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Helpful (2)

Great company, but poor outlook given government funding

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

I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (More than a year)

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Pros

Prestigious company within the federal government sphere; always receive an "oh nice!" when I mention where I work. Good benefits.

Cons

Lack of connectedness; spend all the time with the client, you almost feel more like the client's employee; projects are harder to come by nowadays and the company is less willing to let you sit on the beach for extended periods of time.

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  1. Helpful (7)

    Should have been better

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

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Booz Allen has a decent enough reputation in the federal consulting space and is thought of more for strategy consulting. The capability areas are delineated well meaning a person can work on projects that are aligned with their capability (strategy, technology, analytics).

    You'll work with a very diverse group of people, some coming through the standard college route, some as former federal employees, and others coming after military service. Many of them will be great.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, Booz Allen Hamilton has determined that it would rather begin to operate as a federal job shop. That is, you're only valuable to the contract for which you can fulfill a specific role. This isn't consulting and unfortunately, Booz Allen is following Federal money like Accenture and Deloitte Consulting in their Washington DC/Arlington, VA offices (the majority of their Federal consulting employees do not perform the type of work common to consulting staff in the rest of the firm) and performing staff augmentation work (not why most prospective consultants come to the industry). Additionally, the well delineated areas also means employees can be prevented from getting on new projects when there is less work within one capability vs. others even when previous work experience makes an employee the ideal candidate.

    The diversity of the workforce comes with a caveat. You'll meet many people because so many leave regularly or are given "Lack of Work" letters. Several people in my own reporting chain left within my first month at the firm. As with those after me, the firm had been on a hiring tear bringing in more personnel than it could do anything with. As a result, your first project with the firm could very well be your last. Unfortunately, the firm lost several of its largest contracts late in 2012 leaving much of its staff to scramble for work as the majority of the firm's work requires high level Federal security clearances (perfect for people with previous federal work experience or military service) or high travel (if you aren't paid exceedingly well and have responsibilities, perhaps a family, you'll have a difficult time traveling).

    Another problem with the firm lies in the importance of the personal network that is needed in the firm to find projects. The only formal process for getting new projects is reliant on the efforts of Senior Associates who are ultimately dictated to by Principles. As a result, new employees will have little influence in the process and can find themselves on the way out very soon.

    Pay is not great. Unfortunately, this is the result of two things. First, the firm's hiring pool is inflated by two groups who are not typical of consulting (I listed three above) - simple understanding of economics there. Second, staff augmentation work in the current Federal environment now almost always requires a "low bid" to win. As a result, the firm low-balls offers with a take it or leave it approach until they find someone dumb or desperate enough to take them with the anticipation that the cost of each person put on a contract will satisfy the profitability margins required by the board and partners. As a result, many people hope to leave for greener pastures making many people indifferent about the firm.

    Advice to Management

    Decide if Booz Allen Hamilton is a Federal staffing firm or a true consulting firm. Many educated people will continue to rank the firm well below the other heavyweights in the industry leaving Booz Allen to work with whomever is left. That's not a proactive competitive position.


  2. A contractor with the right mix of supervision and independence

    Current Employee - Executive Search Research in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Executive Search Research in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As a contractor, I have supervisors who trusted me to get the work done but who also are available to assist me with problems/issues I encounter.

    Cons

    As a remote-working contractor, it isn't easy to know what is going on behind the scenes and what work to expect to come my way.


There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton
There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton

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