Booz Allen Hamilton - Overall my experience at Booz Allen has been good. | Glassdoor
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Helpful (2)

"Overall my experience at Booz Allen has been good."

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Associate III in San Antonio, TX
Current Employee - Associate III in San Antonio, TX
Recommends
Approves of CEO

I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (More than 3 years)

Pros

Overall my experience at Booz Allen has been good. I work on a distributed Team and therefore I don't have to deal with the office politics and office work environment that others may have. Your work experience at Booz Allen depends on who you work for and your specific client assignment. Mine have been mostly good; so I have been generally happy with my work experience at Booz Allen and have learned from it.

Cons

My pay has been good, but as Federal contract work has become difficult to win, there has been a tightening up of salary increases, benefits (401k program being reduced) and other nickel and dime issues such as getting office supplies approved or travel reimbursements have more nit-picky questions from audit. Part of this may also be from the firm going public in 2010 and ongoing pressures on management for profitability. Probably 80% of Booz Allen's work is Federal contracts. So a reduction in this market area going forward will be issue for the firm for the foreseeable future until it can transition to other growing markets in the private sector or internationally.

Federal clients can at times be great to work with, and at other times, not so much. There is a lot of uncertainty within the Federal government now, which makes getting direction from Federal clients difficult, especially for long-term planning or commitments.

Several reviewers have described Booz Allen as having essentially moved to a staff augmentation firm or "butts-in-seat" vendor, rather than a true consulting firm. I would agree that a large bulk of the work that BAH now does is that type of work, but they also still do some high quality consulting work. A portion of my work could be described as staff augmentation and that has been ok for this period in my life as I have found it a little less stressful and easier work at times than full-time consulting work. It's just important for potential applicants to understand the type of assignment they would be working and give some thought whether you want to do that work and would grow from it career wise before jumping in.

Other Employee Reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton

  1. Helpful (9)

    "Should have been better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in McLean, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time

    Pros

    Booz Allen has a decent enough reputation in the federal consulting space and is thought of more for strategy consulting. The capability areas are delineated well meaning a person can work on projects that are aligned with their capability (strategy, technology, analytics).

    You'll work with a very diverse group of people, some coming through the standard college route, some as former federal employees, and others coming after military service. Many of them will be great.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, Booz Allen Hamilton has determined that it would rather begin to operate as a federal job shop. That is, you're only valuable to the contract for which you can fulfill a specific role. This isn't consulting and unfortunately, Booz Allen is following Federal money like Accenture and Deloitte Consulting in their Washington DC/Arlington, VA offices (the majority of their Federal consulting employees do not perform the type of work common to consulting staff in the rest of the firm) and performing staff augmentation work (not why most prospective consultants come to the industry). Additionally, the well delineated areas also means employees can be prevented from getting on new projects when there is less work within one capability vs. others even when previous work experience makes an employee the ideal candidate.

    The diversity of the workforce comes with a caveat. You'll meet many people because so many leave regularly or are given "Lack of Work" letters. Several people in my own reporting chain left within my first month at the firm. As with those after me, the firm had been on a hiring tear bringing in more personnel than it could do anything with. As a result, your first project with the firm could very well be your last. Unfortunately, the firm lost several of its largest contracts late in 2012 leaving much of its staff to scramble for work as the majority of the firm's work requires high level Federal security clearances (perfect for people with previous federal work experience or military service) or high travel (if you aren't paid exceedingly well and have responsibilities, perhaps a family, you'll have a difficult time traveling).

    Another problem with the firm lies in the importance of the personal network that is needed in the firm to find projects. The only formal process for getting new projects is reliant on the efforts of Senior Associates who are ultimately dictated to by Principles. As a result, new employees will have little influence in the process and can find themselves on the way out very soon.

    Pay is not great. Unfortunately, this is the result of two things. First, the firm's hiring pool is inflated by two groups who are not typical of consulting (I listed three above) - simple understanding of economics there. Second, staff augmentation work in the current Federal environment now almost always requires a "low bid" to win. As a result, the firm low-balls offers with a take it or leave it approach until they find someone dumb or desperate enough to take them with the anticipation that the cost of each person put on a contract will satisfy the profitability margins required by the board and partners. As a result, many people hope to leave for greener pastures making many people indifferent about the firm.

    Advice to Management

    Decide if Booz Allen Hamilton is a Federal staffing firm or a true consulting firm. Many educated people will continue to rank the firm well below the other heavyweights in the industry leaving Booz Allen to work with whomever is left. That's not a proactive competitive position.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great clients, extremely low wages"

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

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great client work and opportunity to work on cool deliverables.

    Cons

    Extremely low salary which does not match level of effort you are expected to contribute. The performance review process is ridiculous, tedious, and subjective.

    Advice to Management

    Pay staff what they deserve and streamline performance review process.

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

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