Booz Allen Hamilton - Unchallenging, Stifling, and Bureaucratic | Glassdoor
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Helpful (11)

"Unchallenging, Stifling, and Bureaucratic"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC
Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (More than a year)

Pros

Booz Allen's reputation is still very good, its c-suite level management team has a clear vision of where the company's best business opportunities lie, and understands what it takes to keep the company on a profitable course. I also believe that management (both upper and middle) is sincere in wanting to build a company that supports its employees and their professional growth.

Cons

Culture: BAH has a very conservative corporate culture, and this can mean that management and others are not straightforward - there is a lot of euphemism. When things go well, there is effusive praise and management engages in the best practice of calling it out. When things don't go well, no one will speak directly about it - and the words used are things like "opportunity" to make it sound positive.

Bureaucratic Organization: Since BAH sells into the federal government, they are organized to reflect federal government mindset on talent and personnel, which is preoccupied with over-specialization, and an emphasis on experience over talent or potential. This means that success is not really measured by results, but by what certifications one can say they have and what training courses you can put on your transcript. The focus on specialization further means that it is nearly impossible to move laterally - even as a low level employee. Entry level consultants are immediately branded and pigeon-holed with a particular specialty and market.

Bid Strategy: BAH has grown immensely fast over the last 20 years (until recently). To capture all this business, they have hired aggressively and moved into ever more areas of federal government business where at scale, they can generate profits. This means, though, that Booz is now engaged in mostly contracts that are long-range and don't involve very high-level, strategic, or challenging work. In this sense, they are putting butts in seats, rather than hiring the best and brightest and moving them around to challenging assignments.

Honestly, none of the people I knew at BAH who were impressive, smart, or effective stayed for much more than a year and a half. Its not a world class consulting company, its a well-reputed government contracting behemoth.

Advice to Management

Break apart barriers between teams and dis-incentivize the turf-based behavior of managers at the Senior Associate level. Create lateral opportunity for young employees and market these resources to the federal government with a more forward-looking mindset.

Other Employee Reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Network / Telecommunications Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Network/Telecommunications Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Network/Telecommunications Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -The benefits are 'top-shelf'. Great insurance package, generous 401K contribution program.
     - The opportunity to telecommute or "hotel".

    Cons

    I only know about the support-side, so I don't know how this applies to a client side consultant.
    - management is extremely hierarchical, it reminds me of the military. They are really heavy with mid-level mgmt, and in our area none of them like to make decisions. They will make their lower level mgrs give their recommendations, and if it goes well will take the credit for it, but if it goes bad they will punish the mgrs that advised them.
    - The IT support side is staffed really thinly, like everywhere else, so you may be the only one to support a system or program.
    - Frequent reorgs, we've had 7 reorgs in 5 years. Our CIO took over in October and no one has met him.
    -The annual assessment process is time-consuming and ineffective, it needs to be scrapped.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to your managers...especially your level 4s and 5s. Moral is not good and the fault lies with them.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Low-end starting pay, no sense of community for entry-level employees, little professional guidance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It can be cushy and comfortable - the hours are good, and the work tends to be slow and steady. The atmosphere is generally friendly and collaborative, and my colleagues seemed like nice people.

    Cons

    A pretty uninspired place where you can fall into comfortable mediocrity. At the junior level it wasn't apparent that there were mechanisms to recognize top performers over others. It was possible to coast by there doing little work and not learning much.

    Advice to Management

    Create more opportunities for mentorship, rapid learning and advancement for top-performing junior employees.

There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton
There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton

See Most Recent

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