Charles River Associates

www.crai.com

Charles River Associates Reviews in Boston, MA

Updated November 24, 2014
Updated November 24, 2014
82 Reviews
3.2
82 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Charles River Associates President Paul Maleh
Paul Maleh
32 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • If you want good work-life balance, it's not a bad place to work at (in 9 reviews)

  • Learn a lot about large commercial litigation and how to prepare an expert report (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management does not value junior staff and treats them accordingly (in 11 reviews)

  • Senior management has tried to build team environment but they are as guilty of the bonus driven culture as anyone (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

24 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great Fulfilling Work with Really Nice People

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

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    This is the best place for economic consulting (a.k.a. litigation consulting) with depth and breadth of industries and projects. Compensation is great and the company places a great deal of importance on quality training and professional growth. I feel taken care of at CRA. And this is not even getting at the fact that there are many really nice and professional people working here.

    Cons

    I would appreciate more opportunities to present be it in front of internal or external clients.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Dry, unfulfilling work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    If you want to get a phd but don't want to go right away, this is a good stepping stone

    Cons

    Very dry work as junior staff - just data cleaning and other segmented tasks that are given from higher management. No way to move up in the company without going back to grad school. Culture can be a little too formal (at least in Boston) - other offices could be different. Ultimately, I regret choosing this as my post-grad job and am now actively looking for alternatives

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Nothing spectacular - management not great

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time

    Pros

    Work-life balance decent, interesting people to work with. Collegiate atmosphere. Opportunities for growth on consulting side, minimal opportunities for growth in other departments.

    Cons

    Upper management's past decisions to create inorganic growth caused a lot of tension and made morale low. Layoffs occurred multiple times while there.

    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    DIssatisfactory

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Manager in Boston, MA

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The Boston office location is great, easy to commute to. The company awards annual bonuses. There are groups of people within the company who are collaborative and excited about their jobs.

    Cons

    The HR department is unhelpful and unwelcoming to new employees. Management is uncommunicative about important issues affecting employees which leaves employees feeling that they are unimportant and completely dispensable. Morale is low.

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

    Great place to learn the industry

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing depth of work, access to world class experts on some topics and comprehensive problem solving approach followed

    Cons

    Too much detail at times. Also, the work tends to be repetitive, limiting the breadth of issues you can tackle and learn

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't put people, especially at the junior levels, in silos of work but let them be flexible. Also, benchmark your salary to industry standards

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Decent work-life balance, though career prospect may be limited

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you want good work-life balance, it's not a bad place to work at. It's not cut-throat or agressive, but you can feel sometime the morale was affected when company has not been doing well lately financially, and has to cut back on headcounts

    Cons

    Senior management does not know how to create an environment of collaboration across different groups. As a result, people only work within their own teams and not really interact among each other.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be always focusing on creating shareholder value, but also creating an environment for collaboration and respect for talents.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Associate - finance and competition practices

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people and exposure to high profile experts and cases.

    Cons

    Not much growth without grad degree.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer graduate school sponsorship.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    A great learning experience for the first 3 years

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very friendly group of experts. Lots of functional expertise in several topics. More laidback than most other firms so this gives you time to really learn and absorb the concepts well.

    Cons

    Not a very famous consulting firm so that does not help much when you move from one firm to the next or with your MBA application.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tougher and stricter recruitment only the best

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Collegial environment

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Collegial
    Opportunities to find a good mentor
    Varied case workload

    Cons

    Expectation to spend 3-5 years really hard and move onto MBA
    Promotion from within takes longer if no MBA is pursued

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Good career launching point. Success for junior staff is not your development - it's getting into a top grad school.

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work with really smart, intellectual people. Learn a lot about large commercial litigation and how to prepare an expert report. Most junior staff exit to go to great grad schools.

    Cons

    Not a large enough investment in developing junior staff skills. Senior staff can be petty and territorial. Management is more concerned with M&A activity (buying and selling consulting firms) than with the successful operations of the firm. As a public mid-size consulting firm, it tends to under-invest in its people and people processes, and management is generally short-sighted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go private and invest in your people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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