Charles River Associates

  www.crai.com
  www.crai.com
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Charles River Associates Reviews

Updated September 12, 2014
Updated September 12, 2014
77 Reviews
3.3
77 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Charles River Associates President Paul Maleh
Paul Maleh
29 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • If you want good work-life balance, it's not a bad place to work at (in 8 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Not a large enough investment in developing junior staff skills (in 9 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    CRA International is a sinking ship - Titanic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Principal  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate Principal in New York, NY

    I have been working at Charles River Associates

    Pros

    I thought the strong academics from Harvard, MIT and a bench of PhDs will be a great team to work with as far as learning opportuities, team work, and working on exciting litigation consulting engagements

    Cons

    The senior management in Boston and New York have no clue or strategic direction. Although the firm boost their professional image and mutual respect for employees and management, in reality the management have no respect ofr the talent and abilities of the employess unless you are a VP who can bring in the money as a rainmaker. The motto seem to be 'mik' the existing clients for the money rather than building long term relationships.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too little too late. The company have no respect for emplyess below VP level and no strategi direction

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    a great place to start your career

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates

    Pros

    Great down-to-earth managers and coworkers. One of only a few consulting companies where one can work across three very different groups - finance, business consulting, and litigation - and across a wide array of industries. The company also has a great policy of comp-time for analyst, which gives you vacation or over-time pay for every hour you work above 45 hours each week. And in general, the firm offers a great work/life balance for a consulting place. After a few years, most of the analysts get accepted to top MBA programs.

    Cons

    Not as well known and recognized as other consulting companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep on the good work.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not your average consulting firm

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates

    Pros

    The people are among the brightest and most friendly you will encounter in any corporate setting. The environment is also very collegial and laid back.

    Cons

    Many senior staff lack the interpersonal or team managment skills necessary to lead people.
    The pay is not as competitive as other economic consulting firms. The firm has grown too big too fast and has not invested as much in its main assets which are it's people. No firm culture exist to train employees or managers at any level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop firm culture. Invest more in employees at all levels. Implement a fair and unbiased system to allocate project work across junior staff.

    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great people; bad company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Charles River Associates

    Pros

    Great people at the lower levels. Some amount of professional development opportunities do exist (they pay 90% of educational expenses up to $5,250 per year). CRA gives employees lots of responsibility early on in their careers.

    Cons

    Horrendous management team. They just decided to outsource the positions of receptionist and office manager for an incredibly small cost savings. Both had been working here for over five years. All because revenue growth is non-existant and vice presidents are too comfortable in their positions to bring in enough business. The business is extremely Boston-centric (where headquarters is located). Some of the vice presidents in my office are bitter about this and we frequently wonder if they bring in less business as a way to spite management. In short, this company is going to have a tough time with organic growth going forward.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have some common sense.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good stepping stone, but little long term-potential for bright undergrads

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate  in  Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in Pasadena, CA

    I have been working at Charles River Associates

    Pros

    Build up quant skills, and billing model allows for flexibility in work-life balance. Good primer for how to work in a professional consulting firm, and decent training in Excel, Powerpoint, SAS. Great connections with faculty at leading business schools.

    Cons

    Driven by billing model (bill as many hours as you can) rather than doing high-value work. Many tasks were encouraged to be done in a tedious manner rather than spending the time to develop a scalable, elegant solution (which earns less for the company).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out how to market the satellite offices better, as the talent at other firms is no better yet they have many more relationships.

    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Very analytical, interesting work, management is not great.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consulting Associate  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Consulting Associate in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    The work is very challenging and interesting, and if you get the right managers you get a lot of responsibility and independence very quickly. Pay is very good.

    Cons

    Some long work weeks, and the management of the company is not great. Economists should not be running the business, business people should! Sometimes frustrating if you are in a non-Boston office since the company is extremely Boston centric.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out a way to treat people in smaller non-Boston offices more fairly. Provide more opportunities for cross-office collaboration.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Consulting practice, Charles River Associates

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Very bright and talented people
    Great culture - easy to approach partners and senior management
    interesting projects
    Great mix of industry and consulting hires
    Strong in Chemicals and Petroleum

    Cons

    High staff turnover since winding down of ME office, and acquisition of Marakon
    Formal training doesn't really match that of its peers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Okay overall, but depends a lot on office/practice

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

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

    Pros

    Smart people, generally flexible hours, mostly great office environment/culture. For junior staff, good place to get some experience before graduate school.

    Cons

    If you get stuck in a bad practice, your experience will be miserable. Most managers are nice but some are terrible do not respect your abilities or personal time. Despite what they say, strong advancement without a Ph.D. (MBA okay in some practices) is very, very difficult. Senior management does not value junior staff and treats them accordingly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Good experience, but on it's last legs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time

    Pros

    Good experience, good work/life balance, good people.

    Cons

    Poor management from the US, no strategy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    An Excellent Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accountant  in  Manama (Bahrain)
    Former Employee - Accountant in Manama (Bahrain)

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

    Pros

    Encourages Staff Development
    Tution Aid
    Cosmopolitan Staff
    Excellent Management
    Market leader in the consultany industry

    Cons

    Downsizing after the financial crisis in the US
    Job Security is falling

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Excellent Work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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