What's the company culture at Booz Allen Hamilton?

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GuessImaHater in Indian Head, Maryland

60 months ago

Semper Fi Marine83! That is the problem I have with many Boozers. Its sad that Ive only had one pleasant experience in three years. I feel like integrity and scruples simply do not exist. People are fake, and anyone with any morals or good character LEAVE as soon as possible. Everyone else stay because they swallowed the Kool-Aid. Or maybe their market just isnt the way mine is. Ive also heard that attitudes differ depending on where you are. Im in OS. Enough said! Im not an ass kisser. I didnt do it on active duty, and I dont do it now. The problem they have with me is that I stand up for myself. I try not to let Booz run my life. And, I say whats on my mind. They say they want original thinkers, but its a lie. And we really dont do genuine consulting. We are hourly workers! They do whatever the client wants, even when they disrespect us. Managers dont have our backs, and its hard trusting anyone. Im just tired of the lies and games. I have a meeting with my level four soon. Wonder what BS I'll be fed this time.

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

60 months ago

Semper Fi GuessImaHater! Don't succumb to the BS or Kool-Aid drinking fools at "the firm". You are correct about not being real consultants, again they do not care about the truth just money.

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Sarmer82 in Alexandria, Virginia

58 months ago

I was just offered a position with BAH as a Security Administrator in Herndon, VA. I have been working for Federal Gov't for 3.5 years now and looking for a change. I am looking for something that is closer to where I live. Right now i work in DC but take a commuter bus to get here-which is not bad at all especially since i am receiving subsidy transportation. After reading some of the comments, I am not sure whether I would want to make a transition from a Federal Gov't to a Private Sector at this time. I am kind of inclined not to accept a position with BAH because of all of the changes. Can anyone offer suggestions/recommendations or any advice?

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

58 months ago

Sarmer82 - What GS level are you? What level did BAH offer you? I will tell you this much a technical position at BAH is not one you see very often. I went to BAH as a very technical engineer (hands on) and within 2-4 years I was spending so much time writing and being a consultant that I lost all my technical skills. It has changed a lot over the past few years and was a much better place when it was a privately held company. Now they have to please the stock holders and board of directors and they will do anything it takes to please those people. Even sell their mothers and eat their young.

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Sarmer82 in Alexandria, Virginia

58 months ago

Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas said: Sarmer82 - What GS level are you? What level did BAH offer you? I will tell you this much a technical position at BAH is not one you see very often. I went to BAH as a very technical engineer (hands on) and within 2-4 years I was spending so much time writing and being a consultant that I lost all my technical skills. It has changed a lot over the past few years and was a much better place when it was a privately held company. Now they have to please the stock holders and board of directors and they will do anything it takes to please those people. Even sell their mothers and eat their young.

Right now I am GS-11 and my promotion goes up to GS-12 full performance level. They are offering me somewhere around the pay that I am making right now, slightly little bit more. But the only reason for change would be that it is within my commuting distance. Although, I have adjusted to going to Washington DC everyday, but just thought it would be nice working 20 minutes from my residence. The Security Admistrator deals mainly with the clearance level aspect of the job, not necessarily technical part of it. Here are the brief job duties:
Key Role: Administer US government security policies and procedures to assist the Facility Security Officer (FSO) with managing classified government contract programs. Oversee the day to day operations of a cleared facility, manage and monitor all access, and administer security education. Provide support in clearance processing, visit certifications, document control, physical security and security awareness initiatives with collateral security program.

I see when you say pleasing the stock holders! Are you still employed with them or not?

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

58 months ago

Sarmer82 - Now that I know the position is an FSO type position I would tread very carefully. I did not know anyone in the security office (those that handled clearances, paperwork, briefing and debriefing duties etc.) that stayed with the firm very long at all. The firm and management did not care a lot about those people either. Not that the firm cares a lot about people below level IV anymore. Just seeing the turnover in that group would worry me.

I have not been with the firm for a few years now. I felt a great burden lifted when I did leave. Life is not perfect anywhere but it does not have to be torturous where you work or live.

I wish you the best.

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Sarmer82 in Washington, District of Columbia

57 months ago

Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas said: Sarmer82 - Now that I know the position is an FSO type position I would tread very carefully. I did not know anyone in the security office (those that handled clearances, paperwork, briefing and debriefing duties etc.) that stayed with the firm very long at all. The firm and management did not care a lot about those people either. Not that the firm cares a lot about people below level IV anymore. Just seeing the turnover in that group would worry me.

I have not been with the firm for a few years now. I felt a great burden lifted when I did leave. Life is not perfect anywhere but it does not have to be torturous where you work or live.

I wish you the best.

Thanks for you advice, I might just go ahead and pass on the offer especially now since the economy is bad-it would be a bad decision to make a move going from gov't to private sector.

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Deipnosophist in Vienna, Virginia

55 months ago

I worked at Booz Allen for over eight years. During that time, I organically built a team of nearly 150 consultants. A very high performance team. From 2006 until 2010, I was happily involved in university recruiting, and on-site recruiting in the DC area -- as a Principal, I assisted in hiring over 500 staff for the organization. Booz Allen was a great company until late 2008. Since the sell off of the commercial group -- the 'WCB' -- and take over by the private equity firm, the culture has changed significantly. In the past year, it has experienced many departures of very talented staff. It has continued to decline. At the end of March 2010, the culture likely changed forever. The Core Values -- that which made Booz Allen a very special place to work -- seemed to be tossed aside. These 10 guiding principles: Client Service, Excellence, Diversity, Entrepreneurship, and Teamwork; Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Fairness, and Trust. There are many, many places out there to build a career. Great companies that adhere to these fundamental principles. Be careful -- choose wisely.

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

55 months ago

Looks like you cannot write anything bad about BAH or your experiences there any more.

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

55 months ago

Is this forum now owned by the Carlyle Group?

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

55 months ago

Core values were gone in 2003.

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MrDeals in Madison, Alabama

55 months ago

Any one here in Huntsville/Madison Al? Wondering what BAH in Huntsville is like? How are they to work for, how hard has it been to keep a job with the way things have been last 12-18 months.

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

55 months ago

MrDeals - I would image BAH in Huntsville would be like any other site outside the Washington, D.C. metro area which is where HQ is located. So that would mean a more laid back environment however one where you really need to be contected IOWs those who are friends with those in charge are the ones who benefit NOT those who work hard. As far as keeping a job goes BAH is just like every other company now. If they lose the work you have 2 weeks to find something else. Relocations are hard to get and the bulk of their work is in DC. Also now that they are no longer private life is not as good as it once was. Benefits are slowly disappearing. Good luck!

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Deipnosophist in Vienna, Virginia

55 months ago

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boozrehire in McLean, Virginia

54 months ago

Deipnosophist in Vienna, Virginia said: Culture: legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2011/07/booz-allen-hamilton-partner-sues-for-gender-discrimination.html

Just to note...She has a GOOD case!

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

54 months ago

From my experience I have no doubt Molly's story is 100% true and accurate. The Earth has never had a greater collection of arrogant people in one place like BAH.

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dcgirl in Baltimore, Maryland

54 months ago

I have no doubt that Molly Finn will settle out of Court or go to trial and will win. The charges ring exceptionally true within the Old Boy's Network at Booz Allen hamilton.I worked at BAH for 6 years until I made the transition to Booz & Co at a higher level and higher pay with higher respect from my superiors (which by far is exceptional when it comes to the way they treat their teams.yes you work hard but you are taken care of unlike BAH.I've since moved on in a senior leadership capacity elsewhere with fantastic credentials.I've seen the differences in management and leadership styles and corporate cultures.And there is absolutely a lot to be said about getting ahead at BAH whilst having your lips firmly planted where the sun seldom shines.If you do not fit the 'mold' at BAH, if you think outside the box and outside the scope of what your manager might prefer, there is no hope for advancement or support.When I joined the Firm it was still One Firm with the legacy CB and TB teams.The company culture was that of a true management consulting firm.Over the last 3 years especially since the buyout by Carlyle, Booz Allen Hamilton is nothing more than glorified contracting firm focusing on staff augmentation (butts in seats) in a way to hold onto clients during this economic cycle we are all experiencing. Many credentialed smart individuals have left to be snapped up competitors and clients alike.The current batch of juniors being hired have zero experience and are bubble-gum popping (I generalize as not all are but most)fraternity/sorority kids still wondering around with beer goggles on.The culture of the Firm is no longer the way it used to be.Even 10 years ago when the old boys network was in full gear, the culture was one of growth and development.Today it depends on who you know, who likes you, who you kiss up to and islittle about what you know and can do.You either fit in or you do not.Little is invested in development. I have to agree with most posts above

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dcgirl in Baltimore, Maryland

54 months ago

to BoozReHire

Molly Finn has exceptionally Good Cause.. i hope she wins...

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Deipnosophist in Vienna, Virginia

54 months ago

It is rather universal: all hope Molly Finn wins. ixNay on oozeBay. All of the claims in the 30+ page discourse seem very plausible; in fact i can actually hear some of the dialogue of the personalities. Knew em all. (knew MF too -- and personally believe that one can take her in very small doses). Of course, I could only take all of the Shrader-Minion-Sycophants in small doses -- the SMSs. Also, by the way, Booze was all over the place with respect to Diversity. Good heavens. More on this later.

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JusticeForMollyFinn in Sarasota, Florida

54 months ago

Since my last visit I see that my original post has been removed. Marine83, your observation about Carlyle Group ownership of this forum might just be correct. Anyway, to get back to the original question that launched this thread, I have the following to say, based on the changes I've seen in my nearly 15 years of working for BAH at multiple offices around the country: things have changed, and NOT for the better.

Since the great internal purges nearly eighteen months ago, which were launched in preparation for going public, Booz Allen has become OBSESSED with growth. By "growth," the powers that be mean "each Senior Associate gathering as many bodies as possible, qualifications of said bodies or available work with which to productively employ them be damned." It is, very simply, all about empire building and bonus grabbing, each overpaid and under-worked member of the Management Class (Senior Associate and above) desperately trying to justify his/her existence, usually at the expense of people who are actually producing by keeping clients happy.

Perhaps the most obscene manifestation of the "growth fixation" is in the current utilization "policy" (and I use that term loosely), coupled with its bogus "resource management" program. Unlike in years past (before going public), when employees and the teams in which they worked were valued and something approaching real leaders and real managers worked hard to keep their people billable, Booz Allen now no longer makes even a halfhearted pretense of helping people stay billable over the long term. If your contract runs out, it is ENTIRELY UP TO YOU, THE LOWLY WORKER BEE, to find yourself new work. If you're incredibly lucky, know the right people, and k*** the right a***s, you just MIGHT get help in finding leads that might possibly turn into new work. Otherwise, you're pretty much shafted.

Bottom line for would-be applicants: RUN, FORREST, RUN, and don't look back!

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OdinLink in Vienna, Virginia

53 months ago

Boy is KennaFish in for a big surprise. Six mos. at L2? LOL. Just you wait. Walk sideways in the halls, my friend, it's the best way to avoid crossfire.

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Wasn't ready for this... in Cleveland, Ohio

50 months ago

It's only been 3 months and I'm already sensing that Booz Allen will make me get a higher degree or some certifications. It feels like all my fellow collegues have an MBA and are working towards other certs. I just want to do my job well. I'm not interested in getting certifications or going to school at night. I came to this firm for the "work-life" balance that they highly touted. Does anyone have any feedback on how I'm feeling?

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

50 months ago

Not ready in Cleveland - If you are upset about BAH wanting you to go to training/school and think that was mis-leading on their work-life balance they touted during recruiting are you in for some surprises. The firm provides $5k & 40 hrs per year for training/certifications or at least they use to maybe they have taken that away too. You are going to find yourself (if you are any good at what you do) working a lot of overtime. As an example did they ever mention your working on proposals? First you work an 8 hour billable day then you go back to the office if you are not already there and work another 8 on the prop. You do that for a few weeks and a couple of times per year. You may get an award for $100 all the way up to $1,000. After 5 years you get a pen with your initials and BAH on it oh yeah & $100. After 10 years you get a plaque and $500. Oh this is if they have not taken those away. Back in the old days 1999, it was a better place they gave you a lot and took care of their employees. But here is why... In the 90's they hemorrhaged people to the rate of 70% or per year. Until it gets like that again they will only care about the fat cats who bring their black books with them.

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JusticeForMollyFinn in Sarasota, Florida

49 months ago

Cleveland, every COE/team within Booz Allen is different, so I have no way of knowing what kind of pressure your "leadership" (or as close as Booz Allen will ever come to that) is putting on you to get an advanced degree or professional certification. PERSONALLY, my attitude toward such things is this: if an advanced degree or certification is an absolute requirement for you to fill a position or do a specific job, either because your current contract requires it or because the job requires the skill sets that the degree or cert will validate, then by all means get it - with the caveat that Booz Allen or the client pay for it IN FULL. Otherwise, don't bother. The truth is that advanced degrees and certifications are RARELY EVER actually required for anyone to actually do a job and do it well. The reality is that in the state-corporate world, a world in which Booz Allen and like firms are key players, employees are pressured into spending massive amounts of time and money to get these usually worthless scraps of paper so that their bosses can pad their bill rates when pitching their "services" to corrupt and gullible government clients. If YOU, AND YOU ALONE feel that an advanced degree or certification is worth getting in order to fulfill a personal goal, then by all means go for it, even if it means having to shell out your own money to obtain it. (BTW, a caveat: if you allow Booz Allen to pay for part of all of your degree or cert, they make you sign a promise to commit yourself to a certain number of months or years of employment to the firm, however long they feel it takes them to get a ROI on their expenditure in the form of the employee's billable productivity. Otherwise, if you quit before this term expires, they dock the amount of money they contributed toward your degree of cert from your severance pay. Nothing wrong with that, but it does limit your options for bailing out if things get intolerable.)

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JusticeForMollyFinn in Sarasota, Florida

49 months ago

Marine83, they're still offering the tuition reimbursement rates that you mention - at least for now. I expect that if things continue to go downhill as they are, that'll be history soon too. They're still also doling out small change on certain longevity anniversaries (they don't present you with a check or gift card anymore as they did in the "good old days," but include the "bonus" in your next regular monthly paycheck. By the time the IRS takes its cut, it's so small an amount that it will probably go unnoticed). They also still give out the engraved wooden plaques on the five-year incremental anniversaries. But, as these are relatively high quality gift products, I expect that practice will soon stop as well, if for no other reason than that giving them implies that "leadership" still cares about people who've dedicated years of their lives to making the firm successful. Not only does "caring" certainly not accord with the current business model, the expense of such gifts takes precious money out of the partners' pockets. What with the firm's inflated stock prices starting to tank, those guys are gonna need all the spare change they can get ahold of.

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FYIproposed debarment in Cuero, Texas

48 months ago

The Air Force has proposed that San Antonio office of BAH be debarred from federal contracts. The particular BAH office is now on the Excluded Parties List and cannot receive new contracts, or have options exercised while on the list. What does this say about the culture at BAH? Is this type of office behavior exclusive to San Antonio? The Air Force Memo dated FEB 06 2012 can be found online.

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

48 months ago

I am no big fan of the firm any more, however I think they did all the right things in this case. Hell I know a level V in NOVA that has been getting contract information from his government client for the past 10 years and the firm just keeps promoting him. They fire who they want and protect who they want. Things never change.

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BTSGTG001 in San Antonio, Texas

47 months ago

Marine83, Ever thought of reporting your claim (which I totally believe is true) to the ethics hotline? It'd not only be the right thing to do, but would perhaps have an impact on the culture of arrogance that tends permeates the firm.

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BTSGTG001 in San Antonio, Texas

47 months ago

Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas said: I am no big fan of the firm any more, however I think they did all the right things in this case. Hell I know a level V in NOVA that has been getting contract information from his government client for the past 10 years and the firm just keeps promoting him. They fire who they want and protect who they want. Things never change.

Marine83, Ever thought of reporting your claim (which I totally believe is true) to the ethics hotline? It'd not only be the right thing to do, but would perhaps have an impact on the culture of arrogance that tends permeates the firm.

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

47 months ago

BTSGTG001 in San Antonio, Texas

No I am confident it would only backfire on me in some way. Like I said the firm will got to the mat for those who are part of the inner circle and backdoor boys hand shake club. I know someone who tried to report a LV & LIV that did not perform due diligence during a dismissal and nothing has changed. No matter what your LV or LIV might say to a partner the partner should know enough that he owes it to the individual, firm and what is right to perform an investigation. I'm not saying he should spend $1,000s looking into it but a couple of hours would have been prudent. No they will never learn until they are out of business which would be best for their clients when they are making 49% profit and all off the backs of level IIIs and below.

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Wasn't ready for this. in Westlake, Ohio

47 months ago

GuessImaHater in Herndon, Virginia said: Ive been reading these posts for months, and I have to agree that Booz Allen Hamilton sucks for ANYONE with an individual personality. Its as though they frown upon uniqueness. I hate the "networking". Ive gotten awards, clients are more than happy with my work and want me to come on as a GS, but is that good enough for Booz? NO! They want you to schmooze after work; Drink and carry on. Im just the type of gal who likes to put my head down and grind out my work. All the socializing and whatnot is just not in my personality and I dont believe that my natural personality should be frowned upon, especially if I do quality work. If the client is happy, why cant they leave me alone? Im actively searching for work at another company now, because I simply do not fit into the cliquish culture at the firm. Im a Marine. (formerly AD, now reserve) I really do hate coming to work. Ive had my work stolen! Ive been lied on and stabbed in the back, yet I still came out on top. I have only had ONE good project manager in my three year tenure. I can not wait to be free.

Have you found a new job yet? See I'm having just the opposite problem. I don't feel like I have enough work and cam in as an entry level position. In the 6 months that I've worked for BAH on the client site, I've already seen 3 people get fired of a BAH staff of maybe 30. I'm nervous and don't find my job fulfilling. If I have lack of work, I do believe that my Site Manager will try to find me a different project on the client site. However, what if I don't want that project? Do I get a say in what project I want or don't want? Can I ask at that point if they can lay me off? Relocating is not an option for me.

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BTSGTG001 in San Antonio, Texas

47 months ago

If times are tough, take whatever project they give you. If you don't, you WILL be labled a "non-team player" and it WILL come back to bite you. If your leadership gives you a choice, take the project that allows you to work for a GOOD TASK LEAD, someone who actually has your back and gives you credit for the work you're doing. I've been with the firm for more than a decade and can tell you that I would MUCH rather work for someone I trust than someone who keeps dangling carrots in my face and promising me promotions that just never come from some reason or another. I've worked for more than one "carrot dangler" and ended up watching the very people I hired and trained (while still pulling 100% of my task load) get promotions because they drank the company cool-aid. It's very disheartening. Again, take the project (for that matter, ANY PROJECT) that allows you to work with people you can actually trust. Don't be afraid to learn something new.

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BTSGTG001 in San Antonio, Texas

47 months ago

Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas said: BTSGTG001 in San Antonio, Texas

No I am confident it would only backfire on me in some way. Like I said the firm will got to the mat for those who are part of the inner circle and backdoor boys hand shake club. I know someone who tried to report a LV & LIV that did not perform due diligence during a dismissal and nothing has changed. No matter what your LV or LIV might say to a partner the partner should know enough that he owes it to the individual, firm and what is right to perform an investigation. I'm not saying he should spend $1,000s looking into it but a couple of hours would have been prudent. No they will never learn until they are out of business which would be best for their clients when they are making 49% profit and all off the backs of level IIIs and below.

I understand the part about it backfiring, but with all the stuff that's going on in the firm right now, what do you have to lose? I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to report ANY AND ALL unethical behavior!!! If enough of us do it, the truth will come out! Booz Allen used to be a good place to work over a decade ago, and I know there are some good people left, but it's just as much our fault for letting it go to crap if we don't use the tools that have been made available to us. We have an obligation to do the right thing, not because it's a touted "core value" (those have just become a joke!!! believe me, I've seen the very people displaying unethical behavior receive the "prestigious" VIP award), but because as a Marine you ARE better than that!!! Marines are the very symbol of integrity and loyalty!!! Please don't give up without a fight!!!

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Wasn't ready for this. in Westlake, Ohio

47 months ago

Thanks for that input. It's actually nice to hear and a bit motivating. I feel like you really have to motivate yourself at booz allen. Coming from a background where you had a great manager you worked under that always motivated you (my previous employer), the change for me is different and hard to adjust to.

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BTSGTG001 in San Antonio, Texas

47 months ago

Wasn't ready for this. in Westlake, Ohio said: Thanks for that input. It's actually nice to hear and a bit motivating. I feel like you really have to motivate yourself at booz allen. Coming from a background where you had a great manager you worked under that always motivated you (my previous employer), the change for me is different and hard to adjust to.

Just know that you are not alone. There are MANY, MANY of us in the rank and file that feel JUST LIKE YOU DO!!! There is a part of my that wishes this medium wasn't anonymous so I could conact you directly and talk. But, that's not how these sites work. And, that's not a bad thing since many people would opt out of telling the truth. I guess in this economy, we should just be happy to have a job. At least you can actively look for new work within the firm... The staff at my location (at ALL levels) has been banned from going after any new work since we're currently under suspension by the Federal Govt. What's sad is that many of us are going to lose our jobs soon if it isn't lifted while the firm's leaders back in DC just sit by and watch it happen. They love you when you're bringing in the business; they quarantine and cut off your life support when they don't -- even if you/your team had nothing to do with the events leading up to the suspension. Again, at this point, be happy you have a job. And, if you're that unhappy, just remember, the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one. Good luck, keep your head up, and keep doing the right thing...

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Not sure what to do in Cleveland, Ohio

46 months ago

So can anyone tell me what I should do. I was hired in for one position at Booz Allen and am finding myself doing the work of a completely different job than what was advertised. I'm afraid to mention anything to my career manager and to other booz employees. I seem to be catching on fine to the work, but find it miserable. Trust me if, if I saw this particular job posted, I would have never applied for it. Can anyone tell me how a career manager would react if i brought up this issue? I'm several months into the role, but hate what I do. I've already see other Booz staff members get let go because they were forced to change roles and failed. They just couldn't catch on quick enough or the client didn't like them. I'm stuck, looking elsewhere, but am trying to making something work with Booz Allen. Any advice?

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unemployment bound in Georgia

43 months ago

The lack of information once outside the "DC-beltway" is horrorific. For those who are not placed at a corporate site you might as well call Booz Allen Hamilton a franchise depending on a location. Information is lacking, no upper management will actually tell you the real deal. Most often the employees find out before they can jump off a sinking ship. If Booz Allen was a ship it would be the "Titanic" where the well informed and "inner circles" select would be on life boats while the rest of us just heard that we hit an iceberg. Since the company went public the cut-throat tactics have become even more deadly among fellow peers. Everyone is out to run over everyone else and for a company that places such high value on teamwork and unity, it boggles the mind how some of the upper management at the corporate level can sleep at night when the lower level "grunts" who are the real worker bees are the ones getting the biggest shaft out of this whole situation. Recently I was told that if our contract goes bust that there will not be any "on the beach" time due to the company having to ensure that they pay the stock-holders their dividends. The BAH "Core Values" only apply when someone screws up. Hence, while we received ample training for the whole Texas fiasco, I guess management overlooks the obvious and is now in "cutting our loses" at various client sites to ensure they still receive their bonus and employment. Booz Allen Hamilton is not the primary firm that it once held. All the folks in VA should be counting their prayers because the rest of us at client sites are being scarificed to make sure you keep you cush jobs.

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anony123 in Fairfax, Virginia

42 months ago

I just want to say that reading this comment section has been therapeutic for me. I've been with the company almost two years, and I've had all these frustrations about this place, and I felt alone in thinking them, until reading the comments here.

I think what sums what's wrong with this place is one word, cult. When you are brought on, you are put through a one week "orientation" to learn everything they want you to believe about the firm. You are told about how you've got a career manager who cares all about you, how Booz values all these core values, how they value quality of work, how they have an assessment process which is super objective, and how the employees are the best of the best - and everything sounds so great.

It takes a while to realize that absolutely NONE OF THOSE THINGS are true. Noone really cares about quality, noone really cares about your career, noone really cares about core values, many of the employees are mediocre and dispassionate, and the assessment is a joke [its a long drawn out process which ultimately just ends up with the people who suckup the best getting promoted].

And why do I say cult? Because everyone chooses to believe all these things they say at orientation, despite the fact that none of them are true. Everyone chooses to behave with the same dispassionate corporate personality. Everyone puts on the same corporate mask and says the "correct" things to say at the "correct" times. And like any cult, you will be made to feel like you took the crazy pill for thinking that things seem off here.

And if you don't assimilate to the behaviors/beliefs of the cult, you will be a target! My manager actually told me once that, as an employee, you "always need to be on". As in, you always have to be wearing the corporate mask, even if you are just around fellow Boozers.

The people who said that this firm is horrible if you have an individual personality were SPOT ON! Added to that, it's now a sinking ship as well..

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realdeal in Arlington, Virginia

42 months ago

I spent a little over 4 years at Booz Allen Hamilton and regret the last 2 years of that time. anon123, the firm use to be a very, very different place before the split and before going public. When I joined there were monthly team meetings where the entire team had to return to the home office and spend a few hours catching up. We had social events with food and drinks all the time. There were opportunities to collaborate, attend interesting presentation (they brought Dean Kamen once and the pilot who landed this damaged plane in the river up in NYC). It really was a nice place.

It all went to crap after the split. Truth be told I think the commercial business kept the government business in line. Once they were gone, the culture and mentality rapidly degenerated into the low-class, intellectually weak crap you see at the typical government contractor. Out went the interesting, intelligent people and in came hoards of stupid, government-focused worker bees.

The cult mentality you mention anon123 is very real. I once commented to someone that it was strange that when people left BAH nothing was said by no one. They simply disappeared and everyone acted as if that person never existed. It reminded me of those old Stalin-era pictures you see online where people were airbrushed off one by one as they fell out with Stalin. People simply vanished from BAH. It was the first time in my life I worked at a place where the company did not thank employees who were leaving on good terms. It was a warning sign I did not heed early enough.

The sad thing about the worker bees at Booz Allen these days is they don't realize how they are getting taken advantage of. They work 12-14 hours a day, including weekends but they get no return on that. No bonus, no nothing. And if you try not to do that, the mid-level Lead Associate managers (who are generally the most brain-dead people at Booz Allen) pressure you relentless to get back to work.

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Realitychick in California

38 months ago

I worked for BAH for a couple of years and couldn't wait to give my resignation! Here's a doozy:
Co-workers would go to offsite customer meetings with their laptops and pretend to be taking notes, instead they were either on facebook or Email chatting with friends. Another good one, they would be annoyed when asked a question that was work related, they didn't want to be bothered because they were shopping online.
Another one, they claimed to be working from home yet would be at the spa, ski up in the mountains, take 2-3 hour lunches (charging hours to the client), and on and on and not using their vacation hours. This is a common practice.
How do I know this? Because I was asked to participate so the group and their sneaky secrets could keep getting away with frauding the client(s). I didn't join in and didn't report to anyone because there was no one I could trust! I refused to drink the KoolAid.
The sick part is, some of those people are still employed with BAH and have moved up the ranks. I'm in a more professional environment and can breath a sigh of relief everytime I go to work now :)

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Working Professional in Bremerton, Washington

38 months ago

Realitychick in California said: I worked for BAH for a couple of years and couldn't wait to give my resignation! Here's a doozy:
Co-workers would go to offsite customer meetings with their laptops and pretend to be taking notes, instead they were either on facebook or Email chatting with friends. Another good one, they would be annoyed when asked a question that was work related, they didn't want to be bothered because they were shopping online.
Another one, they claimed to be working from home yet would be at the spa, ski up in the mountains, take 2-3 hour lunches (charging hours to the client), and on and on and not using their vacation hours. This is a common practice.
How do I know this? Because I was asked to participate so the group and their sneaky secrets could keep getting away with frauding the client(s). I didn't join in and didn't report to anyone because there was no one I could trust! I refused to drink the KoolAid.
The sick part is, some of those people are still employed with BAH and have moved up the ranks. I'm in a more professional environment and can breath a sigh of relief everytime I go to work now :)

Now that you're out of BAH, would you mind telling the area of CA you had your experiences?

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Old Guy in Dayton, Ohio

37 months ago

I read the comments, and I have to say my experience has been much different. Yeah, the company wants you to dress and act professionally--people judge the company by the peple they interact with. You shouldn't expect to wear jeans or pajamas to work in a professional position. That's why they call it a JOB and pay you money. I joined Booz 3 years ago because of their professional image and high quality performance (compared to other contractors and some Air Force civilians). The people I work with are all paid more than they wuld get with any other company in the same market. The bonuses are a consistent 10% of salary, placed in the 401k account so it isn't taxed. As with the Govt and other good companies, they do push furthering education and gaining certifications. I pushed that as a Govt manager--it is in the employee's best interests and helps them advance. They do believe and uphold the company values and are working to get rid of anyone who doesn't. The appraisal system is a waste, but so are the other systems I've been under. I'm just working my last years before retirement and they mostly don't do anything that interferes with my ability to serve my customers well. The work is challenging and Booz people get respect from the Govt and other contractors. Unlike some other places, I don't see much socializing or any company-sanctioned drinking. That's probably my only gripe.

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realdeal in Arlington, Virginia

37 months ago

Old Guy in Dayton, Ohio said: I read the comments, and I have to say my experience has been much different. Yeah, the company wants you to dress and act professionally--people judge the company by the peple they interact with. You shouldn't expect to wear jeans or pajamas to work in a professional position. That's why they call it a JOB and pay you money. I joined Booz 3 years ago because of their professional image and high quality performance. As with the Govt and other good companies, they do push furthering education and gaining certifications. I pushed that as a Govt manager--it is in the employee's best interests and helps them advance. They do believe and uphold the company values and are working to get rid of anyone who doesn't.

Therein lies the problem. BAH thinks its still the 1960s. Who says working in jeans isn't professional? I left that dump after 4 years and went to work back in the private sector where I wear... guess what... jeans every day. And you know what? The company hasn't collapsed yet. In fact, we are making more money than ever doing something useful instead of sucking on the gov't teat. Almost everyone I knew regretted the split with the commercial business. Once that happened, BAH became just another gov't contractor infested with gov't drones. Over the last two years the company has been bleeding badly the most capable, intelligent, and talented consultants. Why? Because pay went down and work went up. The weekly utilization drills? Those never existed prior to the split. The 1 month on the beach grace period before the LOW? That was unthinkable in the old BAH. High quality work? Hahaha. BAH recycles the same-old nonsense year in year out to the federal employees who aren't smart enough to see a con job when they see one. These days, a zombie has more intelligence than the typical BAH consultant.

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GreyForest1223 in Apo

29 months ago

I've been with Booz Allen for almost three years. I've noticed a culture of mediocrity and doing everything opposite from the core values that are preached at the New Hire Orientation and at periodic ethics training. I'm still an active officer with the Air Force Reserve, and two different career managers in CA and HI both pressured me to leverage my military connections to sell business. I have always intentionally held positions at military units that were geographically separated from my Booz job. My current reserve job is in Japan. However, that didn't stop my boss in Hawaii from asking me to set up a meeting between him and my military boss, while I was on military orders! The firms' military leave policy specifically states that you can't do work for the firm while on military orders. That did stop my boss from makings all kinds of requests to set up meetings and sell the brand while on active military status. Talk about conflict of interest. Also, I have noticed a culture of mediocrity in the firm. For example, despite my BA, MS, Top Secret Clearance, foreign language proficiency, 11 years of intel experience etc, the firm had a hard time finding me work in Hawaii. So, I went on an eight month military activation tour. Guess what happened while I was on military activation? They hired Edward Snowden!!! I couldn't believe it... they hire some dude who doesn't even have a high school degree and pay him $122K. They could have easily filled that job with a far more qualified candidate and for far less money. However, from what I have seen, many of the upper management at Booz are intimidated by people who have more qualifications than they do... probably driven out of insecurity. I've seen senior associates in Hawaii who haven't even completed their BA/BS. Meanwhile the people like me work like crazy and are under-paid and under-appreciated. The client facing folks work their fingers to the bone, while the 'chosen ones' hob nob at company funded cocktail parties.

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J

24 months ago

Marine83 in San Antonio, Texas said: Well KennaFish, your six months of experience with the firm definitely out weigh my nine years. You have been there six months and you already know that the firm will let you switch around if you do not like your job huh? I had a young lady try to come over to my team and her boss made her life so miserable that you finally just left the firm altogether. I know a L4 that got a company to pay for a trip to Europe for him and a colleague now they are trying to force that company's product down the throat of the government without a trade study or product comparison. Sounds like the honest broker we claim to be huh? He now has that same company providing training to his team and that company is picking up the airfare, hotel , car rental and meals. Do you think they are paying for all this because they are just nice and like this L4 that much? Or could they be looking for something in return? Tell me if it is so great why are we loosing so many people? Why did we have to start offering bigger bonuses for recruiting?

Glad to see you're so accepting of other peoples opinions. You have yours- others are welcome to have theirs as well. No need to attack...

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marine83 in San Antonio, Texas

24 months ago

J - Well you would have a good point if what I wrote had anything to do with opinions. What I wrote about was facts. Facts - a thing that is indisputably the case. Opinions are like butt holes everyone has one and they all stink. Also you must have missed my user name if you think what I said had anything to do with attacking.
I defy anyone to find another contractor or govie that will honestly say anything positive about BAH.

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Pakarinen in Mount Prospect, Illinois

19 months ago

Well, it looks like things haven't changed. I disagreed with a higher level manager on an issue instead of agreeing to be a fall guy for the client and I was out the door in 3 months. As far as your Career Manager et.al. doing "everything they can to help you find a new assignment", that's complete BS. All they did was told me to check Resource Management for open positions and sent me an LOW letter. The majority of hiring managers don't even respond to inquiries about positions they have posted that supposedly are immediate need.

Managers clearly play favorites, even going so far as to create positions for people they don't want to lay off. And consulting is dead; this place is a govt piecework shop - churn forms for the feds. Period.

My advice: Treat a job here as a short-term govt contract job. Say nothing except to agree with management and the client and spout the company BS about "core values" as often as possible. If it looks like you're getting an LOW, find another company to work for ASAP.

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Maggie in Denver, Colorado

16 months ago

Can anyone tell me about the benefits. Specifically,

Does the company offer a 401k program? If so what are the details i.e. matching and vesting? For example 50% match up to 8K and fully vested after 5 years...

How many days/weeks of vacation and holidays does a new hire receive? Does this increase with tenure?

What is the average merit/bonus?

Do they offer ST and LT disability? How much of your salary do you retain in these instances? For example at my current company its 100% for 26 weeks ST and 60% for LT.

How much do they offer annually for tuition assistance?

Any other unique benefits to speak of?

Thanks much!

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Emmy in Salt Lake City, Utah

14 months ago

Can anyone tell me who is the managing partner or principal in the Seattle office? I tried calling, but no one seems to know, and in fact behaved like that information was a deep dark top secret.

Thanks in advance.

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