Charles River Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

Charles River Associates Reviews

Updated Jun 25, 2019

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Found 224 reviews

4.5
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
93%
Recommend to a Friend
99%
Approve of CEO
Charles River Associates CEO Paul Maleh
Paul Maleh
120 Ratings
Pros
  • "work life balance is also better than typical consulting firms(in 28 reviews)

  • "Junior staff members are not over-staffed on projects(in 19 reviews)

Cons
  • "Long hours and stressful deadlines(in 24 reviews)

  • "The hiring model for junior staff is largely based on hiring directly out of undergrad(in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review

    "Great firm"

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

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

    Pros

    The people! Everyone says that about their own company, but truly the people at CRA are great. Everyone cares about looking after each other, delivering a great work product, and continuous improvement. Compensation is decent- salaries are at market rate or slightly below, but the bonuses are generous if you work hard. The internal infrastructure is solid allowing you to focus on the most interesting part of the job (the...

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    Cons

    As is typical of consulting firms, the hours can be long and unpredictable.

    Charles River Associates2019-04-15
  2. "Excellent place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Princeton, NJ
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Great bosses and colleagues. The projects were very interesting at the time.

    Cons

    Well, when the work ballooned we could not hire enough associates as quickly as we needed. But the problem was solved.

    Charles River Associates2019-06-05
  3. "CRA is a great place to learn and to grow in a supportive collegial environment"

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

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

    Pros

    Projects are exciting and diverse, ranging from small to large pharma. The work is fast paced and dynamic. Colleagues are smart and motivated and willing to share their knowledge. The Practice operates as an apprenticeship model so your colleagues teach you what you need to do and information is constantly circulating. We also have specialized training that you receive to learn about consulting and certain more specialized...

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    Cons

    As a Senior Associate, the apprenticeship model can work a bit against you on the project management aspect. You have to learn a lot of the administrative components on your own and bug senior people to teach you the best way to manage this aspect. Also since we have a multi-project model it can make it a little complicated to take vacation time, you can't always plan in advance.

    Charles River Associates2019-06-14
  4. "It Depends"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people are great, generally very supportive and friendly. If junior staffers find one or two senior staff that they can build a strong relationship with, it will open many doors (including some exciting professional opportunities)! At its best, working for CRA is an ideal first job for someone with an economics and quantitative background who is still debating their long-term career plans. It can be a great opportunity...

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    Cons

    A junior staffer's experience is entirely dependent on the practice group, and sometimes also on the office location and specific project teams. For example, some practices (i.e., Energy, Life Sciences) generally offer opportunities for significant professional growth, advancement within the firm, client interaction, and significant ownership of project work - all while building industry-specific expertise and maintaining...

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    Advice to Management

    Some practices should reconsider treating junior staff as temporary help, and instead actually invest in creating an environment where junior staff want to stay longer than 1-2 years. Change the incentive and compensation structures. Promote mental health and true work-life balance. Offer guidance and real opportunities to junior staffers seeking advancement and greater responsibilities.

    Charles River Associates2019-05-17
  5. "Life Science Consulting with Great Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior 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

    Great Work/Life Balance Interesting Projects that cover a large range of topics

    Cons

    Compensation is a bit below market rate

    Advice to Management

    Increase compensation to improve retention

    Charles River Associates2019-04-05
  6. "Great Economics Consulting Firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

      I worked at Charles River Associates full-time

      Pros

      Very supportive manager, highest quality output, excellent reputation

      Cons

      None to firm. Work is demanding though.

      Charles River Associates2019-03-30
    • "Company Overview"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      Approves of CEO

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

      Pros

      The people who work at CRA are generally all extremely nice, intelligent and respectful individuals. It is a fun work environment where everyone is trying to better themselves and each other. Senior level employees appreciate the work performed by lower level staff.

      Cons

      Sometimes work can be demanding but I feel that is generally pretty standard for consulting firms.

      Charles River Associates2019-04-08
    • "Good place"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Former Employee - Engineer 
      Recommends
      Neutral Outlook
      No opinion of CEO

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

      Pros

      great staff to work with

      Cons

      limited mobility to move around the organization

      Advice to Management

      be open to feedback from those in the trenches

      Charles River Associates2019-04-04
    • Helpful (1)

      "Some great folks, some not so great"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Former Employee - Associate in Oakland, CA
      Doesn't Recommend
      Neutral Outlook
      No opinion of CEO

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

      Pros

      Loved working with some of the teams here. You really get exposed to extremely bright folks that definitely want to invest in you.

      Cons

      You can get stuck working with partners/principals who seem to enjoy bringing people down on an almost regular basis, unless you somehow get into their elusive inner circle. Since getting assigned to projects is essentially random, you'll either love the folks you work with or will have to deal with someone who is uninterested in investing in you or worse, just on the edge of sadistic. Gives some vibes of academia, if...

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      Advice to Management

      Some folks may bring in a lot of clients, but likely drive talent away. Please rethink the dimensions you are optimizing on.

      Charles River Associates2019-03-30
    • Helpful (1)

      "Excellent exit opportunities but not a great job"

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

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

      Pros

      - Excellent exit opportunities - The junior staff is great

      Cons

      - Conditions for junior staff in the office location that I work in have been grim (at least 5 out of the 12 junior employees are planning to leave the firm in the summer of 2019) - Pay is very stingy and bonuses are extremely pathetic - The senior staff (employees with PhDs) is sometimes rude, too demanding, or even manipulative - There is no incentive to work late or weekends but you are expected to do it - The...

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      Advice to Management

      Invest in the compensation for junior staff - pay up to industry standards if you want to hire the best talent. Invest in staffing - there are days when I have no work until 5 pm and way too much work after 5 pm so I end up working until 2 am.

      Charles River Associates2019-03-26
    Found 224 reviews