Charles River Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

Charles River Associates Reviews

Updated July 28, 2018
186 reviews

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4.3
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Charles River Associates President Paul Maleh
Paul Maleh
95 Ratings

186 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "work life balance is also better than typical consulting firms" (in 23 reviews)

  • "Executives in the company understand the importance of sharing their knowledge and time with our junior staff and new comers" (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • "VP's tend to cling to certain junior staff, limiting future opportunities" (in 19 reviews)

  • "Work life balance can be an issue" (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The work at CRA is very interesting as an analyst. I get to work on projects that span various different industries. The work is very rigorous and intellectually stimulating.

    Cons

    No cons come to mind right now. I suppose that at times the work can be kind of repetitive, but that comes with Economic consulting.


  2. "Rich learning environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    CRA provides a rich learning environment in which junior staff learn about a wide variety of industries. I feel like I am constantly faced with intellectually challenging and interesting problems. Seniors have an open-door policy and are incredibly willing to engage in discussions with juniors and encourage juniors to ask any and all questions.

    Cons

    Sometimes work can get really busy. There is compensation and some nice benefits during overtime, but I think they are not sufficient.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more staff to prevent existing staff from being overworked and burning out.

  3. "Associate"

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

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

    Pros

    Great people and excellent work environment.

    Cons

    Little interaction with other practices / departments.


  4. "Associate Principal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Principal in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Principal in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Intellectual, fun, and collaborative colleagues, minimal politics/red tape, work/life balance, culture for a long-term relationship, opportunities to grow field-specific expertise and cross-disciplinary knowledge

    Cons

    Raise and bonus can be improved

    Advice to Management

    Retain intellectual human capital even during the economic downturn, because the consulting business is a people business. Cannot afford to lose the talents.


  5. "Interesting Work, Lack of Clarity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on different, interesting projects.

    Cons

    No clarity as to "what's next" in terms of project work.


  6. "Associate"

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

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

    Pros

    Great work-life balance, close-knit teams, endless opportunities to grow

    Cons

    Bonus and raises should be improved.

    Advice to Management

    Make the bonus and raise structure more transparent and use it to motivate employees. Right now, it feel like its just a random, and usually low, number that does not reflect the amount of effort junior staff puts in.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Associate"

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

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

    Pros

    - Great brand name in the economic consulting field
    - The offices are very modern
    - A lot of office activities - happy hours, kickball, baseball games, summer boat ride

    Cons

    - "Organized mess" aptly describes the company work culture
    - For a company so big, there is no staffer. A junior staff is asked to staff other junior staffers, So, there are times when a fraction of the junior staff has way too much work while the others are just sitting around waiting for work
    - The junior staff is expected to work late and on weekends but there is really no financial incentive to do so. Additionally, the work is really crappy when we have to stay late or work over the weekends - so no learning is happening either.
    - The junior staff morale is at a low and it just keeps getting worse day by day when the senior staff expect you to put in 60-80 hours per week. (we are only paid for 40).
    - The bonuses are very stingy. CRA markets their base salary as lower than comparable econ consulting firms with the premise that they pay bonuses. But bonuses in the company are extremely stingy.

    Advice to Management

    The junior staff are not robots. Place an emphasis on their growth and development. Provide them financial incentives and rewards for their hard work.
    If you expect them to work 80 hours a week, compensate accordingly.

    The bonus is calculated on the sum of how many hours I have billed to projects in the entire year. However, if there are 3 weeks where I work very hard and then have one week where there is no work, my hours will average out and my bonus doesn't reflect that.

  8. "Supportive environment with smart, talented colleagues"

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

    - If you're on the corporate side, CRA is an entrepreneurial environment where you get to wear many different hats.

    -Creativity is encouraged. Thinking outside the box will get you noticed here.

    -Senior management embraces teaming up with junior team members. They genuinely encourage professional growth and open doors for more responsibility.

    - We have a great reputation in the industry because of the values of our leadership.

    Cons

    -The corporate departments are small and still evolving. If constant changing priorities and lack of structure are challenging for you, CRA may not be the right fit.

    Advice to Management

    Continue investing in corporate trainings and opportunities. It's working!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Best Place to work at!

    Cons

    No cons, best place to work!

    Advice to Management

    Perfect Place, nice environment


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place to Work"

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

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time

    Pros

    Values, Culture, Peers, Salary, Healthcare, 401k

    Cons

    None come to mind now


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