Charles River Associates Reviews in Boston, MA | Glassdoor

Charles River Associates Boston Reviews

Updated March 14, 2017
40 reviews

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Boston, MA Area

4.0
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Charles River Associates President Paul Maleh
Paul Maleh
23 Ratings

40 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/life balance is as good as it can be for consulting (in 12 reviews)

  • steep learning curve, plenty of opportunities for client interactions (even as a junior associate), working with very smart people (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • A lot of the senior level staff are not interested in the personal growth of the junior staff and only focus on the present work they need to get done (in 16 reviews)

  • Long hours sometimes, but that's the nature of consulting (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart, nice people. Challenging and interesting work. Great benefits. Lots of training opportunities.

    Cons

    My practice had great hours but some of the other practices have a very heavy workload. Also, they could take steps to have a more diverse office. Not a lot of mid-level opportunities to advance. A lot of younger employees leave after a few years to go to school or take on other opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Create more mid-level opportunities for people to stay long term out of school.


  2. "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Professional expectations, high analytical development, keep career outlook

    Cons

    Hours can be difficult, pressure to deliver can be intense

  3. "Well Run, En Route to a Dynamic Culture, Invests in Development of Employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to learn and grow.
    Office space is breathtaking and a great environment to work in.
    The people- the hires here are dynamic and engaging and nice and genuine.
    Culture offers many things such as a volunteer and social committees that promote workplace interaction and serving the communities.

    Cons

    Work/life balance can be better but it's not over the top. There needs to be communication by the higher ups and transparency to fully cooperate in order to divide up workloads.

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing and developing your employees- showcase different practices and departments at meetings.


  4. "Love working here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consulting Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Consulting Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    CRA has a wonderful, friendly culture. Intellectual, down-to-earth and helpful on projects. We have a great atmosphere and career opportunities galore.

    Cons

    One of the downsides of project-based, deadline oriented work is that sometimes you lose a weekend or evening to the job. But this is not unreasonable, and common in the industry, from what I've heard. I will say that CRA doesn't regularly require late nights and weekend work.

    Advice to Management

    You're doing a great job with the transparency, but I have to wonder: if CRA's financial performance is so outstanding, quarter after quarter, when will it trickle down? I remember when we decided as a company to forego bonuses for a couple years during the downturn. Now that things are booming, I'm really hoping this year to see some financial reward sharing.


  5. "Good place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consulting Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Consulting Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good, flat culture. Senior staff are generally accessible. Junior staff collaborate and help each other out

    Cons

    no clear career path. Promotions are sometimes up to the whims of 1-2 top managers, and not necessarily tied to performance

    Advice to Management

    aim for more transparency, and reward hard-working employees


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to start a career, get out quick"

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

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

    Pros

    There is a very vibrant community of junior staffers who are a joy to work with. Most of the senior people are brilliant and great to work with as well. Great platform to get solid training in data analysis, statistics, and client-service business. Great if you want to go into law.

    Cons

    Some managers can be micro-managers. There is not much room for advancement once you climb the learning curve in some practices, since advancement requires a Ph D in most cases.


  7. "Highly motivated independent workers only"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities for people who are willing to put in the time and the effort. Opportunity to learn data analysis skills. Client contact reserved for experienced and professional associates.

    Cons

    Very little investment in you on the part of the senior staff. Managers can just stop working with you and work with someone else if they don't like you which creates a very stressful environment. The work can be very interesting but also very boring and the better work tends to go to the more experienced junior staff. Very poor management on the part of senior staff who are definitely economists and not MBAs.

    Advice to Management

    Create a feedback mechanism for junior staff to review their managers. Only one manager has asked for feedback from me and unsurprisingly she was the best manager I've had here. The lack of such a feedback mechanism means that bad managers don't improve.

    Charles River Associates Response

    Mar 14, 2016 – Recruiting Specialist

    Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I am glad to hear that you have been able to enhance your data analysis skills as CRA. Feedback is vital to the growth and development of all ... More

  8. "Intellectually stimulating for the curious"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    reasonable diversity of work. Limited use of "canned" approaches meaning the team must develop specific approaches to projects. Most projects do not involve heavy travel.

    Cons

    Some VP / PM are too involved (micromanage), some too hands off until the end (fire drill), some get it right. Need to figure out which type you are working with. Has become somewhat bureaucratic over time.

    Advice to Management

    Stop falling back on "public company" excuse for excessive bureascracy


  9. "Brilliant people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beverly, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beverly, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The quality of people they hire is exceptional.
    The employee is the product, knowledge capital, and a very good reason why the employees are treated with respect and appreciated.
    Constantly new and diverse projects.
    A healthy balance between college grads and seasoned veterans.

    Cons

    There are times the various disciplines do not communicate well between one another. This is a cultural shift that is taking place

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what your doing.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Fine for a first job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Not many. The pay is okay and the people are okay. If you want to go to a top business school it's a great way to get there.

    Cons

    The work is boring, the culture is average, there is little room for growth aside from the set track. You won't learn much that you can apply outside economic consulting. No diversity.

    Advice to Management

    Spice the place up. Hire more interesting people. Tell the senior staff to give the junior staff more opportunity to growth. It's pretty obvious that none of the senior staff really care about the junior staff plans for future unless they want to go to business school.


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