I joined BAH 7 years ago, and at the time it was an incredible company to work for - great benefits, a strong focus on ethics, etc. They were one of the largest privately held companies in the world with a strong emphasis placed on their core values, such as honesty and integrity, and gave their employees a vast range of valuable benefits, attracting the cream of the crop.
However, after years of promising that they would "NEVER make the mistake of going public again", they went public in 2010, and things almost overnight began to circle the drain. Benefits were slashed while sending out asinine E-Mails telling the employees that it was done for OUR "convenience." (I wish I were kidding. They took away 8 hours of PTO from every employee with an E-Mail stating it was for our "convenience.") Even their 401K plan, the absolute cornerstone of their benefit package and something they swore would "NEVER be changed" has now be slashed to be uncompetitive. Gone are the yearly parties, the regular meals with your career managers, the large bonuses for work done above and beyond, etc. Their "benefits" are gone. They're not even competitive with their weakest competitor anymore.
At the same time, notifications have come down stating that all employees MUST have 40 hours a week billable to a client, meaning any employee doing management, or contract proposal work has to be done on your own time. (And is required if you want any sort of promotion, or to keep your job.) All
ProsTheir name still holds some value in the market.
ConsNon-competitive benefits, company has clearly determined that stockholders are more valuable than employees, company is dying.
Great Place to Start Your Career in Government Consulting
Booz Allen is one of the biggest and most well known management consulting firms in the world, especially in the government market. This is for good reason. They hire some of the best and brightest people and demand a lot from everyone. The work environment is very fast-paced and competitive, but that is balanced with a very collaborative, team-focused environment as well and the firm highly encourages (financially supports) training and continued career development.
While the culture can be difficult for some and definitely often results in burn-out after a number of years, the atmosphere is very collegial and peers truly work together to help each other out and to achieve common goals.
You also won't find a better place to learn the business of consulting. As a big company, you may not be able to get involved with all of the aspects of business development and contract management, but you will get some exposure, if you are vocal in your desire to do so. Additionally, you will have some opportunities to work internal initiatives, which are highly encouraged, but these efforts may not have the impact as those performed at smaller companies. But that is the nature of a big, $4B firm with over 25k employees.
Additionally, as a big firm, job security is very strong. Booz Allen has the ability, culture, and strategy to hire good people even if they cannot place you on a contract right away (e.g., for clearance or contract delays). They will put you on the "Beach" and ha
ProsGreat opportunities, exposure to learn the industry, collaborative, excellent training, good benefits and decent compensation
Conslong-hours, face-paced, bureaucracy, stressful, hard to stand out
Excellent opportunities for those starting their careers
When I started with Booz Allen in 1999, it was privately held and was an excellent place to work. Not only did they have interesting consulting projects at the senior and junior levels, but they held all employees to high standards of professionalism, attitude, and service. It was very difficult to get promoted to senior management, and everyone who did needed to be exceptional at personnel management, client service, and business development. When Booz Allen became publically-held a few years ago, it began deteriorating in reputation, internal management, benefits, variety of work, and opportunities for mid and senior-level staff. Which is to say that it is now an ordinary place to work, which is a major let down for those of us who "grew up" in an excellently run firm. Nevertheless, the firm is usually perceived positively by new hires.
For new professionals -- especially those who are ex-military or ex-Government -- the firm does provide a lot of opportunities for impactful work and relatively fast-paced career and salary growth. The majority of new hires in my office are junior-to-mid level with a background (but necessarily a bachelor's degree) in military-related operations, IT, cyber security, data analytics, or project management. The hiring process is not as selective as most firms, and there is often a stronger emphasis on visual appearance, oral communications, and "soft" skills rather than on talent or expertise. Consequently, Booz Allen hires individuals who m
ProsFamily friendly policies, flexibility in hours and location, generous education benefits, interesting work for ex-military people
ConsEasy to "feel like a number, " poor personnel management, limited upward movement for mid-to-senior personnel, cut-throat environment for those who want to move up, few rewards for strong technical expertise or providing exceptional service
Was supervised by Subcontractor manager other than the two manager interviewers; military government manager client switched me to a different team from the one I was assigned to on my first day (this is a red flag); Booz Allen junior level associate was assigned to train me and assign me tasks vs. the government manager client who is supposed to supervise and train the contractor – not Booz Allen; Booz Allen junior level associate has an ego problem and thinks he is smarter than everyone else; military government manager client bragged about how he fired the previous Subcontractor employee in the job because she did not seem very smart (this is a red flag); Subcontractor manager put me on a performance improvement plan because he thought I am not very smart – he asked me to send him all the emails coming from Booz Allen junior level associate; Subcontractor manager came to realize via those emails that Booz Allen junior level associate was in fact the cause of the problem; Subcontractor manager could not get an in-person meeting with military government manager client easily and had to really press for that. Subcontractor manager kept trying to get performance feedback from military government manager client via email and got no response; Subcontractor manager asked me to send him an updated resume and he put me on the “no-coverage list” so I could move to a different contract. He told me Booz Allen took the job back, but the client did not have any problem keeping me. Subco
ConsIt is known that Booz Allen has very low ethical standards
I would never recommend working here to anyone. For profit=great salaries and nothing else. No mentors, no communication, managers are horrible and not supportive. Most of the time never present to assist when concerns arise. Ethics hotline does not work, even though firm has a no retaliation policy, retaliation in the firm still exists. Huge disconnect between employees. If you want to learn about writing proposals so that the firm can increase their own profitability and presence on the stock market, this place is for you. If you don't mind being insecure in your job and notified that you can be terminated at anytime, go for it. Some of the major things you don't learn about this firm and consulting firms in general:
FIRST DAY: ONCE YOU ARRIVE ON YOUR FIRST DAY YOU ARE "ON THE BENCH" UNTIL YOU EITHER FIND YOUR OWN PROJECT OR SOMEONE WILL ASSIST YOU (WHICH NEVER HAPPENS). If you don't find a job you are given a termination letter. Human Resources is not human resources, you can never get directly in touch with them and you can never FaceTime with them on site anywhere. You can call the help desk to put a ticket in for every single thing that goes wrong which takes up to 3-5 days for a response, and most of the responses are not what you are looking for.
COMPANY 401K MATCH: Not a match folks. You can contribute as much as you want every month, but you WILL NOT receive a match until the end of the year in one lump sum from the firm. If you leave the firm in November or
ProsGreat for retirees who want to come off the couch and go to work again
ConsLack of communication, terrible, unqualified management, not supportive, terrible 401K match (or lack thereof)
Great place to learn and grow if you can find the right team
I've been at Booz Allen for several years, been promoted, received awards, etc. Even before Covid, my role allowed for a lot of latitude when it came to work location. This may change now that people are going back to offices and my role has expanded. It remains unclear on what my team's plans are for return to work, but being able to work remotely pre-pandemic was a huge plus for me and added to the work/life balance.
I haven't encountered a situation where I've been denied a leave request, and it's not often that my work bleeds past normal working hours (this is either my own choice to get a bit ahead with my workload, or if there is something major that requires a quick turnaround, like proposals).
Booz Allen is really big on networking and using that as a means to find different projects. I understand the thinking, but it was a huge adjustment for me, being an introvert. Times between projects can wear one down if they are looking for a new project and trying to meet with 3-5 relative strangers per day. That's the biggest con I feel -- there were times when I would go through multiple round interviews for an internal position, and I couldn't help but think I could be doing the same elsewhere and getting a pay increase out of it.
That aside, you're surrounded by people who range from pretty smart to absolutely brilliant. At my previous job, I was the big fish in a small pond, and at Booz Allen I sometimes felt I barely qualified as a fish. But this is a good thing - I w
ProsWork Location Flexibility, Good Opportunities for Professional and Personal Development, a General Sense that the Work Being Done Matters
ConsThe emphasis on networking can be exhausting, especially when it leads nowhere
If you want to have Booz Allen on your resume for career advancement, this would be a good company for 3 - 5 years.
Booz Allen used to be a good place to work when it was a privately held company because people were more valued and the benefits were very good and better in comparison with others in their field. If you want work life balance, forget it. This isn't the place for you. Also, as far as working from home or off-site, it depends on your manager. I worked on a team where some staff worked from home a lot, all the time, or rarely and it depended on your direct report. It certainly wasn't fair and still isn't well received on that particular team. If you want to feel valued, you may want to reconsider working here. It's a large company and you will probably be just a number. Again, being just number may not be bad for a career move but, if you are looking to be valued enough for pay increases or advancement, you will more than likely be disappointed. When staff realize this, they usually leave the firm and find better jobs elsewhere. Also, management will not tell you when you are hired that you may never ever get a pay increase or any promotion, and this has happened to staff I have known for over 4 years. If you are not a Senior Associate or a Principal level, you are not deemed important and you will be expendable. They conduct a lot of their business via the phone because so many people work off-site. The hardest part of the job is getting information from so many people in such a large firm to do your job. People are maxed out on their workloads. Also, pleasing th
Not what it used to be, but still not a bad choice
I've been with Booz for 4 years in October. What can I say, the industry is changing and Booz has had to change with it. They don't offer the robust retirement packages that they used to, but they do give you something. Excellent if you're entering the work force from college or military. If you don't make Lead Associate in 5 years, it's time to move on. Think of it as a stepping stone; but absolutely put everything you have into it. It MAY "pan - out" for you; as it has for many of my colleagues. If you have a skill or passion for something that higher management deems a "new business vector," GET INVOLVED! Volunteer to write proposals and do what it takes to get new business. You can promote in as few as 3 years is you are ambitious/ have skills in the right thing.
That said, don't walk in with hopes that are too high. You might be very disappointed. The "Senior Associate" echelon is hit-or-miss. I am very lucky to have a good leadership group now. My Senior Associates before June 2014 were absolutely terrible and actually performed administrative tasks within the Booz "People Model" that sabotaged my potential for advancement (i.e. defining my skill set [sort of an internal resume that doesn't change] without consulting me - such that I have not performed a task aligned with my official role since August 2013) because they needed to fill their "down-eche" roster with people aligned to their business case.
All-in-all, the close-knit Booz fraternity that
ProsAwesome people to work with, young crowd, free coffee at the Booz offices
Consyou will never see the Booz offices because you will be sitting at the client location, health benefits are absolutely terrible, health care choices are Kaiser or some form of Aetna with a $6K anual out of pocket, I support a family of 4 kids so I'm actually looking because I can't afford the insurance
Busy everyday and good place to work except for downsizing which is where I am right now. I love the atmosphere and the people are great!
I come in at 7:30 or before on most days. Hours are 8-5. Turn on lights unlock/open doors, turn on tv for Clients. Start coffee machine. On a typical day I would start up our Smart Card machine if needed and pull the calendar for the conference room. Check the schedule for any appointments any one may have or update the calendar if needed for the conference room. I check all the machines make sure all things are running and ready to go. Some days, I assist in getting clients smart cards, handing out badges for visitors. Answer phones. Set up conference room Lunch & Learns, order supplies if needed. Towards the end of the day I do a security check of all offices and check all visitor badges to make sure all have been returned. When an employee leaves the firm, I do all outprocessing of paperwork, return of computers, badges, etc., to our main offices. Also send out all packages for delivery, receive all packages delivered, receive all mail and deliver. Make new folders, etc.. Management trusts me and has much confidence in me to be on time. They count on me to be in early if needed and to stay late or come back to the office for any type of emergency if needed. My co-workers and I get along very well. I enjoy working with them and I'm pretty sure they like working with me. The hardest part of this job is sometimes getting things to come together in an emergency. Trying to track someone down that is on post or out of town in meetings and having to wait for an
ProsHealthcare, Some lunches, People are awesome, comfortable surroundings.
ConsOffice is downsizing and there is no longer a need for 2 office personnel.
Booz Allen boosts themselves to be above the rest and to be part of an elite group of consultants, but the real fact is far from that. Management is distant from employees, company values change too often, company looks only at the bottom line and forgets about the people that bring in that revenue, poor advancement opportunities, salary competitiveness is below average due to the high costs of overhead and expected company profit, and the list can go on and on. Leadership, at least at the Quantico area, is immature and lacks a lot of the basic leadership qualities and skills needed to be an effective and powerful leader. Management changes in this area quite often gives the impression that no one wants to stay or belong to this team long. If you are planning on joining Booz Allen be aware that you must negotiate your best possible deal up front as when you get in you are locked in to a bleak future. Another interesting fact, the turn over rate here at the Quantico team is very high. I know of personally besides myself of another 6 to 7 people that have left the firm and never looked back. This alone gives solid testament to the fact that something is not right. Just be warned is all I have to say.
** Advise to Management - Increase leadership skills, look to help employees further their career and help them advance, stay connected and not distant, stop changing core values and company slogans just to be changing them and stick with one and solidify it. Make Booz Allen wo
A click is a group or club.
The volunteer work is really good. You can show the world what a good person you are and you can win big contracts that pay very much money.
At times I thought BAH has more recruiters than workers for all the sub contracting needs.
If you know someone here you will do good. You can hire and promote your friends. You will have many managers. At times you may feel unethical but you will get used to the company culture.
The best part is the "booz allen" synergy luncheons where Booz creates an all inclusive diverse environment.
I am expecting Booz Allen to rename it's company. Or maybe sub contract the work to many other companies and be super contractor. Contracting the work makes it easier to hire and retain people you know ....."right to work".
I know sub contracting raises the price but it means less work and you can do a circular contract right back to yourself if you wish. Have the sub contractor sub contract the work back to you. Many good possibilities. Selling this might be a little tough so you can rotate gov employees how ever you can.
Many times booz allen works across companies so if you work for one company you are actually still working for booz Allen and you do not know it. Their managers are linked with other companies.
BAH has many bright people too bad the management can not get it together. Maybe a name change will help ?
Flex time you can come in when you and sub contract your work.
ProsMany managers to talk with; Make very $$$$ gov contracts
ConsFlex time you can come in when you and sub contract your work
Questions And Answers about Booz Allen Hamilton
If you were to leave Booz Allen Hamilton, what would be the reason?
Asked Mar 25, 2017
Back stabbing, and clicks, double standards, lack of transparency. Mico managers
Answered May 25, 2019
No sick leave. They're excuse to build sick luggage into PTO is slap in face of employees.
Answered Dec 4, 2018
If you were in charge, what would you do to make Booz Allen Hamilton a better place to work?
Asked Jun 13, 2018
Establish a better culture of inclusion and Collaboration: stop all discriminatory practices: change performance appraisal system for fairness and more transparency
Answered Jul 3, 2020
Pay employees better and provide better benefits
Answered Mar 27, 2020
What would you suggest Booz Allen Hamilton management do to prevent others from leaving?
Asked Mar 25, 2017
Offer options to move out of shift work.
Answered Jul 21, 2018
Spend more time actually asking people what they need instead of assuming. Recognize the dramatic differences between the National Capital Region and the rest of the firm.
Answered Apr 12, 2018
What is the interview process like at Booz Allen Hamilton?
Asked Jun 19, 2016
Very quick, formal, not a lot of questions asked about me or my experience.
Answered Jan 7, 2021
Tedious process like many organization.
Answered Dec 11, 2018
What is the best part of working at Booz Allen Hamilton?