Booz Allen Hamilton

  www.boozallen.com
  www.boozallen.com

Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews

Updated 18 November 2014
Updated 18 November 2014
2,219 Reviews
3.3
2,219 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Shrader
Ralph W. Shrader
1,338 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is generally pretty good but also depends on the client you support (in 294 reviews)

  • High opportunity ceiling; great benefits; worthwhile challenges; ability to influence work that matters (in 105 reviews)


Cons
  • The Work Life Balance that it promises is often not the reality (in 112 reviews)

  • It is not uncommon for a person to be hired and then let go in a few months for "lack of work" (in 47 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    work life balance
    interesting client work

    Cons

    poor pay condition
    too much travel

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Senior Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in London, England
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in London, England

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Get experience in Strategic Consulting
    Meet executives in various industries
    Learn how to work in teams with high-level consultants
    Create strong connections with peers

    Cons

    Long working hours
    High-pressured job
    Travels outside town and very often
    Exhaustive and stressful
    Difficult to enter and stay
    Limited choice of clients and area of expertise

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen more to consultants to try to improve work-life balance

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best years of my business career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Partner in London, England
    Former Employee - Partner in London, England

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    Highly professional environment
    Some of the brightest people on the planet
    Excellent teamwork
    Lifelong associations and friendships

    Cons

    High pressure for performance
    Heavy travel in the early years

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management has done an outstanding job of growing the company. Keep it up.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    short opinion

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    prestigious firm, international, world-wide, great opportunity

    Cons

    travelling, long working hours, competitive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you can only grow as big as your staff

    No opinion of CEO
  6. 27 people found this helpful  

    Working for Booz PRE-Carlyle Buy-Out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    You felt like you were one of the elite; working for one of the best companies in the market, a company that was very selective about who it hired. The compensation was fair. The benefits were awesome - especially the 401K and training. Leadership knew you and you knew leadership. Career development was the mantra for taking care of staff. The annual assessments were constructive and critical; there might be some hard pills to swallow in the debrief but the information was typically spot-on and was meant to help you grow as a professional.

    Cons

    Seemed as if climbing the ladder above Senior Associate required someone to retire, die, and/or have testicles - and it required breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings on a regular basis to "socialize" your career progression. Many of the social events included drinking or golf - what if you didn't like those? They did have a part time track for work-life balance, but that usually meant earning 75% of your prior pay for the ability to answer emails and requests from home and your workload didn't seem to diminish. I fault the very senior leadership for selling out to Carlyle and ruining what had been a great company. Principals and Senior Associates asked if they could buy company stock to help raise money for the "Booz & Company" folks who wanted out of Booz Allen Hamilton and we were told NO. Bad decision.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    From what I hear, Booz is now just another Beltway Bandit. P&L are taking precedence over quality deliver and quality staff care because the "P" is expected to be much larger than it had been in the past. To regain the reputation of old, refocus on staff care and quality delivery. Lose the multiple layers of management and "bean counting" that takes staff away from client delivery.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 21 people found this helpful  

    The Titanic of the DC Metro Area

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Technologist in Herndon, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Lead Technologist in Herndon, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    - Big, shiny object on your resume
    - Lots of firm-wide emails meant to boost your morale about the latest benefit cut
    - Hoteling implementation has led to lots of Working From Home (avoiding the treacherous DC area commute)
    - Still buys out Kings Dominion once a year for Employee Appreciation Day (amazingly this perk has outlived quality health care plans)

    Cons

    - A sinking giant in Federal "Consulting" in full cost-cutting mode after recent IPO. The stock is doing well b/c the employees aren't.
    - Extremely poor raises (promotion and non-promotion) in the last 2+ years
    - Reduction of once amazing 401k program to slightly above average 401k program
    - Change to all high deductible health plans (with super high premiums) and emails from management about how this is a good thing
    - Switched to the full Federal holiday schedule which resulted in zero floating holidays (was 2), no Black Friday holiday, and a reduction in PTO.
    - Ability to switch projects not on par with other true consulting firms (lots of boring staff augmentation type roles with little mobility)
    - Top talent leaving the firm to work at better places.
    - Changes structure/organization/quirky catch phrase ALL the time - seriously why even try any more?
    - All of the above is resulting in the firm losing its prestige and sinking QUICKLY. Booz Allen used to be a very respected place to to build your career, now its just...a place to work until you find something else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the company now and cash out while you can - this sucker is going down with you "titans of industry" at the wheel!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 11 people found this helpful  

    Smart People, but an Erosion of Culture and Benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Associate in McLean, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Lead Associate in McLean, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    The firm has a lot of very smart people, and is very friendly to scientists and veterans. They have a large footprint across the federal government, so there are a good number of opportunities. The firm seems to do a better job of weathering events like the government shutdown than their peers (SAIC, BAE, etc...). There is a decent level of stability given the industry.

    There are high ethical standards, a focus on quality work, and opportunities to advance.

    Cons

    Since the Carlyle buyout and the IPO, there has been a series of cost cutting efforts that seem to focus on improving the P&L in time for each quarterly earnings announcement. Over the last few years, we've had:

    * a (poorly executed) move to hoteling that killed any sense of team cohesion.
    * reduction in the 401(k) (Actually, the previous program was a 10% profit share, now it is a 6% match that only pays out if you are still employed at the firm at the end of the year)
    * Reduction in health insurance (a switch to high-deductible plans)
    * Watering down the 360 degree assessment process to one that amounts to little more than a checklist.
    *(They even got rid of all plants in the offices as a way to save money)

    Every couple of years, management tries to dramatically shift the organization with the promise that This Time Is Different. There have been switches back and forth between functional and market aligned structures. There was the One Firm push to integrate the commercial and government businesses ("we are one firm, we can work together"), followed by the split of the two halves ("we were really two separate businesses, with different models and cultures"), and the attempt to recreate a commercial business ("This time will be different").

    When I started, the firm's culture, reputation as a premium brand, and benefits were the big draws. I don't think any of them are particularly notable anymore.

    Over the last year there have been a bunch of efforts that are hard to look at with an unjaded eye -- the "Ed talks" are the firm's take on Ted talks (having a senior vice president give a speech while walking around on a stage really doesn't capture the whole Ted experience); knock-offs of Shark Tank, and superficial talk of innovation fill our email boxes along with videos of our new president's "Connect Tour." Some employees are paid to try and build excitement on Yammer. A lot of effort goes into what one might call "influence operations" to convince employees that management is on their side.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look back to the basics that made the firm great. It probably isn't possible to undo the cost savings you've already imposed since the IPO, but you can staunch the bleeding.

    You've managed to erode the corporate culture through hoteling and a watered down assessment process. The email campaign about the new health care plans was tone deaf.

    We've got to rebuild the culture. Give Principals more autonomy. Figure out a way to get teams working in the same place.

    Perhaps the only thing you could do to hurt morale and team culture more than you have would be to move to open office plans. You made a mistake with hoteling -- don't amplify it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Strong public sector company expanding into selected commercial markets

    Current Employee - Lead Associate in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Lead Associate in Washington, DC (US)

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

    Pros

    career growth, learning, leadership, work/life balance

    Cons

    distributed workforce makes it harder to be in the right place to take advantage of opportunities

    No opinion of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Booz Allen has been a great place to work; benefits have taken a plunge

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in McLean, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in McLean, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    Teams have a strong work ethic and peers are outstanding. Booz Allen has incredible client delivery which helps bring more business in. Employees have the ability to learn the full lifecycle of managing government contracts which is very valuable.

    Cons

    Administrative burden is excessive. It's challenging to find proper work/life balance. Job security is a non-issue during contract period but finding billable work can spike anxiety levels.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees are responsible for the outstanding client delivery. Don't reward exceptional work by diluting what had been amazing benefits. The switch to Consumer Driven Health Plans (high premiums / high deductibles) is taking a toll on employee motivation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 14 people found this helpful  

    A sad decline

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The caliber of people was outstanding throughout my career with Booz Allen. The skills, experiences and professional drive of most individuals was what you would only find in any other company's highest performers. Work quality was likewise of the highest caliber and there was an enormous amount of forward thinking within the firm.

    Cons

    When a global asset management groups purchases a services partnership with minimal real estate and other tangible assets, guess where the savings are generated from? Bueller Bueller? Anyone? Anyone? The fundamental shift in business strategy from high quality consultancy to staff augmentation caused exceptionally high turnover of the best people. Most of my colleagues and leadership were actively looking for new companies when I left and were sharing networks, recruiter contacts and job listings.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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