Charles River Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

Charles River Associates Reviews

Updated November 2, 2017
148 reviews

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148 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/life balance is as good as it can be for consulting (in 13 reviews)

  • steep learning curve, plenty of opportunities for client interactions (even as a junior associate), working with very smart people (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Compensation is fine at first, but there's very little room for growth at the junior staff level, which is why most people leave after 2 years or so (in 17 reviews)

  • Long hours sometimes, but that's the nature of consulting (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Brilliant people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Fine for a first job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

  3. "Salary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Flexible work hours and location.

    Cons

    Difficult clients. Limited upside in pay.


  4. "Associate Consultant"

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

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time

    Pros

    Great team, although they have all left now. I enjoyed the rigorous work schedule and demanding projects -- very intellectually stimulating

    Cons

    This was not a good position once I had started a family.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Toxic! Stay away!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Associate in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A dysfunctional office of an otherwise decent consulting company. Some seniors are fun to hang around with.

    Cons

    Prepare to be cleaning data and doing menial work 24/7. Most analysts and associates can't wait to get into grad school and leave. It's just a BAD place to be - too small and effectively run by a single person that will micro-manage everything you touch.


  6. "CRA Internship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Analyst Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -The work can be very interesting and diverse
    -Wonderful collection of people working on the junior level
    -Compensation is excellent

    Cons

    -The VPs and Managers on the senior level can be difficult to work for at times
    -A lot of dry data cleaning and double-checking which can get old at times

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job of communicating with staff - this was my main complaint about the company throughout my entire internship.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Good gig, but serious drawbacks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time

    Pros

    You work with smart people on challenging issues. It's a very meritocratic system, which means you won't feel stuck/inert/bored for long and will progress quickly if you're talented and work hard.

    When you find a project manager/team you like, you'll develop some great relationships. I feel lucky to have encountered the people I regularly work with.

    This can be a great launchpad to grad school. Juniors generally move onto the best programs in their field of choice. Seniors will advise you and leverage their connections to help you reach your potential.

    Cons

    Work/life balance often does not exist. Even though most seniors recognize this, few are ready to sacrifice their own projects to address it.

    Corporate management has a very old school attitude, meaning they cost minimize all they can and allow for very few amenities. When hours get crazy, this just makes the work environment depressing.

    Advice to Management

    Make the bonus system more transparent. Add amenities. Either address the lack of work/life balance or your concern will seem disingenuous. Stay more current with developments for handling big data.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "work in consulting without being on the road each week"

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

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

    Pros

    academic nature; every project is different

    Cons

    same as any client services job...at the beck and call...


  9. "Analyst"

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

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

    Pros

    Access to senior staff; independence; high-profile clients and cases; casual work environment; flexibility to work from home if needed

    Cons

    Consulting hours; staffing in projects is based on your relationship with VPs


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Work at CRA"

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

    Pros

    You are in charge of making sure you have enough work

    Cons

    You will always have enough work...


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