hrs per week on average during the month so you can work some hours here and there on the weekend and work less during the week, if your project is not too crazy

    Cons

    bit of bureaucratic stuff because it's a larger company. They don't give a lot for tutition assistance. Covers less than 2 classes of graduate school a year. gave the same amount for 10 years. tution has been going up. not really an engineering company, although the management and career paths are changing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    allow employees to attend conferences and don't penalize them for it by making them make up the time.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Your Mileage May Vary (depending on the market team/project you're on)

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

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

    Pros

    Booz offers tuition reimbursement (up to $5,000/year), a 6% 401(k) match, cash awards for doing good work, and holiday parties/an annual Kings Dominion day (for people near Washington, DC).

    I still like Booz Allen, but I’m afraid that it’s trending in the wrong direction—we’re becoming more like the other major contracting companies, instead of setting the bar high and making everyone else aspire to be more like us.

    Cons

    Most people at Booz are aligned to a market (e.g., Federal Defense, Federal Civil). Some teams are better than others. On some teams, lead associates have 8-9 direct reports and associates (one level below lead associate) have 4-5 direct reports, while on other teams some lead associates and associates have no direct reports. Now that everything’s market aligned, everyone’s looking out for their own market and are not as likely to help out other markets, even though we all work for the same firm.

    The annual assessment process is much easier than before (less paperwork), but now promotions are much more subjective. It’s no longer based on meeting a documented set of criteria (i.e., checkboxes), but instead it’s more about how much the people deciding promotions like you. On some teams it is very difficult to get a promotion, but on other teams it seems like all you need is a pulse (there are people who have been promoted who don’t seem very capable of performing at that next level). Some promotions, especially at the more senior levels, seem to be more because there’s a vacancy that needs to be filled instead of being based on merit.

    You need to look out for yourself—your career manager isn’t looking out for you. Trying to find another project on your own is very difficult. Some markets are better than others at posting their open positions on the internal jobs website. A lot of projects now want people with TS/SCI, which is a difficult clearance to obtain.

    Your experience is also very heavily based on the project you’re on. On a client-site project, you’ll most likely feel isolated from the rest of Booz Allen (although this tends to be true of client-site projects across the industry). A lot of things are still based out of the Booz Allen headquarters in McLean (although they’re starting to shift Booz Allen offices to be closer to the client, which in most cases means offices are shifting inside the Beltway). If you’re on a “bad” project, it is very difficult to get off of it onto a better project. Some projects have terrible project management, but nothing is done about it, even if there are very clear signs something is going wrong (e.g., people leave the project in droves to other firms).

    A lot of the work these days is staff augmentation—it’s not the transformative “consulting” work that provides meaningful impact to customers. Booz has become more of a technology consultancy with a management consulting appendage.

    Booz doesn't maintain much of a bench these days. In one market, lack of work letters are issued before the project ends, so that as soon as the project ends, Booz can show you the door to the unemployment line.

    Booz recently switched most of their healthcare plans to high-deductible, which means most employees will be paying more (and receiving less) for insurance in 2015.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have better communications with staff on what’s really going on within the firm. Don’t focus only on maximizing shareholder value (e.g., issuing debt so that shareholders can get a special dividend, as happened a few years ago). Have a meritocracy where people are promoted based on merit, instead of nepotism. Promote managers who aren’t just looking out for themselves but who are actually interested in developing others and who respect and value contributions from their team. Pay people market wages.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 10 people found this helpful  

    Disappointing experience

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    This company has an outstanding reputation which provides your work with credibility. There are a number of very talented, highly respected people with whom you might be able to work or use as mentors.

    Cons

    There was a surprising lack of strategic vision when it came to hiring and deploying people. I was brought in as part of a hiring surge and then it turned out there wasn't sufficient work for the people who were hired. People (including me) were placed on "make-do" assignments that had no relation to their skill set. Eventually, the work dried up even more and I was laid off. I never understood why I was hired in the first place and came away thinking this company was struggling to figure out its future path. Judging from what others are saying here, that hasn't changed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Booz Allen is no longer an industry leader

    • 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 (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Up until these past few months, Booz Allen was an employer of choice. The company valued it's employees and aggressively worked to ensure they had industry leading benefits and a top notch work environment.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, Booz Allen's desire to maximize shareholder profits has turned this once great firm into a second-rate consulting firm. In 2015, Booz Allen is switching from a competitive health insurance benefit package to an employer cost saving high deductible plan. Employee costs will increase dramatically, as the 2015 insurance package has a $2600.00 family deductible before healthcare costs are covered. Prior to this switch, Booz Allen had an average $0 deductible plan. For a family of four, Booz Allen just increased my family's health insurance bill by $2600.00. It's time to look for a new employer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop focusing on shareholder profits when they come at the expense of your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Out of site out of mind

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

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, bonus deposited to 401(k) every year for 20+ years, in the trenches some of the smartest, hardest working people I have ever worked with

    Cons

    Lack of training and job opportunities for those not in the DC area or other big regional offices; career managers only seem to put the work in with those working on site - I had a new career manager every year that I was with the company and only had regular, monthly conversations with one, some I could not get a response from via phone or email and lost training opportunities, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make an effort to include employees not on BAH site, those of us who are a one deep at a client site or a remote worker.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Low salary and benefits are going away

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

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time

    Pros

    Flexible work hour, still good 401K (will get if you are there at the end of year), average PTO (good if you are there for more than 5 years or associate level)

    Cons

    low salary (will lowball for entry level), health benefit going away (can't afford that are starting in January), have to make up time for training

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's about time to think for future.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Adjust to life of government work

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

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

    Pros

    Financially sound, sense of direction for the company, strong culture.

    Cons

    Strange dynamic to success, you must "sell" yourself and your accomplishments (real or imagined) to everyone you meet. As essentially a government staffer of sorts, you must acclimate to working on projects that waste truly epic amounts of (taxpayer) money. Progress moves at geologic pace. If you like a typical corporate environment that is fast paced and results driven, be ready to be happy to just work "in the system" and derive enough value from that process.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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