What's the company culture at Booz Allen Hamilton?

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Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Booz Allen Hamilton?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Booz Allen Hamilton?

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AWFUL company! in Dayton, Ohio

89 months ago

The company culture is ridiculous. It's a throw-back to GE in the 60s and 70s where you had to walk around in suits and try and impress everyone all the time. Yes---SUITS! You have to wear suits all the time. The only way you can get away with not wearing suits is if you work on the client government site and they don't wear them there. Otherwise, enjoy your pricey dry cleaning because there's no way around that. Also, when you have a meeting with others at BAH, you'll be expected to wear a suit that day, even if you don't wear one normally on the client site. No one tells you this, but it's expected. If you don't do it, you'll get a bad review and your manager will feel embarrassed and will not help you out regarding work or respect.

It's a keep up with the Jones' philosophy where you have to get the right car, live in the right area, take the right vacations, etc. It's a cult-like philosophy where you have to act like everyone else and whip out business cards at a moment's notice. They have after hours get togethers and meetings where alcohol is served and if you don't drink, you're looked at as being suspect. You have to drink and know how to hold your liquor.

In addition, you go through an orientation for a week when you first start. That is the beginning of the brain washing process. They will tell you how the managers are there for you and care about you. Everything there is about making money. You will soon find out that if you don't bring in money by somehow finding your own work (Yes---you have to find it somehow within the huge company---managers don't help you get a charge number) then you'll be left out to dry. You'll be threatened with a lay off if you follow what they tell you in the orientation, that managers are there to help you. They aren't. They just want to help out the people that immediately help them rise above the ranks.Everything is about what level you are and people that have been there a while won't talk to newbies.

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AWFUL company! in Dayton, Ohio

89 months ago

I work in Mclean. I don't know why it's saying Dayton, Ohio.

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

84 months ago

As far as BAH culture is concerned it differs from location to location. I worked at headquarters McLean for seven years and then transfered to SA, TX. In McLean things are run very professionally for the most part. There are those that have their favorites and will promote them no matter what. Leadership at BAH loves boot lickers. If you are the kind of person who does not mind the taste of someone else's butt you can go all the way to partner and be an idiot. In SA, TX you are not going anywhere unless you are one of the following, ex-USAF (officer), a texan an Aggie or a Long Horn. The best description of what BAH SA,TX is like is to watch "The Best Little Whore House in Texas". I have seen people get promoted to level IV that did not even know how to calculate our own utilization numbers. Back east most level IIs know how to do this. If this ex-Boozer thought the pay was good in SA, TX he has low aspirations. I worked with an Aggies that had 20+ years experience and he has a BS EE from T A&M what did we pay him? About $70k to start. Back east we hire BS EE right out of school for more than that. Don't start the "But Texas cost of living is so much less" stuff either. After living in the DC area for 20 + years and now in SA I know. My real estate taxes are 3x what they were in VA and my house is valued over $100k less than the one back in VA. My car insurance is 2.5x what it was back there. State tax is 2x what it is in VA, and the list goes on for things like water, food etc. Oh and in SA you get the benefit of having only one store to shop at... hope you like HEB. When and if you do have to look for another job you are screwed and now you cannot even sell you house to escape Texas.

Bottom line don't take a job with BAH unless it is in VA or CA.

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

83 months ago

To William continued...

I have a BS and three professional certs. They are not telling me what or how to change (to get promoted) on my annual assessments. The bottom line is you can be an idiot and go all the way to level V if you are liked by the right people. You don't have to be able to manage, lead, produce, gain work or "create impact" depending on who you report to. Just make sure they like you and you like the taste of their boots. Boot licking does work at BAH. I have worked at Bayer, BBN/GTE (now Verizon) and SAIC and honestly I never experienced these things at those places. I guess if I were liked and I was one of the boot-lickers you would be getting a different story.
For the most part the environment at McLean is professional and enjoyable. Depending on your level of experience you may want to try to come in as a level IV, because it is the easiest way to get a level IV. Also at that level you get things that level IIIs don't like a private office, phone/blackberry use of an admin. a spending account and an annual bonus. As a III and below you nothing but all the work. When I first joined the firm you could leave after two years and having BAH on your resume would mean a good job and a good raise. In the last four years we have been hiring some of the dumbest people I have ever met in my life. So we have become less than our competition. Also consider what the firm is going through right now. Read what has been said here and in other blogs. The only people who will benefit from the sale of either group at BAh are the partners and some level Vs.

Good Luck!

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TS08 in Washington, District of Columbia

76 months ago

Any advice for those wishing to move from government employment back to the private world, like Booz or others? thanks

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KennaFish in Haymarket, Virginia

76 months ago

TS08 in Washington, District of Columbia said: Any advice for those wishing to move from government employment back to the private world, like Booz or others? thanks

Get your resume ready and take a look at us on BAH.com. Make sure you look at the market you want to work in and focus on results that you have provided. It is nice to say you did things, but what was the reult of that action? Stress continued education (even non-credit online courses help out.) After I got hired, that was one of the things that they mentioned....they saw that over my life I have always been steadily gaining experience and knowledge.

Regardless of what you hear about any company, it is all about your attitude. I can say that I have been here for about 6 months and absolutely love it. I left two other competitors after they (1) informed me that if I progress that would cause problems for other and that we were known for putting asses in seats, and (2) ethical issues....doing interviews while on Govt time and doing little else. This company invests in their folks. Plain and simple...greatest move I ever made. Another great thing about Booz Allen is that if you don't like what you are doing....you can most certainly move into the area you want to with little to no pain. We want happy folks and we help to keep them that way.

Good Luck!

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TS08 in Washington, District of Columbia

76 months ago

thanks for the insights. what about work location? i'd like to move out of the greater DC area soon, to a smaller midwestern city. problem is so many of the jobs are DC based. what's BAH's stance on telecommuting, travel, etc? Anyone else have insight into similar opportunities outside a major city - like with McKinsey, Boston Consulting, SAIC, etc? Thanks

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

76 months ago

Here is my insight on what boozers call the "geographies” translation not in McLean, Dulles (Herndon), or San Diego. Like I said in previous posts it is a different company. No or very small budgets & everything is done on a small scale. Also you better be a local with an address book if you want to advance. If your looking just to retire in place make sure it is a location with a lot of work potential IOWs other companies you can go work for if need be. Ex. of a bad place for IT is San Antonio what an IT professional would make in the DC area will be about half in San Antonio. I worked with an Aggies that has 20+ years experience a BS EE from T A&M what did we pay him? About $70k to start. Back east we hire BS EE right out of George Mason for more than that. The cost of living is no less than NoVA either in fact it is more. My real estate taxes are 3x what they were in VA & my house is valued over $100k less than the one back in VA. My car insurance is 2.5x what it was back in NoVA. Sales tax is 2x what it is in VA, & the list goes on for things like water, food etc. Oh & in SA you get the benefit of having only one grocery store to shop at... hope you like HEB. When & if you do have to look for another job you are screwed & now you cannot even sell you house to escape Texas. If you are in medical, banking or building you are golden in SA.

Good luck & remember the grass always looks greener on the other side.

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Frederick Connor in Mclean, Virginia

76 months ago

Worst company EVER! They used to have a good reputation, but they can't keep people there anymore. Their benefits have constantly been cut back, so they're no better than anyone else. Get everything in writing because what I ended up doing had nothing to do with what I was hired to do! Managers wouldn't find me work and I had to literally beg people for tasks because managers were too lazy to give a damn. I finally left out of sheer disgust and exhaustion.

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wimblee in Arlington, Virginia

76 months ago

Not sure how I came across this discussion, but as someone who has experienced Booz Allen culture, I wouldnt mind offering an opposing view to Fredrick and Marine83. In a company this size you are bound to get individuals who are unhappy with their situation, and those are the ones you are more than likely to hear from. This situation is no exception. I think both of you are missing a very key point and that is that working at Booz is like any other job,...it is what you make of it. With that said, some teams at Booz are known to be less than pleasant. I have been fortunate to find a team I truly enjoy and the opportunities have been endless. Perhaps that is why my perspective is very positive

I can tell you I have be extremely happy with my position. So long as that when you join the company you know: (1)this is a privately held firm, (2)there is an expectation of both work quality and how we present that work, and (3)that the culture prides itself on holding an excellent reputation.

TS08, the switch from private to public,... to private...to public (and so on) is becoming more and more valuable on both sides of the aisle. Ive seen a lot of people leave Booz to go to one of our clients. Ive also seen many come from client site to work with us. The turnover here is noticeable, but from what I have read, Booz maintains one of the highest retention rates in the industry.

Like KennaFish said, "Its about your attitude". The point is, this place (like any others) is what you make of it. I would also go so far as to say you will have more support here than you have at most government jobs (and most other private companies). Booz is worth the experience. If you dont like it you can take your experience and your strengthened resume, find a job that better suits you and come back and blog about it in a few years.

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

76 months ago

Wimblee, I would love to know what level you are... my guess would at least L4. I have had people that worked for me that were told by upper management that they could not be promoted to L3 without a BA or BS. I know of two people that are L4's & they do not have a degree at all. Does the word "fairness" ring a bell? I would agree that a few years back having BAH on your resume meant something, now it means we really are not interested in you. You say "it's all about your attitude" so after being kicked in the teeth a few times for trying to live up to our own core values I & others should have positive attitudes huh? After I see a partner kick his wife & kids of 15+ yrs out of his house so he can marry on of his much younger L3s then promote her to L4 for no reason I should feel motivated right? When I see a level IV that is going against all our "ethics" by taking favors from another company & repaying that company by trying to force the government to used that company's product I should skip to work with a song in my heart & a smile on my face? Have you ever heard that people become a product of their environment? As far as diversity goes the firm loves diversity as long as it does not come in the form of a white heterosexual Christian male or female. Now before you start labeling me an angry white man, I am Native American (Blackfeet). BTW the firm after my & others petitioning for years have finally given us our own forum & I am proud to say we have the smallest budget of all forums. So after everyone else had a forum we had to beg for ours. Just another slap in the face to my people. Everyone else is good to go! When you are a level IV or above it is a lot easier to have that great attitude since you have that nice bonus & other goodies. Which is why getting promoted to that level has no clear path like all the other levels. It is totally arbitrary which is why you have L4s with no degrees, but boy can they lick boot. Come on Wimblee what L r u?

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wimblee in Arlington, Virginia

76 months ago

Sorry Marine83, Im not on here to have a pissing match. Just offering my perspective. You are wrong on all accounts as I am a lowly L2 who is working his ass off to learn something while I am with the company (for anyone else reading, the company has an entry level at L1 and higher ups are L5). It sounds like you are a little jaded, and maybe for good reason, but I think you are unfairly stereotyping what the experience is at booz, based on your own. You would be wise to offer some balance in your perspective otherwise readers wont find your comments helpful, and that is the point of us writing, isnt it...?

Im not here for money or benefits. Rather, I am here for the opportunity, while my salary and benefits are only bonuses. And so far the opportunities have been great.

I think we just have very different perspectives on the situation. You may have good reason to have such a distaste, but do you really think that everyone here has had the same experience as you. I can assure you they have not. Before you go and knock me for being an L2, take a stance on your position and respond reasonably and with some taste. This is a forum for discussing, not just complaining.

Marine83, I wont label you anything other than someone who disliked his past job. Fair?

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

76 months ago

Wimblee, First off I still work at the firm. If your salary doesn't mean anything why don't you donate the entire thing to charity? Don't be stupid. You are doing this just for the experience? There are much better places to start a career if you just want experience. The government is much better for that. The firm would find you more valuable if you had that experience. Read all my posts and read "into" them. There are obviously people who benefit here. How about the non-degreed boot licker that gets promoted to L4 without a business case, a team or bringing in work? Didn't he/she benefit? Your not here for a pissing match? Well I never used any foul language you brought that into the dialogue. I would say that is due to our obvious age difference. You think the truth and hard talk is offensive, but you let fly with vulgar words and that is acceptable. I have stood in BAH kitchens and heard young women use language that I after a career in the Marine Corps would not use at work. But that is just part of the firm's new "professionalism". So that you are satisfied and others get a balanced view here ya go. There are those who will have great careers at the firm. Some because they work hard & can play the political game (5-10%) some because they ingratiate themselves with the right people (10-30%) some because they come with an address book (30-50%). The rest will work to make money for the Kings and Queens of the firm. Wimblee I am happy for you that you are so happy. Now I will ask you to mature a little and realize that some people have families to take care of and expect something from their hard work without having lick boot.

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Frederick Connor in Mclean, Virginia

76 months ago

Yes, if you have the attitude of a robot you'll fit in fine. If you like to just take orders, like practically ALL military people do, you'll LOVE it. And if you're a white male with a prior military background and a clearance, you will absolutely love it!

And that is completely untrue that people just post negative responses online. I always post positive things about prior employers. There just isn't anything positive to say about this one.

You are just a number with this company if you have a clearance. HR said that to me and a number of people, especially around budget cut time in April in hopes they would save the partners some bonus bucks by quitting altogether.

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Frederick Connor in Mclean, Virginia

76 months ago

Marine83 is absolutely right. I saw people promoted time after time with minimal degrees. That's what this 'networking' thing is all about. It's really nothing more than one man teaching another man how to blow eachother. The one that's best gets the promotion!

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Frederick Connor in Mclean, Virginia

76 months ago

Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas said: To William continued...

I have a BS and three professional certs. They are not telling me what or how to change (to get promoted) on my annual assessments. The bottom line is you can be an idiot and go all the way to level V if you are liked by the right people. You don't have to be able to manage, lead, produce, gain work or "create impact" depending on who you report to. Just make sure they like you and you like the taste of their boots. Boot licking does work at BAH. I have worked at Bayer, BBN/GTE (now Verizon) and SAIC and honestly I never experienced these things at those places. I guess if I were liked and I was one of the boot-lickers you would be getting a different story.
For the most part the environment at McLean is professional and enjoyable. Depending on your level of experience you may want to try to come in as a level IV, because it is the easiest way to get a level IV. Also at that level you get things that level IIIs don't like a private office, phone/blackberry use of an admin. a spending account and an annual bonus. As a III and below you nothing but all the work. When I first joined the firm you could leave after two years and having BAH on your resume would mean a good job and a good raise. In the last four years we have been hiring some of the dumbest people I have ever met in my life. So we have become less than our competition. Also consider what the firm is going through right now. Read what has been said here and in other blogs. The only people who will benefit from the sale of either group at BAh are the partners and some level Vs.

Good Luck!

Come to the DC area and work for another company. If you have a clearance you'll be treated MUCH better. Everyone that leaves BAH goes to a smaller company. I'm so sorry you dealt with the same crap I dealt with. You're not alone. I knew 3 other people that were hired in with me and they all quit. 2 out of 3 were women.

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KennaFish in Haymarket, Virginia

76 months ago

Marine, I really do feel terrible for you. I wouldn't wish such job dissatisfaction on anyone. I can't imagine being in your position. I really don't think I could do something for over nine years that I hated so much. How did you ever manage? Your loyalty and commitment to stick it out is honorable and noteworthy. I learned after 24 years in the military (and 2 years with competitors, one large and one small) that I could be happy doing just about anything as long as I liked the work that I was doing (which I always have-even in Iraq), otherwise I think I would leave vs. sticking around and being miserable for a long period of time...say over six months. I guess out of the over 20,000 folks in Booz Allen, someone has to be unhappy, feel ripped off, slated, jaded, unappreciated, etc…and jump on the disgruntled grenade.

I sincerely hope you two folks are able to find a better way to survive. For you marine, I can’t imagine getting a pay check from a company I hate so much….it must be terrible going to the bank….especially when you know you are being paid so little compared to everyone else in the free world and that you should have left years ago but made the mistake and didn’t. Regret is a terrible thing.

To be continued:

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KennaFish in Haymarket, Virginia

76 months ago

Continued:
Not sure if you are willing to accept any help, but if I may, I am willing to assist you. If you log into your computer marine, you should be able to reach the help site and find a resource to help you deal with your concerns. You can reach out to anyone in Booz Allen regardless of their position (although I anticipate you will disagree). If you are uncomfortable doing so, let me know, and again I am willing to assist and I know my leadership is as well because they listen….not saying that all other team leaders do the same…I don’t know about that, but mine do.

For me, the bottom line is this: Someone asked a simple question….”Any advice for those wishing to move from government employment back to the private world, like Booz or others? Thanks”. My goal was not to inform the world that Booz is perfect, because nothing is. My goal was to answer the question from my perspective. To say you disagree is fine. While you statements are noteworthy, they are rife with emotion and read like a person on a tirade vs. speaking from a position that wishes to inform.
To be serious, it is truly unfortunate that you had the experiences that you did. Really, it is unfortunate, but there are still multiple opportunities for anyone regardless of ethnic, racial, sexual, or other type of background or beliefs. I am sure while you were in the military you experienced both good and bad. That is life. We all learn from each experience, and one situation or employer does not fit them all. In the military, I understood that others hated what I loved. I was fine with that. My philosophy was simply this…you joined us, we didn’t join you. If you don’t like what you are doing, go home to mama….she’ll give you milk and cookies.

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KennaFish in Haymarket, Virginia

76 months ago

Continued: Sorry so long.
In the lowly six months I have been here, I have been able to do many things that others would not let me do (other large and small companies). I am appreciative of that. Does that mean that my work experience is perfect? No, but it does mean that I am happy at this point and see no reason for that to change. I assess myself and understand that I am not entitled to a promotion. I will get promoted if it happens. If I don’t, I will either be happy with what I am doing or move on. If I was not happy marine, like you indicate, really…..I would move on. Nine years of my life is too much.

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Frederick Connor in Mclean, Virginia

76 months ago

Everyone has had different experiences. Personally, I have experienced similar experiences as the Marine. However, it's not fair to push that aside and act as if it doesn't exist because some of you have miraculously had a stupendous experience. Take it as it is, learn from it, and don't take it personally. Don't be so disrespectful and act as if everyone is the same, for God's sake! Some of us don't like to be lied to and treated as if we lack a conscience, and that's fine. For those of you that do, you'll be fine, especially since the Carlyle Group will own the company soon enough, if not already. It will be a perfect match made in Hell!

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

76 months ago

KennaFish,

First I never said all nine years have been bad. Second I find your disrespect and snotty attitude typical of the unprofessional slop that we now hire. If like wimblee said you want to turn this into a pissing contest or name calling/insult fest let's wait until we can talk face-to-face. I loved my first six years with the firm, but we are NOT that firm any more whether you want to believe it or not. Back then we were known as the meat grinder if you could last 2 yrs at the firm you were considered one of the best. Back then when we interviewed people we grilled them with hard technical questions. We had people that were about to cry that asked if they could just leave the interview because it was too tough. Now the firm hires anyone with a pulse. You're sorry for me? Please don't be, I damn sure do not need the pity of a BB-shooter or army lifer. Which by the way when you type the title Marine you capitalize the "M". If you had any respect or honor you would have known that. Nice comments about my pay check too. I have not found the right position YET, but rest assured when I do I will leave. I will also escape Texas as soon as possible. You talk about my commitment; my commitment is not just to the firm but also to my client. If you had experienced the real BAH you would know that our motto was "The clients mission is our mission". Marines do not believe in failure unlike other branches of the service. So in the military if you ended up in a bad place or under a bad command did you just quit?

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

76 months ago

Did you throw away your career because of one bad situation? So you never complained during your 24 yrs huh? You must either be the best a—kisser or so stupid that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Please do not try to compare BAH with my Marine Corps. Maybe it is like the AF or Army, but it is nothing like the Marine Corps and there are no men or women that have the integrity and honor of the Marines that lead in the Corps. If you had read all of my posts and taken the time to understand them you would have seen that I too know that there are pockets of the firm where life is good. When I lead a team of 18 that I built from 0, I referred to the team as my people which was over heard by a retired USAF pilot that was a L5 at the time and is now a partner he turned to me and said “Those are not your people they are assets of the firm”. I am the only one who took care of those people and cared for them on a daily basis. I still care for them and have relationships with all of them to this day even thought after I left that team all but three of them quite within six months. Two of the three that remained switched teams and every one gave the same reason for leaving. I wanted to work for Marine83 (I will not use my real name since I will fired immediately).

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

76 months ago

That is what a leader is. Someone who cares and can get his team to do what they have to do even if it is something they do not want to do. Let’s see if I can guess your background. You were in communications or similar work in either the Air Force or Army? For the most part you sat around like the typical REMF POG, if you even know what those are, and now you are going to sit back and collect whatever the government gives you. If you were in the USAF there is about 90% chance that you retired with a disability even if it is something disgustingly dishonorable for a disability like “Sleep apnea” or “hemorrhoids” like so many of the other AF retirees’ that I have met. I hope that if that is your case YOU back up to the teller when you cash your check at the bank. Because if you do get a check for that type of disability, you should be ashamed of yourself for participating such a disgusting vile act. You do sound like the kind of boot licker that will do well at BAH. I would not be surprised if you make it to partner.

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

76 months ago

A few things I disagree with Fredrick Connor on are that not every military person is going to like the firm. Also I do not like the firm of TODAY. I loved the old firm as do so many that were around back then. You do not have to be a robot to like the firm. Someone who likes the taste of butt would do much better than a robot. If you come into the firm with technical skills and attempt to move up, form a team, bring in work etc. You WILL lose those skills and NO one seems to want/need a manager so not so easy to get another job after a long tenure. BTW I don’t know if you are aware of this but the other big consulting companies look down on the WTB side of BAH. If you do not know the WTB side is the government side KennaFish. That is the part of the company you work for. They will not hire you to clean their crappers. One more thing for you KennaFish, I noticed you live in Haymarket… life must be really tough for you huh? I know in my 20 years in the NoVA area I could never afford a place in Haymarket. But then I am “being paid so little compared to everyone else in the free world” what should I expect right? Now if you want to make this really ugly I can start using insults and names too. In fact maybe I can look into who you are and who you work for within the firm and get a little intel.

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Frederick Connor in Mclean, Virginia

76 months ago

The facts are that every military person that I know came into the company in my group are still there. The others that have college background and experience, it's about a 50% drop-off rate. How do I know? I kept in contact with a large majority of people in my orientation group out of nosiness.

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Domino Long in Australia

76 months ago

Wow... like the forum which is quite heated I guess :)

Can anyone offer some advice please? My area of expertise is business analysis and I worked for a Fortune 100 company and a top IT consulting firm as a senior consultant for more than 7 yrs. I am considering applying to Booz becoz of its reputation in the management consulting industry.

Not sure a lvl 4 or 3 mean at Booz? For a candidate like myself (senior consultant/manager exp.), is it a good idea for me to indicate during the interview which lvl i want to start with at Booz?

BTW, anyway knows about the culture at Booz Australia?

Thanks heaps

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Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

76 months ago

BAH is set up like the old medieval times. The surfs must do the work to support the dukes, princes and king. Or maybe a better modern day analogy would be the Amway model were the guy making good money has dozens of people under him bringing in the money.

Bottom line is you want to start as far up the food chain as possible. Aim for lvl IV if they do not think you are worth IV they will offer III if they want you.

Good luck Domino!

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Domino Long in Australia

76 months ago

Many thanks Marine83.

Yes, i would like to apply to the Booz & Company which seperated the operations from the US government business. Does the lvl I-V system apply to Booz & too?

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JJordan in Arlington, Virginia

75 months ago

Wow, some angst on here eh Marine83?

You're so ticked off that you can't stop being defensive and posting back at others comments.

Suggest you find a way to be happy. Life is short, it's just a job. Get your money, go home. Heck you still work for BAH - take my advice: Leave, get another job, or better yet, start your own. Stop complaining and do something that makes you happier.

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ENVIRO in San Antonio, Texas

74 months ago

I am reading everyone's comments and feel quite relieved that Im not the only one with major ethical and moral conflictions with the company. I have been with BAH for about 5 1/2 months and cant believe what I got myself into. I would have to agree that BAH doesnt uphold what they preach. There is no integrity, professionalism in the SA, Tx office. Every day there is gossip, cursing, alcohol in the fridge, people billing the government and putting in maybe a 20 hour work week, but billing 45. It seems the only ones getting anywhere are the butt kissers, for a lack of better term, sorry. My so called 'mentors' wont give me any work, although I beg, as I am seen as competition, so I get no help, training or work. Why I got my masters degree is beyond me at this point because all I have been tasked with is making labels and burning cds. What a joke. It seems BAH has done a lot of hiring the past few months and people are walking around aimlessly with nothing to do and dont have a clue. There is even the instance where a subcontractor (not BAH) is working in our office (not typical) making 70+K with no work to do, as a favor to the Level 4 (BAH) who brought him on because he had no other work with the company he works for. Must be nice to have friends in high places because that is all the company is about Im learning quickly. Let's just say Im pursing another career and counting the days until I put my notice in. I guess you live and you learn. BAH does not live up to its reputation. And I would have to agree that the work I thought I signed up for is not what Im doing. And I want to add, be prepared to commit time fraud (you never have enough work for 45 hours) and to do work on your "own" time (mandatory administrative meetings, assessments) because those items aren't billable although you have an admin number to charge to, it is highly frowned upon and will be brought to you and your managers attention because that pulls money out of the Partners pockets.

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Howard Ambrose no fear in Chester, Maryland

71 months ago

Booz promotes Team Work to it's employees. I have seen some teams that do indeed reflect this ideology, however Booz develops teams.
What I mean by that when I was hired I had little experience with the corporate world, and I was a recent Mech E grad. Everyone on my Team was also as inexperienced as myself, if not more with the exception of my immediate supervisor and Manager.
There was no-one within the team to brainstorm with, everyone was fighting to be #1. If you could not figure things out on your own, then you were mocked.
If something went wrong then the person at the bottom of the food chain was blamed.
It seemed to me that the team I was in was like an experiment, to investigate cause and effect.
Individuals do not matter at Booz, the only thing that matters is being a Yes Man, personality is all that really matters, if your work is crap BUT your a Charismatic ass kissing suck up your forgiven, or maybe even promoted.
I did Govmnt Work mainly for the military, and I know things that could get BAH sued from the military. Not that they would mind you, I mean c'mon would you sue your golf buddy?

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dgsqrd in Roanoke, Texas

70 months ago

It appears as though if you don't have a previous military history, you will be overlooked. Even if you are a civilian and have an extensive background working for the military.

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KennaFish in Gainesville, Virginia

70 months ago

This conversation is so sad. I feel so sorry for you guys....the way you wallow in misery...Reminds me of Marine83. Really, I feel bad for you folks. Really, all I can offer is the same advice I provided to Marine83....pick up and move on. If you are not happy, you owe so much more to your life. Please....do the right thing for yourself.

Honestly, I have had nothing but the opposite experience. I don't kiss boots (or whatever the marine says) and it has been a great experience. Actually, it has been nothing short of exceptional. I really wish you guys nothing but the best of luck at McDonald's.

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Howard Ambrose no fear in Chester, Maryland

70 months ago

well Mc E D's is gonna have to wait, I decided to work for a competitor to BAH instead. Perhaps they had some inside info to LEVERAGE APG accounts from BAH. Beats me, but I honestly hope the stock option dividend losses for 2009 can be recovered in next years taxes.

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Exp62 in Chantilly, Virginia

70 months ago

Ms Fish (I am assuming you area woman because of your first name) you may find BAH a great place and I agree with you on certain points. Our benefits cannot be out done (excluding Microsoft and others outside our industry). However your continual insults do not help anyone. Marine83 has already done more than you in life simply by being a Marine. I too have seen the inept being promoted, at least to level IV from my experience nothing beyond that position. I know I have many colleagues that are very unhappy, however I think sometimes we get spoiled and forget what we have here. I am a comeback kid and have been back about 10 years now. I wish there were somethings I could change but there are many things in life you cannot change. By reading your postings I see you have only been with our firm about one year. Is that correct? Please walk a mile in the shoes of another before commenting on them and their abilities. I will also tell you this Booz Allen consultants should not say the kind of things that you have to these people. Telling them to go work at McDonald's is not your place. Rise above that kind of behavior and try to understand their situation and perhaps even help out instead of telling them to leave our firm. You never know who might be leaving and later coming back. There is a partner who started as a level I and left 3 times coming back at a higher position each time.

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Howard Ambrose no fear in Chester, Maryland

70 months ago

Exp62, to you I do appologize for my outbursts I spoke out of anger. You have restored my initial New Hire conceptions of how the Booz philosphy should come out of its staff. You exhibited that behavior and I only wished more of the office would have the same level of communication and tact. I could have learned a lot from you.

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KennaFish in Gainesville, Virginia

70 months ago

Exp62. Great point, well taken. No shame in any profession and I wish all of you luck.

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Howard Ambrose no fear in Chester, Maryland

70 months ago

Let me share some constructive self evaluation. I started with Booz under the assumption that I was hired for my Mechanical Engineering skills. No-one ever told me flat out that I ever was or was not. I became so involved with trying to improve my skills as an engineer I overlooked the obvious. The fact is, Booz Allen Hamilton is a Management Consulting Firm, NOT I repeat NOT an engineering firm. There were many chances to assert myself in a managerial sense, however I did not. In defense I will say that I was held back by my immediate supervisor (S.K). When I spoke up about how my last project was being mismanaged, I was told that I was not in charge of the project and I was to follow the project lead's instruction. The project lead had his hands full, because of poor planning and I found myself working several nights with no sleep, and working over the weekends. I have no idea what the Project lead was doing and everytime I called (3-4 times daily) he was unavailable, and no he was not at the client site and I was in the office so I know he was not there. I even got outside help free of charge, and I got repremanded for it by the Manager. I then tried to get the supervisors help, but he told me again that I was not in charge....
The project was not completed on time, and I was asked to hand in my resignation....
As a consultant you are NOT in charge, you work under someone else, ALWAYS. It is the consultants job to CONSULT the client even when the client does not ask directly. In retrospect I failed because instead of showing the project lead the 8000 lb gorilla that was about to pounce on us and letting him lead us to safety, I choose to be insubordinate. The reason consultants exist, is to let leaders shine, the more a consultant makes a leader shine the more the leader feels that they need the consultant. It is that simple. If you are New to Booz, do yourself a favor and DO YOUR BEST TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN THE CLIENT. Let them make the decisions, not you.

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JJordan in Arlington, Virginia

70 months ago

What I see is that people complain a lot more on the internet than they have positive things to say. All that matters in your career or life is what you want to make of it.

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JJordan in Arlington, Virginia

70 months ago

Booz is a company. Get paid to go to work because you choose to because you need money. It's a job. If don't like it, don't complain about all these years of experience. Do what have to do and ultimately, do something else.

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JJordan in Arlington, Virginia

70 months ago

I for one, will continue to work with Booz until I decide I want to do something else. It's as simple as that people. Don't make it something else. Don't let people deter you from Booz. If you are more technically inclined or more eager to work the corporate ladder, Booz may not be for you.

Someone mentioned management consulting firm, I'd add to this to say government management consulting firm, which is 'hand holding' for people in the government. Which means it's sometimes slow to start, slow to continue and very technical and specific skill sets that you may have accumulated before Booz may very well not be used while on position as a consultant.

Feel free to leave your email address and I'll personally reach you and answer any questions may have. Right now, it's hard to get a job with the economy and it's sad we still have people bickering over years of experience and elitism in a forum. For those of you, it's time to move on I think, good luck with your searches in this economy. After all, you should be okay with all your years of experience, right?

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Howard Ambrose no fear in Chester, Maryland

70 months ago

Well put Exp62. Though I no longer work for Booz, and as you can read in my posts I have had some errrr ummm negative feelings in the past. Today I can reflect back objectively because I no longer work for Booz. I can look at my entire experience and think "WHAT SHOULD I HAVE DONE",and the answer is simple. I should have focused on the big picture instead of utilizing myopic visual techniques. The way to be a good consultant is to be more concerned with the needs of my client, and not my own. I can only do that by stepping back from a situation and look at the whole picture from the clients eyes. Booz is made up of many people with many perspectives, as long as the goal is the same then how everyone navagates the course is unimportant. That is what a good Consultant of Booz Allen Hamilton IS, someone that puts the Clients goals first...

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JJordan in Arlington, Virginia

70 months ago

I can say whatever I like. I hardly even commented on the other people in the forum, which means you didn't read what I wrote. Please, respect others as you put it.

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Exp62 in Chantilly, Virginia

70 months ago

JJordan you are correct you can say whatever you like and that response sounds very mature doesn't it? I wish you well and I just want to see BAH consultants act like BAH consultants. The way you are writing is not the way we traditionally want of people to behave. I think KennaFish could see what I was trying to communicate and agreed with me. She is the type of consultant that will go very far in our firm because she can step back read, listen and learn. She can even change which is the secret at our firm. Good luck J

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JJordan in Arlington, Virginia

70 months ago

The point on this forum is there's too much negativity around Booz Allen and it's not reflective of the firm at all. A few people on here are talking about the glory days. A few people on here are talking about what a downgraded culture it is today. A few people on here are talking about what a great thing it is they left. All things change. You either adapt to it or you leave. Booz Allen is still a great company. If you think otherwise, that's your opinion, but whining about it on a board is just deterring people from seeing what a great organization it is.

Go to independent sources and see the unanimous praise for it. In fact, try giving it more of a fair share instead of blasting people like me who actually stand up for it. Should be ashamed with all your years of experience to be talking like that.

To everyone else, Booz Allen is a good organization, check up on it yourself. Don't rely on the opinions of a few people with bad experiences who do no know how to adapt to change in organizations. People should move about in their careers. Most comments on the internet are negative anyways, people just like to vent their frustrations.

Cheers~

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Howard Ambrose no fear in Chester, Maryland

70 months ago

So, there you have it. The people at Booz are Quite Diverse in their Views and Mindsets. The one commonality that all share (from my perspective) is their diversity. I share ED Booz's attitude and approach~THE PROBLEM IS YOU!!!~ using this approach lost my position within Booz, however I sleep well at night knowing that I spoke up.

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needcaffine in Virginia

69 months ago

With over 12yrs of IT experience, an engg degree in Computers and also a M.S degree. What level should I expect? I did not get a great feeling that I would make a decent level here. Will not having served in the armed forces be a handicap?

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Exp62 in Chantilly, Virginia

69 months ago

cbm5042

As far as your degrees matter It will depends what your type (BA vs BS) and field of study your degrees (technical vs liberal arts). The firm tends not to care very much about AS or AA degrees. We pay more for BS and technical degree. The reason we do that is because those degrees are harder to find and the demand is greater. The TS is a big help if you are going to work programs that will use it. I hold a TS\SCI, TS since 1990 (as a civilian) and SCI since 2007 and have yet to use either one. Your military experience will only matter if you did O&S work there too. Are you just out of the military or are you coming from another civilian job? Were you an officer or enlisted while you served? I am sorry to say it, but if you were an officer you will command more pay. IMHO If you are coming from another job you should never take a pay cut or move to a new position for less than a 10% raise, unless your present position is making your life miserable. In which geography are you interviewing? The Washington, D.C. area pays more than most others except maybe, MAYBE CA. Also it is not as expensive to live in the D.C. area as what most think. I took a relo to San Antonio 4 years ago after working in the D.C. metro area for 20 years and quickly discovered SA was much more expensive an area to live in than D.C. If you want to live in a good neighborhood not far from work. My property tax was 3x more in SA for a house worth 130k less. July & August water bills together were about 800 dollars more than all year in NoVA. In DC with a BA\BS right out of school you can expect between approx. could be more 40&50k. To give you prospective in SA, TX we hired a guy with a BS EE from T A&M with 20+ yrs experience for 60k. Same guy in DC would be making about twice that much.

Good luck.

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cbm5042 in Baltimore, Maryland

69 months ago

Hey thanks for the reply Exp62!

I am still in the military, serving in the ANG as a SSGT and have one year left on my contract. I am interviewing in the Annapolis Junction/Linthicum MD area on the O&S team as a web developer and graphic artist. Unlike most BAH jobs, I have been told to bring a portfolio of my work as well since it is more of a creative position. I have an area in mind that I'd like to live in MD and grew up there so I know its fairly expensive but I'm used to it. Anyway, so with the two BA's, experience in the military involving the position, and a solid portfolio, and my TS I'd hope to negotiate in the low to high 50's. Through my research I've found the avg salary for even 0 yrs experience coming into BAH is just under 60 so I thought mid 50's was a reasonable starting point.

Any additional advice or opinions would definitely be helpful, thanks so much.

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