Charles River Associates Reviews

Updated Jun 23, 2020

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4.6
97%
Recommend to a Friend
99%
Approve of CEO
Charles River Associates President Paul Maleh
Paul Maleh
147 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Occasionally long hours (of course this is the case in most consulting firms)(in 26 reviews)

  • "Sometimes unpredictable hours, limit opportunity for junior staff to travel(in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review

    "Everything I could have wanted in a job; great people, great challenges, great opportunities"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    People, work environment, professional development, energy, commitment, support, flexibility, empowerment, transferable skills, growth, challenge/opportunity

    Cons

    sometimes the hours are long, but that is consulting; the people make it bearable!

  2. "Great time in the energy practice; smart and funny colleagues, important and interesting work"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Interesting work, smart and friendly people and supervisors, and good overall culture (speaking for energy practice only)

    Cons

    Work can get busy at times

  3. "Associate"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people are great, and the work is meaningful. There is a terrific culture.

    Cons

    The pay is lower than industry average.

  4. Helpful (1)

    "Good pay, nice office, not a great company culture"

    3.0
    Former Employee - Project Manager 
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    My time with CRA was brief. I enjoyed the work that I did and got along well with my team.

    Cons

    The company (or at least the office I was in) had issues with diversity. There were very few African-Americans in high paying positions. I heard someone speaking down to a black gentleman my first day and regret not saying anything about it. I was also surprised sometimes by the lack of organization there considering their reputation. The impression I got was that for minorities, getting ahead at CRA is an uphill battle.

    Charles River Associates Response

    June 10, 2020

    Thank you for providing us with your feedback. We are sorry you have this impression of CRA, as we do not think it is representative of our values nor the broader CRA experience of our colleagues. More specifically, it is never acceptable to speak disrespectfully to a colleague. We encourage our colleagues to speak to their manager or Human Capital should such situations occur so that we can address and take the proper remediation steps. Although you note that you are no longer with CRA and your time with us was brief, I would be happy to speak with you further if you’d like to contact me directly. -- Jen Kordell, CHRO

  5. "Great Place to Work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Principal 
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    My colleagues at CRA are terrific and a real highlight of the job. The company affords a nice work life balance and seems highly invested in nurturing individual career development

    Cons

    Compensation is rather opaque and expectations/incentives around compensation are unclear

  6. "great for someone looking for long-term career growth"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Principal in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    supportive colleagues and bosses; mass exposure to high-profile cases

    Cons

    unpredictable working hours; occasional late nights

  7. "Successful firm with intellectual colleagues"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Communications Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -From day one, you're given lots of responsibility, which allows you to learn and grow quite quickly -Ample opportunity to work with colleagues from across the firm (both on the consulting and corporate side) -You have freedom at CRA - there are few barriers should you want to explore your personal areas of interest -Surrounded by smart, multi-talented, and supportive colleagues from around the globe -Good work/life balance as well as fun social/extracurricular events

    Cons

    Corporate staff could be given more visibility/recognition. Also, corporate departments are small and still evolving - as a result, there are sometimes competing/shifting priorities. Personally, however, I've found this allows for leadership and creativity outside of pre-determined roles.

    Continue reading
  8. "Good first job out of college"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I worked at CRA in Oakland for 3 years and have been at a different job for 1 year now. It was hard to appreciate the many benefits of my experience at CRA until realizing that it taught me valuable skills that now make me a high performer at my current job. Working at CRA honed my attention to detail and writing skills. I can now write a detailed 10-page data memo (with footnotes and plots!) in just a couple of days. It taught me time management and how to speak up and voice my opinion (and ask questions) during meetings with seniors. Every Oakland senior staffer really likes teaching at heart - so they are always willing to hear your thoughts and questions and walk you through the economic theory and how they think about engaging with the client. The other junior staffers were also amazing co-workers that I still keep in touch with and we always supported each other. The work itself was pretty interesting and when working with the DOJ or FTC you often felt like you were on the side of "good." The economic experts at CRA Oakland hold themselves to a high standard and are not willing to sign a report that they do not themselves agree with - which also means that you can trust that the work you are doing isn't BS. CRA is willing to invest in their junior staff. Many of CRAs junior staff go on to grad school afterwards, and it's something they encourage and the seniors will often help you as much as they can. Office staff is amazing. The office manager in Oakland is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and she truly cares about making CRA a fun and welcoming place to work for everybody.

    Cons

    Long (~60 hrs/week) and often unpredictable hours are the norm, and you're pretty much always expected to work on weekends. In the bay area weekend work is pretty common and I pretty much do at least some work every weekend now, but unlike CRA it's not required and it's fun stuff that I want to do. Base pay is pretty low for the bay area - the quarterly and yearly bonuses are what bring compensation up to the bay area average. Bonuses are mostly tied to billable hours which are often out of your control as an analyst. It's often a high-stress job with tight deadlines. There were a handful of experiences I can think of where emotions ran high and people weren't always acting with the highest level of professionalism.

    Continue reading
  9. "17+ years of software development experience. Software Architect. Microsoft stack C#."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Work / Life Balance, Culture & Values

    Cons

    Career Opportunities, Compensations, NA , NA

  10. "Good Work Environment"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good benefits and a great culture

    Cons

    Not much help in terms of paying for additional study

Found 259 reviews