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Booz Allen

Booz Allen

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  • Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance
  • The Firm
  • Overview
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Industry Position
  • A Quick History Lesson
  • Organization of the Firm
  • Recent Client List
  • Typical Studies
  • What’s Hot
  • On the Job
  • Consultants
  • Associates
  • The Workplace
  • Lifestyle
  • Culture
  • Workplace Diversity
  • Compensation
  • Civic Involvement
  • Vacation
  • Training
  • Career Path
  • Insider Scoop
  • Getting Hired
  • The Recruiting Process
  • The Interviewer’s Checklist
  • Interviewing Tips
  • Grilling Your Interviewer
  • For Your Reference
  • Consulting-Speak
  • Recommended Reading
  • For Further Study
  • Other Sources of Information
  • Key People and Places

Booz Allen Hamilton

WetFeet Insider Guide
2005 Edition

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Insider Guide

Booz Allen Hamilton
2005 Edition

Helping you make smarter career decisions.

It may not be reproduced. This publication is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. stored in a retrieval system. No copying in any form is permitted.com Booz Allen Hamilton ISBN: 1-58207-461-5 Photocopying Is Prohibited Copyright 2004 WetFeet. 609 Mission Street Suite 400 San Francisco.WetFeet. Inc. without the express written permission of WetFeet. CA 94105 Phone: (415) 284-7900 or 1-800-926-4JOB Fax: (415) 284-7910 Website: www. All rights reserved. in part or in whole. Inc. Inc.WetFeet. or transmitted in any form or by any means. . distributed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Competitive Strategy . . . .Table of Contents Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Organization of the Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Industry Position . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Recent Client List. . 35 Lifestyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 What’s Hot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Quick History Lesson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Workplace Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Typical Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Workplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 On the Job . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Key People and Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Career Path. 71 For Your Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Recommended Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Consulting-Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Insider Scoop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The Interviewer’s Checklist . . 68 Interviewing Tips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Other Sources of Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 The Recruiting Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Grilling Your Interviewer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Getting Hired. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 For Further Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Vacation . . . 85 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Civic Involvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

to take different information. VA 22102 Phone: 703-902-5000 Fax: 703-902-3333 www.” “It tends to impress interviewers when you have detailed questions about particular areas or activities of the firm. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now. Bain & Co.At a Glance Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance Headquarters 8283 Greensboro Drive McLean. operations. and come up with something realistic. The Boston Consulting Group.. For Booz Allen there is not one type of case.. SAIC Key Differentiating Factors • Part of the management consulting old guard • Combines strategic consulting with implementation. However do not try to puff yourself up too much. significant IT capabilities • Reputation for developing workable solutions based on very thorough analysis • Serves both government and corporate clients • Strong reputation in strategy. and information technology • Global presence with experience in 20 industries In the Recruiter’s Words “First of all.boozallen. organizations/leadership.com Primary Competitors Accenture. put a framework around it. We’re looking for your ability to think. be prepared for a case interview.” “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. your bluff might very well be called.” 1 . McKinsey & Co.

If not. Think about ways you’ve demonstrated your ability to meet a unique challenge—whether through your involvement in sports. validated assumptions. ‘Your team did a great job. I was worried that ‘up-or-out’ would drive a lot of negative behaviors. • Your interviewer will be looking for what sets you apart. I think a lot of it just has to do with the fact that if a team is successful in their work.” “You have to be very self-motivated: No one is going to tell you what to do. You have to find the motivation to do it yourself. no one is going to hold your hand. interests.At a Glance “We look for good structure. you’ll also be asked one or more case questions.” “Coming into consulting from industry. we look for not only strong generalists. So there’s little reward in anything less than a cooperative outlook.” “We want someone who can think logically.” 2 . we want to be able to bring not only the big ideas. or in the course of your education. but that’s not the case at all. I think that’s very different from some of the other firms. but also the ability to make things happen.’ My partner will know that I did that. they all look good. no one really looks good. What Insiders Say “In contrast to our competitors.” “There’s nothing better than when the [client team] gets the accolades at the end of an engagement. and other things such as creativity and business sense. no one is going to make sure that you show up. I don’t need that recognition. we also look for people who have good functional expertise. during a previous work experience. you’ll be asked to discuss in detail some aspect of your work experience.” In the Interview • Typically. I’ll get that internally when the client CEO calls the partner and says. who is responsible and a self-starter. or resume.” “When we recruit. If interviewing with the commercial side of the firm. These are usually based on an actual client engagement on which the interviewer has worked. I was pleasantly surprised by how much cooperation there really is. You may be asked to describe a particular assignment or discuss an industry or current trend.

enter as associates. Most non-MBAs enter Booz Allen at the associate level. • MBAs. It’s not uncommon to see cars there on the weekend. 2004 Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates.000+ 13. But on top of that. everyone has a very different perspective and background. 2004 Worldwide United States New hires.” The Career Ladder • Undergraduates enter the government side of the firm as consultants.7 billion 1-year growth rate: 22. too. ambitious. People seem to really like their work. Promotion to principal is the final step before being elected an officer (informally known as “partner”) of the firm. The firm also recruits PhDs and other non-MBA advanced-degree holders.7 percent Personnel Highlights Consulting professionals. They’re into it. • Booz Allen actively recruits experienced hires on both the government and commercial sides of the firm. Revenue 2004 revenue: $2. And I’ve felt that. they become senior associates and begin to manage projects. After 2 to 3 years. Booz Allen does not release hiring projections. currently. who make up the majority of commercial-sector hires.At a Glance “We tend to hire overachiever types [into the World Technology Business unit]. 15. and driven—very high-caliber players.” “Everyone is very bright.000+ 400 250 300 3 . You bring such different perspectives and points of view to a problem that you really produce a superior answer. the commercial side of the firm hires few undergraduates. 2004–05 Undergraduate MBA MBA summer hires.

000–65. 4 .000 (can vary) depends on need $40.000 $15.000 n/a depends on need Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. Booz Allen does not release salary information.At a Glance Compensation. Salaries for individuals working in the firm’s government-sector business tend to be lower than salaries for those in the commercial-sector business. 2003–04 Undergraduate Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus MBA Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus $100.

The Firm • Overview • Competitive Strategy • Industry Position • A Quick History Lesson • Organization of the Firm • Recent Client List • Typical Studies • What’s Hot The Firm 5 .

In recent years. Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the most highly regarded firms in the management consulting industry. Booz Allen’s government business—which employs nearly 12. firmwide infrastructure. CEO Ralph Shrader recently told Consulting Magazine. the firm has endeavored to create a single. or GO Team.000—is thriving. As it is. consultants work in the trenches and see their recommendations put into action. And Booz Allen has had for years what other consulting firms now strive for: the ability to deliver strategic recommendations and the technological expertise to execute them. With more than 100 offices on six continents and 15. competing with strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey. “We recognize where we are different and we know where we are the same. but also by sticking around to help clients carry out the changes it prescribes. it’s also one of the largest. who was later joined by Jim Allen and Carl Hamilton. which is responsible for the worldwide organization of the entire firm. and BCG. including the institution of the Global Operation Team. Booz Allen comprises two business units: the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB) and the considerably larger Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). WCB traditionally caters to Fortune 1000 corporations. whereas WTB works with government and other public-sector organizations. It focuses on long-term client relationships.000-plus employees. Bain.Overview The Firm Founded in 1914 by Ed Booz. WTB’s large-scale implementation projects have made it more comparable to consulting firms like Accenture and government-consulting powerhouse SAIC. The firm stands out not only by helping devise strategy. I believe that for the fore- 6 . so much so that it has enabled the company to expand its commercial offerings.

“Of the years I’ve been here. but your individuality is encouraged. Booz Allen’s work with government agencies that regulate health care have placed at in the forefront of this market.” “” Everybody works in teams. the WTB grew much faster. The Firm Following the consulting slump that hit the industry hard in 2001. firms that cater to the health care industry are in good standing. but there is a lot more in common than we ever gave ourselves credit for. is picking up. “As a specialty. there will always be a need for distinctiveness between certain segments of our business.” As a result. While WCB was going down a bit. better than the last couple of years. I’ve never felt stifled.seeable future. there is always demand for health-care products and services. Our economics are fantastic right now.” Another European insider agrees. “we had one of our best years in terms of profitability last year. Booz encourages you to follow your passion. “WTB has been doing very well during the downturn. Staff members are hired into a geographical location. On the commercial side. which ensures some solid ground for the firm even during volatile economic times. According to one insider. health-care consulting has plenty of job security and growth potential. or home team. Booz Allen seems to be entering a time of growth and optimism. No matter how the economy is doing. The opportunities are quite good. According to the October 2003 issue of Consultants News.” Health-care consulting is also on the rise. “Public-sector business on the commercial side.” Insiders credit the diversity of Booz Allen’s clients and services with its relative financial health and continued growth during some difficult years for the consulting industry. and project teams are staffed from across the firm’s organizational 7 . which is mostly consulting to ministries in Europe.” says an 8-year veteran. Booz Allen is organized around industry and functional “natural market” teams.

according to insiders. but everyone is busy. industry. operations. “The business is currently being managed through these segments. there is a fair amount of rewriting for a big review.structure to meet specific client needs.” one insider tells us. Early on.” Just as on the commercial side. and strategy experts. since we use the ‘no walls’ concept. you’ll start by gaining broad exposure. although an associate typically ‘owns’ some kind of work stream. They are just a management device and not key to any service offerings. working on at least two projects a year in a variety of industries. You are almost always working on a team. the more leash you will be given. government assignments are staffed with a variety of functional and subject matter experts. Every project team. and the job manager is in charge of developing a work plan. is organized along the following business segments: • Civil • Defense • National security This could soon change. No decision has been made on the future of segments. however. is staffed with a mix of information technology. however. “most of your work is reasonably structured: The proposal drives the deliverables.” The Firm 8 . expect a lot of oversight on your work. “As an associate. If you make it to the level of principal or officer. you’ll again apply your experience to a wider range of cases. Booz’s commercial career model might be best described as an hourglass: As a new hire. and the quicker you demonstrate the ability to write sensibly and quality-check your work. as one insider says. but frankly that’s where a lot of really good learning takes place. most of your work will be focused on an industry or technical competency. This sector. After a few years of experience. In general.

” The Firm The Bottom Line Things are picking up all over the consulting industry: Booz Allen was on campus recruiting in the fall of 2003 and will return in 2004. Says one principal. but we embrace diversity and look for more of it.. but it has a different set of requirements. otherwise you won’t be successful. than does the commercial side of our business. but your individuality is encouraged.” Unlike at some other firms. But new hires shouldn’t expect to move fluidly between the two sides of the firm. They are really different business models. The firm’s diversity of clients and expertise in both the private and public sectors have been driving factors in its stability. Booz encourages you to follow your passion in terms of industry interests. I think that’s something people fail to understand. Wherever you go in the world. “There’s some movement but it’s on the margins. “Not only do we have a very diverse bunch of people here. education needs.No matter which side of Booz Allen you work on. “Everybody works in teams. you have someone in the office speaking another language.” 9 . “You must have an international mindset. skill needs. So you must have an international outlook. I’ve never felt stifled. We have a wonderful government business. insiders agree that diversity is what sets Booz Allen’s culture apart from that of other management consulting firms. As one WCB recruiter puts it. I’ve worked with other consulting firms. I feel like I have a lot of autonomy. and this is the only one where I’ve really found this international exposure. “We are an international company.” Another insider says. this diversity applies to Booz Allen on a global scale.” one European insider tells us. etc.

but as a result the company is sometimes viewed—by both insiders and outsiders—as two firms within a firm. “[We’re a] firm of very smart. and we work with them to make those recommendations happen. This combination of strategy and technology—which gives the firm the ability to help clients carry out its recommendations—is what Booz Allen insiders say its government and commercial clients have come to expect and rely on.and private-sector clients. We’re willing to drop everything to go support a client.” says another insider. while its deep technology expertise puts it well ahead of companies like Accenture.” Booz Allen’s track record of serving both government and corporate clients is certainly its strongest differentiator.” says one insider. “which makes our culture different. Indeed. A companywide rebranding effort was launched in 2001 to position Booz Allen as one firm serving both public. because we didn’t just hand them a recommendation—they created it with us. along with McKinsey. and it succeeded in alleviating to some degree that perception in the consulting marketplace. talented individuals who are very concerned about seeing other people be successful. many insiders emphasize that its follow-through is one of Booz Allen’s most distinguishing characteristics. we know that our clients are going to be able to execute well.” And it’s the culture within the firm that supports its ability to offer this brand of thorough support to clients. Bain.Competitive Strategy The Firm Booz Allen Hamilton’s position in the consulting industry is unique in that its strategy practice places it in the top tier. and BCG. “That translates well into the client environment because we know that we work very hard to make not ourselves but our client look good. We work very hard to make sure that they understand the recommendations. 10 . So when we leave. “Our value proposition is different.

and German governments. The tighter linkage between our business units multiplies the firm’s power.” a recruiter tells us.” Another tells us. as another of Booz Allen’s competitive strengths. became the global resilience natural team. we really crack it. though perhaps we put more emphasis on analysis and the research behind our recommendations as opposed to just pulling them out of the sky. Booz Allen does similar work. This trend is also evident abroad: “In Europe we have a growing public-sector business with some major clients in the U. according to most insiders. Even if it’s a corporate strategy job. Every team brings the full power of Booz Allen to bear on every engagement. Beyond security. a government-side group that deals with issues surrounding homeland security for business. every engagement would have people with those backgrounds. Booz Allen is the logical choice for companies that want to succeed in an area where the firm has earned top-dog status: working with the government. We sweat a lot of details to get a right answer. and IT.” integrating security into strategic corporate planning. Global Assurance. the division remains distinct. In April 2004. “All consulting firms do the same kind of work. “When we crack a problem. both quantitative and qualitative.” The Firm 11 . “We’re seeing an increasing number of companies that want help developing a plan to do more work with the government.” Insiders see analysis.K. while our corporate clients want the special expertise we’ve developed through our government work.” says one insider. “Every commercial engagement is staffed with industry experts and functional experts in strategy. one of Booz Allen’s recent initiatives.“Our government clients want the benefit of commercial best practices.” Still. across the firm for both commercial and government clients under what it calls “enterprise resilience. operations. ”This is exciting because we are doing the same type of work for them that we do for commercial clients—and we are ahead of the game in the consulting field in this.” says an insider. According to one insider.

Mercer SAP T-Systems Booz Allen Hamilton LogicaCMG Atos Origin Oracle Unisys Altran EDS TietoEnator Watson Wyatt Worldwide Source: Excerpted and reprinted with permission of Consultants News June 2004. 12 . NH 03458 USA. Peterborough.com. up from number 16 in 2003. www.ConsultingCentral. phone: 800-531-0007. by 2003 Consulting Revenue Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Firm IBM Accenture Deloitte Capgemini CSC BearingPoint Hewlett-Packard McKinsey & Co. Consultants News/Kennedy Information.” Booz Allen came in at number 12. 20 Largest Consulting Firms.Industry Position The Firm In Consultants News’ June 2004 ranking of the “50 Largest Management Consulting Firms in the World.

13 . published in Fortune. 4/19/2004. Fortune. IBM Bain & Co. Ann Harrington. from 26th to tenth. who ranked the companies where they The Firm would most like to work. Booz Allen leapt 16 spots. Consulting Firms that Ranked in the Top 50 Rank 1 4 7 10 11 13 27 Firm McKinsey & Co.Where MBAs Want to Work In 2004. in a ranking of employers most popular among MBAs. Booz Allen Hamilton Deloitte Boston Consulting Group Accenture Source: Based on a study by Universum. The following ranking is a result of Universum’s 2004 survey of MBAs.

it seems that Mr. The firm’s early years were pretty tumultuous. and today’s Booz Allen Hamilton was born. advising the U. Thus the Booz. Edwin G. During the early years. Ed Booz and George Fry. In 1936. Ed Booz expanded his empire to a third employee in 1929: fellow Northwestern economics graduate Jim Allen. a psychology and economics graduate from Northwestern University. together with newly hired Carl Hamilton.S.A Quick History Lesson The Firm Booz Allen Hamilton dates back to 1914. Jim Allen is widely credited with building the firm into a consulting powerhouse by spearheading its growth and diversification. part business advisor. Although Ed Booz gets top billing on the corporate letterhead. he helped define the new industry of management consulting. Allen & Hamilton partnership came into being. when founder Ed Booz. Booz was part entrepreneur. From the start. This lack of structure was evidently a little too much for Allen—he actually quit the firm twice over the years. and by the early ’40s both Jim Allen and George Fry had bolted for greener pastures. Booz Surveys was largely a firm of independent consultants who worked on their own under the Booz umbrella. Army and businesses and conducting market surveys and statistical analyses. He worked almost exclusively on his own for 15 years. persuaded Jim that they were ready to develop a formal management structure and operate the firm as an ongoing business. With this process. Allen was lured back to Booz for a second time in 1943 (this time as chairman). and part lone wolf. entered the business world. and personnel. organization. After hiring George Fry in 1925. Fry. 14 . Booz’s approach was to begin by studying a company’s management.

Booz Allen worked alongside the U.) One firm insider says. “Ralph Shrader has surfed well in chaotic times. The 1990s were much more prosperous for Booz Allen. The Booz Allen commercial-sector business is headquartered in New York City.Besides working for commercial businesses. By 1988.S. A poor showing in the stock market led to the repurchase of the company. which laid the groundwork for Booz Allen’s modern-day Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). and he assumed the chairmanship in October of that year. now the firm’s corporate headquarters as well as headquarters for its government business. the company moved to McLean. when Michael McCullough put the already unstable firm through a vast restructuring of everything from industry focus to geographic areas. Awaiting him was a chaotic new consulting market. He wasn’t elected for that. (During the early stages of government testing of the Internet. To cope with the changing times. Booz Allen began to emphasize its technical savvy. Ralph Shrader became the CEO of the company. a third of the partners had jumped ship. and Booz Allen has been a privately held corporation ever since. The next year. Charlie Bowen. but he incorporated that well into the plan. In April 1999. the new Booz Allen took on a significant amount of consulting work for the federal government during World War II. Virginia. Although many others vie for multimillion-dollar government consulting gigs. in which technology and the Internet were quickly changing the landscape of the industry. splitting its business into separate government (WTB) and commercial (WCB) units. Booz Allen continued to prosper over the years—so much so that its partners decided to take the firm public in 1970 under the guidance of a new chairman. The wave of change just overtook the company. Department of Defense. William Stasior took charge in 1991. WTB has continued to be one of the most successful businesses in the field. The tumultuous times continued well into the 1980s.” The Firm 15 .

In 2001. Booz Allen was affected (like everyone else) by the bursting of the Internet bubble and a generally slumping economy. Booz Allen fared better than most firms thanks to the relative strength of its government business. However. Booz Allen has grown to more than 15. The Firm 16 . Booz Allen is successfully leveraging the strengths of its WTB and WCB units. and engagements with participants from both units are increasingly common.000 employees worldwide and is among the best-known strategy and technology consulting firms in the world. Today.

Now Booz Allen prefers that commercial consultants—except for those specializing in IT or operations—start their careers gaining broad skills across industries before they “go deep” and concentrate on one area by joining a natural market team. new commercial-sector hires had to align with a practice group (industry focus) right away.and private-sector clients. Booz Allen positions itself as one firm serving both government.Organization of the Firm The Firm View from the Top In a world of mega-mergers. “I think we lost some people [in the past] because we weren’t as flexible as we could be. View from the Middle Booz Allen has taken a different approach to the standard management consulting setup. called the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB). The firm’s staffing model brings industry. and the larger. government-focused Worldwide Technology Business (WTB).” says a recruiter. Historically. and information technology specialists together to form cross- 17 . perspective. strategy. operations. Booz Allen has remained independent and privately held. The organization consists of two business units: the corporate consulting group. or framework. Booz Allen’s approach to client work is based on the theory that a complex business problem cannot be adequately addressed using a single methodology. That means the firm’s officers still call all the shots (and pull in the big bucks). Though people within the firm are typically aligned with one side of the firm or the other.

but not Columbia. across all areas of expertise within the firm. Commercial-sector recruiters tell us. According to a principal at the firm. you’ll work across industries and natural market teams.” says one insider. which for the most part “attracts graduates of the University of Chicago and Kellogg.” Some offices are more difficult to get hired into than others. But we know we need X amount of people for the New York office. we ask candidates for their geographic preference.functional project teams. “In every step of the recruiting process.” The location you join becomes your home team. People 18 . The people who won’t get their choice are the people who change their minds six times in the process. Early in your Booz Allen career. they get it. “That way our clients get the best thinking from across the firm.” Major areas of expertise include the following: The Firm • Strategy • Organization and change leadership • Operations • Information technology • Technology management • Global assurance (homeland defense and enterprise resilience services) View from the Bottom On the commercial side. and we need to know what they’re thinking. but we encourage folks to work across multiple types of industries and jobs. which attract people from across the United States. rather than just a narrower approach. “Virtual teams are formed and disbanded as needed. and 98 percent of the time. too. “You can express interests and preferences. For instance. recruits are encouraged to join the organization in the geographic location they desire. recruiters say that San Francisco and New York. see more competition for available positions than does Chicago.

I actually had a team of 13 clients 19 . It’s headquartered in McLean. Early on.” says an insider. Insiders report that people in some offices have less intense travel demands.” The typical workweek means Monday through Thursday at the client’s location. Senior associates have teams of four to five that they run. And teams are often joint engagements that include consultants from both the government and commercial sectors. virtually all project teams include members of the client organization—in accordance with Booz Allen’s belief that. Rather than spread its staff among hundreds of different clients. ‘I’m a media guy. we encourage folks to get out and kind of kick around a bit. and I only want to be a media guy’ —we look for people to be more rounded than that. In addition. which include Booz Allen associates mixed with client personnel. to deliver enduring results.C. particularly those on the government side. Virginia. and a return to your home-team location on Friday. The Firm wherever that might be. clients themselves must be an integral part of the consulting process. Booz Allen prefers to serve a smaller group of core clients. may be substantially larger. Those who prefer to travel less might want to join Booz Allen’s government consulting practice.come in the door and say. and most of its clients are situated in and around nearby Washington. “We most often work in teams. A typical commercial team may consist of the following: • One or two consultants • Four or five associates • Two or three senior associates • One or two principals • One partner But teams on some projects. It isn’t uncommon for the firm to simultaneously staff several teams working on different projects for a single client. D. “The structure is normally a principal running a project.

there’s a lot of cooperation. We each used the other as a sounding board.” There are seven job titles at Booz Allen. “There is no official time it takes to make partner. Very helpful.” says a recruiter. I often get referrals to others who may have had a similar business problem to the one on my project.at one engagement. “It’s a real meritocracy. At another. they gave me resources and trusted me to do my job and gave lots of coaching and mentoring. In reality. you find yourself in a team room with all levels of people on either side of you. You get to show what you’re good at. On the client site. ranging from consultant (the entry point for undergrads) to senior vice president (known inside the firm as senior The Firm partner). I expected much more of a hierarchy. as I would hope an associate or consultant would feel walking into my office. each with a Booz Allen associate and two clients. I had two subteams. This isn’t the kind of place where people try to get credit for things they didn’t do. Once I had proven my credibility with [upper management].” And a senior associate says. I often get a quick e-mail back with a thorough explanation of their situation and some reference material. “I was promoted to senior associate last fall and all three of the people at my level were supportive. and I’ll contact them out of the blue.” Another tells us. “I have never once felt like I am being taken less seriously or prohibited from doing my job because of my level. and you get rewarded for it. but still. “When I came here. and you cannot help but have contact and interaction. and recruiters confirm that there is interest in promoting people more quickly. One Booz principal says. it might be a little more structured and hierarchical. I would feel absolutely comfortable walking into a senior partner’s office here.” A WTB insider says.” Insiders say that promotions occur faster than they used to. As a matter of fact. but job titles don’t seem to get in the way of a team effort to do quality work. There was never any feeling of being second-class because I was junior to them.” 20 . “Every path is customcrafted.

Recent Client List Despite consulting firms’ notorious secrecy about their clients. we’ve turned up a few that Booz Allen has worked with: Abbott Laboratories Amazon.com American Express Blue Cross Blue Shield BMW Boeing Borden. BP-Amoco Caterpillar Chicago Transit Authority Dallas Symphony E-Trade Federal Aviation Administration Ford Motor Company General Electric Government of Peru Group AXA Grupo Synkro Honeywell Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Project (New Jersey) Internal Revenue Service L’Oréal The Firm 21 . Inc.

Ministry of Economic Affairs (Netherlands) Motorola MTV Networks Museum of Television and Radio National Basketball Association The Nature Conservancy Net Brasil New Jersey Transit New York Times Nissan Procter & Gamble Pfizer Special Olympics. Inc..S. Police Department The World Bank The Firm 22 . Standard & Poor’s TAG Heuer Turner Broadcasting United Airlines U. D. Food and Drug Administration U.C.Lucent Technologies Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. National Guard Washington.S.

during war and peace times. Five years after beginning work on a system.S. Federal Transportation Authority After 9/11. Booz Allen developed and implemented a novel threat-andvulnerability-assessment tool in just 30 days—in time to secure Utah’s public transit for the Winter Olympics. the Booz Allen team “identified important concerns at even the most well prepared agencies.S.” U.S. According to the FTA.S. 23 . the U. Booz Allen stepped in and transformed the Web-based system to instantaneously track patients from origin to destination throughout the military’s health care system. Transportation Command realized that it needed to drastically overhaul its patienttracking procedures. it was still not in operation. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assess the security of public-transit systems nationwide.Typical Studies The Firm U. Booz Allen helped the U. and counterterrorism experts. After the conflict. catchily titled the Regulating and Command and Control (C2) Evacuation System (TRAC2ES). With a team that included security. Transportation Command More than half the soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm were taken to wrong locations and ill-facilitated hospitals. transportation. TRANSCOM officials subsequently report that TRAC2ES has saved lives during recent encounters in Afghanistan and Iraq. to address these issues.

Blue Force was put to use in Afghanistan. one of the largest financial institutions in Southeast Asia. 24 . This project won the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Phoenix Award. Booz Allen not only engineered the technology. but also implemented organizational changes.Bangkok Bank In the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late ’90s. senior military commanders now rank Blue Force Tracking among the three most important new capabilities available to allied forces in Afghanistan. but modernized its business model. Three months before its pilottest date.” the system. Among other strides: Between 2001 and early 2003. and land-use planning to help turn long-neglected buildings in Denver.S. and according to Booz Allen. overhauling 500 branches and ultimately positioning it ahead of the competition. Innovative Approach to “Brownfield” Project Booz Allen used its expertise in outreach.5 percent. Space Command. Space-Based Blue Force Tracking Together with the U. livable community space. regulatory analysis. was on the brink of collapse. To make the project work. Named “Space-Based Blue Force Tracking. Bangkok Bank. a prestigious award that acknowledges innovative projects that return unused or abandoned industrial and commercial sites to productive uses. secured funding. is used to streamline vast operations and locate wounded soldiers. Booz Allen devised a way to use global positioning system technology to track battlefield movement in real time.5 percent compared to its main competitor’s 7. Colorado. into a thriving. which is attached to existing satellite payloads. Booz Allen instituted a rapid “fix and build” program that not only restored The Firm and increased the bank’s profitability. the bank’s stock rose 23. and convinced various military constituencies to accept the new system.

“I’ve worked on several strategy and operations projects in a number of industries. especially from the lows of 2001 and early 2002. and financial services. Of course. but they also means there’s a good chance that you’ll see plenty of variety. One insider tells us that shorter projects can mean longer hours. but well-defined 6.What’s Hot The Firm Short and Sometimes Sweet Though the economy is still unreliable. in McLean. the multimonth mega-projects still exist. “In the 2 years I’ve been here. and many government-sector consultants are based in the federal government’s backyard. If you’re not sure you can hack the demanding lifestyle of a commercial consultant. now we work 2. WTB tends to work on longer. multiyear contracts. we have to be faster and more flexible in staffing people. and at least on the commercial side.to 8-week engagements seem to be becoming increasingly common.” Working for the Government WTB insiders report that they are afforded what is a comparative luxury in the world of consulting—a personal life outside of work. you could find a better work/life balance on the government side of the firm.” And a government-side insider warned that recent “rapid growth is causing a significant amount of work.” says one associate. Virginia. But clients are looking to get more bang for their consulting buck. business is picking up in the consulting industry. which 25 . insiders report that engagements are generally shorter than they used to be. health care. So. including energy.to 3-month assignments. “The assignments in the market are now a little shorter than before.” Another insider says. They used to be 6 months to 1 year.

another insider adds. Even though my team has the same technical theme.” says one WTB insider. business resilience for its corporate clients. then you will be quickly overcome. It’s not just applying the same thing over and over. “My clients are 10 miles away. “because other teams come to us. I travel maybe 40 percent of the time. Another adds. One insider describes the type of work Enterprise Resilience teams have done: “If your computers all went through the World Trade Center.accounts for the key quality-of-life difference between WTB and WCB. “Some of my WCB colleagues travel 80 percent of the time. “It’s not a place where you can hang out and be a slacker.” And there’s no indication that government-sector work isn’t every bit as interesting and challenging as that of its commercial-sector cousin. such as the CIA and NSA. We’ll help you handle the overflow. there’s a great diversity of work.” However. We’ve also done war-gaming exercises.” says one insider. the firm recognized a need for similar services in the commercial sector. Cue “Enterprise Resilience. “I’ve done well at the firm by being able to adapt and figure out how my skills. the Centers for Disease Control. 26 . “I’ve gotten to work for a multitude of clients. we could help you figure out if you should build a redundant call center. and my service offerings fit different client needs.” Booz Allen’s cross-firm initiative encompassing homeland security for the government sector.” The Firm Security Blanket Booz Allen has long worked for government agencies. on national security issues. We did a bioterrorism war game involving the FDA. If you come in hoping for that. my team’s skills. and the security needs shared by both. which is a big deal for information-intensive industries such as banking and insurance. But after September 11. I’m not on the road every Monday through Thursday.” Says another.

“One of our primary reasons for doing this. It’s a great opportunity. the United Negro College Fund. area. “This is my second pro bono project at Booz Allen.” an insider says. Booz Allen signed a 3-year agreement to take over title sponsorship of the PGA Tour event in Washington. Feel-Good Consulting Booz Allen makes an effort to offer its consultants plenty of opportunities to do good deeds. It makes me feel good about my consulting work. The event—formerly the Kemper Open.” Another hot pro bono project is the Harlem Small Business Initiative. and I’m not sure I’d be able to do it at any other firm. Former President Bill Clinton is another high-profile participant in the project. is one of The Firm the most prominent members of the firm working in this area. “It’s a project that has been generating a lot of internal buzz.C. It was a 3-day game to model what would happen if smallpox broke out in a city like Detroit or Virginia Beach.” says one insider.000 fans annually. and I think that’s kind of nice. which Booz Allen works on in collaboration with Columbia Business School and the National Black MBA Association.insurance companies. its roster includes the Special Olympics.” James Woolsey. and HMOs.C. D. and Amigos de las Americas. We’re trying to help people understand the scary world we live in. Christmas in April. “was to be able to give back to the Washington metro community. We have committed to donate at least $1 million every year to nonprofits in the D. My office takes that seriously. In the first 23 years 27 . now the Booz Allen Classic—attracts more than 180. In 2004. and we treat them just like any other client. a Booz Allen vice president who used to run the CIA. It’s worth noting that Booz Allen doesn’t limit itself to charitable involvement and pro bono projects with star power. One insider working on a project for the Children’s Defense Fund says.

” The PGA sponsorship also reflects the company’s current initiative to raise the profile of the Booz Allen brand. it raised only $8 million for charity.of the tournament. most of which was not earmarked for charities in the local area. [Historically] we’ve been a little bit more discreet. So this is a huge deal.” says one insider. but we’re being more aggressive about getting our message out now. “We’re investing in our brand in ways that we never did before.” The Firm 28 . “Our brand has never been better.

On the Job • Consultants • Associates On the Job 29 .

That said. “It’s a reflection of the market. Undergraduates from leading colleges and universities are more likely to find opportunities on the government side of the firm. because the person is very logical. including the following: • Conduct industry research • Develop analytical approaches to solving business problems • Run computer models • Interview clients On the Job 30 . Booz Allen will be recruiting MBAs and others with advanced degrees into its commercial business almost exclusively. We also look for people with business backgrounds who can do analysis. Undergraduates enter the firm with the title of consultant. the general lack of consultants on projects has not gone unnoticed by associates (MBAs and other advanced-degree holders). as one WTB insider explains. But I have somebody on my team who has a bachelor’s and a master’s in philosophy. “We tend to look for engineers.” The move away from hiring consultants into the commercial side of the firm reflects corporate clients’ preference for having more senior people on projects. However.Consultants In 2004. According to one recruiter. there are always exceptions. We look for technical people.” Though not common. but it’s unfortunate because it piles more work onto associates. computer scientists—people who have information systems and telecommunications backgrounds. “The profile of the type of undergraduate we recruit for WTB varies. and the work they do is similar to that of associates.” says one. especially those with electrical engineering and computer science degrees. a few consultants are still doing work within WCB.

Head out for dinner with rest of the team. Start developing television show profitability model. Run down to accounting to pick up cost/revenue report before the accountants all head home. More time on the spreadsheet. how much profit a television show generates for the network: What costs will we include? What are the direct costs vs. Tonight’s topic: Which slide will the partner want to change first? Home. sweet home. term ‘teamwork’ is 8:45 Discuss how to structure our analysis of really lived here. and technology associates who reportedly have worked on similar studies. Whoa! Plenty of new data to crunch! Day’s over. Quick meeting with associate to discuss modeling technique. On the Job 31 . media. 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:30 4:00 5:00 7:00 9:00 Call television trade organizations and order reports on television advertising.• Analyze data • Participate in group brainstorming sessions “” The environment here is more A Day in the Life of a Consultant collaborative than 8:30 Grab coffee and a scone on the way into the competitive. 11:15 Dial into Knowledge Online (KOL) system to uncover internal company resources on TV programming profitability. Leave voice mail for several communications. The office. the indirect and shared costs that will be allocated across all of the shows? 10:30 Call accounting office to request report with show-by-show production costs and advertising revenues. 12:30 Ask team member to pick up a sandwich and Coke so I can keep surfing KOL.

” A recruiter explains the process: “We hire a kind of ‘athlete’ out of business school: someone who’s really smart and dedicated. it’s my job to gather data. “As an associate. one associate reports that she “led a client team of about eight VPs and general managers.” Associates are responsible for a number of different tasks. I train them how to be a management consultant. Then I tend to use the different levels of the firm as an apprenticeship program to help train them. It’s a very different business model. test that data and check the accuracy of it. follow up with clients to make sure I completely understand the data. which vary depending on the type of engagement.Associates New MBAs at Booz Allen are hired as associates. two senior associates. and a partner on the case. I put them on a series of jobs that are anywhere from 8 weeks to 5 months. and I build a tool kit that’s going to help them get to the next level.” Even relatively recent associate hires enjoy a great deal of responsibility on On the Job project teams. Here’s a representative list: • Develop financial models • Facilitate work-group discussions • Conduct industry research and interview clients • Lead brainstorming meetings with project team 32 . Most of their time is spent working as a part of a project team. and ask the right questions in order to put it together and come up with sound results. but each associate was basically running his or her own work team. There were four associates. We developed growth forecasts and looked at new markets. While working on a project.

Meet with the officer from operations for a project update and status report. I’m thinking. He says I’m doing a fantastic job and perhaps there’s a project management opportunity in my future. 1:00 Back to the data collection project. Work with consultant to reconstruct that beautiful model I lost in virtual spreadsheet land. My laptop just crashed—I hate the new version of Excel! Think I’ll cool off by taking a quick walk around the building.• Prepare presentations and write reports. Now my job is to put this into a financial model that tells a story: Is this a potential acquisition target? Is there an opportunity to add value to this franchise. present portions of presentations to senior management • Help manage client teams A Day in the Life of an Associate 7:30 Catch flight to Dallas for another week at everyone’s favorite oil-company client. “What about acquisition opportunities?” 11:30 Work with consultant to generate data on petroleum franchises in Australia. What’s behind this? Put a consultant on the case. My job: Focus on opportunities in Australia and Asia. Our job: Evaluate international retail-expansion opportunities. Discover one franchise that looks interesting—several outlets. offer recommendations to the officer in charge. On the Job 2:30 3:00 4:00 4:40 7:00 33 . 12:30 Quick lunch break: sandwiches in the cafeteria with the rest of the team. Time to wrap it up for the day. He says the company once considered opening a retail franchise in Australia but decided against it—too pricey. Outline objectives for tomorrow’s meetings. 10:30 Arrive at client site just in time for a meeting with client’s director of strategic planning. or is it a dog? I can’t believe it. but lower profitability than other chains. Yes! Consultant has gathered great data on the target franchise.

and settle in for an early evening. On the Job 34 . call my boyfriend.8:00 8:30 9:30 Check in at the Four Seasons. Get onto the Stairmaster before the health club closes. Grab dinner at the hotel restaurant.

The Workplace • Lifestyle • Culture • Workplace Diversity • Compensation • Civic Involvement The Workplace • Vacation • Training • Career Path • Insider Scoop 35 .

In 2003, Consulting Magazine ranked Booz Allen sixth among the “Top 10 Best Consulting Firms to Work For” in the United States and second in the “Morale” category. Though consulting can be a grind, Booz Allen does make an effort to keep its employees happy while they are being productive. The firm recently collected numerous other awards for work/life balance: • Ranked second among the “Best Places to Work” in The Netherlands (Het Financieele Dagblad and Great Place to Work Institute, 2004) • Among the top 25 “Best Places to Work” in Germany (Psychonomics AG and Great Place to Work Institute) • Named to the top 10 “Most Desirable MBA Employers” (Fortune, 2004) • Named to the top 10 of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” (Working Mother, 2003) • One of 50 “Great Places to Work” in Washington, D.C. (Washingtonian)

The Workplace

• One of the “100 Best Places to Work in IT” (Computerworld) • Recipient of a BEST Award (American Society for Training and Development, 2003) • Recipient of a Workplace Excellence Award (Society for Human Resources Management) Booz Allen encourages flextime, and more than 45 percent of employees take the firm up on it. Employees job share, work compressed weeks or flexible hours, and telecommute from around the world—which the firm supports with laptops, e-mail, and dial-in lines for ready access to its intranet resources. Since 2000, the firm has invested $10.8 million in laptop computers, and in 2002, Booz Allen took steps to improve remote connectivity. These efforts have increased employees’ work options: “We certainly have the capacity to do


everything remotely, which has created opportunities for people,” says an insider. “Now we have people who live in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania who are able to network their way into our New York, Boston, or McLean offices—the Northeastern hub. So there is a bit more flexibility in location.”


Hotshots burn out quickly here. You may be successful in the short term, but people won’t want to work with you again.

Travel Requirements
On the commercial side, the firm’s travel policies include attempting to bring everybody back to the home office on Fridays and not scheduling client presentations on Mondays. The 5-4-3-2-1 program recommends that consultants and associates be limited to 5 days of work per week, 4 days and 3 nights at the client site, two projects per year, and one project at a time. The firm tries to hit these goals 80 percent of the time, recognizing that they’re not always attainable on teams assigned to projects with short time frames. According to an insider, “If you need to limit travel, the firm will try to balance the business’s needs with your development needs to accommodate that.” “We’re trying to put people within a 3-hour drive of their home office,” an insider tells us. “We’re still trying to embrace the 5-4-3-2-1. We also have a new [experimental] role in the New York office, an ombudsman who is responsible in a nonthreatening way for monitoring the work/life balance in different jobs. We embrace a generic social contract which is committed to certain workload levels; preservation of agreed-upon things that are important to the team: certain nights off, respect for appointments that are outside of the office, preservation of family events, etc.” “There’s no getting away from the fact that you’re out of town most of the week,” adds one insider. I’ve lived in Dallas for 3 years and don’t have a great

The Workplace

network of friends yet.” But others, like one insider who tells us his daily commute is an hour and a half from door to desk, actually prefer out-of-town assignments. “At the client site, everything is written off as an expense, and there’s no (daily) commute,” an insider says. And then there’s the insider who was not complaining when he told us that he’d “flown on a chartered Learjet for the last 8 weeks.” Those who work on the government side report that considerably less travel is required of them, primarily because many of their clients are located near the firm’s McLean, Virginia, headquarters or near other large government-focused offices, including San Diego and Colorado Springs.

Hours at Booz Allen depend largely on the practice to which you are assigned, the client, and the stage of the project. A principal tells us, “You’re generally at the client site Monday through Thursday, and then you’re looking at 12- to 14-hour days, maybe a little less on Monday because you’re on an early flight.

The Workplace

Friday, you’re looking at a 10-hour day. There’s a ramp-up phase at the beginning of a project, where the hours are more aggressive; then an execution phase, where it’s more manageable; and then at the end another ramp-up phase to tie it all together. Short-burn projects are more aggressive.” Another insider notes that operations projects tend to have slightly shorter hours than strategy projects. The average workweek is reportedly between 55 and 70 hours, but insiders say personal time off is available when you need it. “I got married this year,” says one, “and they told me to take as much time as I needed.” Correspondingly, a senior associate who’s been with the firm for 5 years says, “I took 6 months out of my career track to be a school manager. I needed some time: My second child was born, and I wanted to spend some time at home and not traveling


“but there’s the reality of consulting.” A senior associate on the government side says. however. ‘I will do this tonight. [The firm] really values employees. Booz Allen provides support. For example. Can you you’re looking at a help me prioritize?’ The managers don’t always 10-hour day.to 14the other stuff done. that she works in an area that allows employees to manage the work/life balance.” She notes. in the next few days. but I won’t be able to get and then you’re looking at 12. But let me tell you. I’m overwhelmed.” Several insiders emphasize that at Booz Allen you have the ability to adjust the pressure and that managers are receptive to “” You’re generally at the client site Monday requests for help.” says an insider. senior. “There are some legitimate reasons why that is not uniform across WTB. there are some teams that are not up to speed with that [work/life balance]. It will provide company cars if you leave after dark and dinner allowances when you work late. “We say work/life balance is important. “Now that I’m more through Thursday.” Still. “The number-one thing I like about Booz Allen is the flexible work/life balance. when the hours get intense. maybe a night anymore. I haven’t been at a 100 percent [work time] in the 3 years since my son was born. Says one.’ because I won’t stay up all hour days. realize when they’re overloading you. I’m home Wednesdays and Fridays with the baby. It becomes more manageable when little less on Monday you have the courage to say. ‘This is what I can because you’re on an achieve tonight. Friday.” The Workplace 39 . and this is what I plan to achieve early flight. and I’ve built up a decent reputation. Not every team can do that. given certain contract and classified requirements. I can say. you’ve got to do classified work in the office.[for work].

Culture Consultants throughout the firm stress that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single “Booz Allen type. walks of life. one could say that we have a culture where the individual comes first.” says one insider.” 40 .” Yet another says. It’s very much a values-based culture.” In fact. Another says. Booz Allen instills a prevailing ethic that resonates clearly across the firm. is assessed on them every year. People have dreams outside of consulting. “Booz Allen is a company made up of many individuals.” Similarly. “The culture of WTB is centered around a set of core values that are explicitly stated on the first page of the [employee] manual. but have in common that they believe in the same values. a government-side insider says. Every single employee. and perspectives. you’re constantly amazed by where people are coming from and what they’ve done.” In fact. but once you get to know the individuals. “It’s very diverse and a little eclectic in the sense that we may all appear to be professionals and consultants upon first meeting. in interviews with firm insiders.” says one insider. who are very different. It’s not a platitude. Booz Allen Family Values The Workplace Within its diverse workforce. it appears that at Booz Allen the only lack of diversity is in insiders’ opinions of their colleagues. “Based on that. It’s the first thing the senior managers look at when determining how to progress someone. the word diversity is used with eerie frequency: “We have a very diverse bunch of people here—all kinds of backgrounds. closely followed by the firm—not the other way around. “The people are pretty diverse as far as interests and educational backgrounds are concerned. no matter what level.

“The atmosphere is definitely a combination of intellectual competition and camaraderie. so you can’t be thin-skinned. The people are great to work with and all have very interesting and diverse backgrounds to share. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. Booz Allen exists as a relatively laid-back alternative to the BCGs and McKinseys of the consulting world.Competition and personality clashes might be expected at a firm staffed by so many individualists.” says one insider. Allen is very challenging but also very friendly. The team needs to crack the case. . It is competitive but not in a negative sense—more collegial. . “The atmosphere at Booz “” You have to be confident enough to dispassionately sit back and pick through something you’ve just said.” The Workplace In general.” says one insider. [instead.” Says another. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. “I think Booz Allen’s culture is more down to earth and supportive than some firms. not the individual. but you can’t be thin-skinned. You work with an intellectual set of people. but insiders say that conflicts are rare. “I do not find any competition between my peers within the firm. the] high level of demand placed on each of us to deliver quality thinking to our clients makes us compete against these expectations but not each other. Another insider says that “You have to be comfortable with your ideas and confident enough to dispassionately sit back and pick through something you’ve just said.” But laid-back and supportive doesn’t always mean warm and fuzzy. People are always sharing knowledge and helping each other out. People try to tear your idea apart.” 41 . so you have to be ready to contribute. however knowledge is shared and there is a very familial atmosphere. People try to tear your idea apart. . “I feel that the people in my office really care about each other.

” A New York insider says. Everyone here is really smart.” says an insider. then the office has a window. with lots of team dinners and other fun interactions. headquarters.” 42 . have a combination of both types. Romans. Virginia. The senior associates have their own offices. In some offices. Coworkers? Most insiders with whom we talked emphasized the balance struck between fun and professionalism at their individual offices. if you’re just stopping in. whereas others consist of virtual offices. I was just in with my team—a working session over lunch. “Then there’s a virtual office in a hub where you come in and get assigned a place to sit. There are five or six associates in large rooms so they can talk. First you share an office. “There is a fair amount of variation in the subcultures of different project teams. staffers have assigned spaces. Of course. and I’ve made some lifelong friends here. and then you get a private office. your mileage may vary depending on the team you work on.Friends. like the London office. and it’s nice being around people I can learn a lot from and who challenge me. sometimes called hoteling. Because of the cubicle setup.” an insider says. But it’s a decent balance. Some are more in the ‘eat your spinach’ mode and head back to the hotel to do e-mail and room service. And there’s the bullpen. “The people here are very funloving. But I also like the fact that everyone here is extremely professional. There’s a laptop on every desk and team rooms in every hallway.” Likewise. “There are people who are squatters and have their own offices.” Some offices. “Some partners and job managers are very outgoing. Most of the doors are open. office structure varies depending on where you’re stationed. “There’s a ranking system. “There are sets of cubicles for the associates [in the New York office].” says an insider The Workplace assigned to the McLean. associates can conduct conversation that’s both professional and social.

So this culture thing is hard. As you get more senior.” The Workplace 43 . so on a Friday or Saturday. Says one insider. and that’s a lot of the appeal. Do we do things socially as a work group? Absolutely. and other informal social opportunities. many insiders mention seasonal outings. “On the client site. “We are growing so fast on the TB side. but coming out of the downturn. most folks have some strong personal relationships with a couple other folks in the office. which I think stems from the fact that we share offices and too much talking could be distracting. there’s a lot of social interaction. “Social interaction outside of work really varies by level. we have all these new people across the firm who don’t know Booz Allen. but would I participate in it a lot more? That’s difficult to say. there’s a real inclination to go visit your other life and your friends outside of work. I think it used to be considerably better a few years ago. though. but it’s a concern. “There isn’t a lot of chit-chat between employees. Is there a super-robust after-hours environment? Probably less than I would like to see. there’s definitely some of that. saying. Cutbacks after 2001 and the recent hiring boom have both had some effect on employees’ relationships. And more than one insider mentions marriages that were made not only in heaven. In terms of the office culture. In general. usually in their cohort. but also on Booz Allen project teams.” A WTB insider says the recent increases in hiring on that side are being felt among staff.Another insider counters. it’s a decent place to come in as an associate. It’s not something I don’t like.” Even so.” According to one insider. I think people are a little gun-shy and tend to invest a little less in work relationships. Some offices schedule activities—like ice cream socials and citywide scavenger hunts—to get employees together. happy hours. but it’s difficult. People are on the road.

the firm rolled out a new paid internship program for college juniors and seniors who attend any of the United Negro College Fund’s 39 member colleges and universities. In 2001. “There probably aren’t enough minority and women in upper management.” says an insider. not as much Latino and AfricanAmerican. Once people get to the more senior point. it meant a lot to me that Booz Allen had quite a few black partners. and benefits. but we’re better than most of our clients. policies. Minority hiring trends tend to differ from office to office. We have a good mix of minorities and women up to the point of the senior associate position. firmwide diversity initiative in 1993 and appointed a director of diversity to oversee diversity recruiting. For at least one insider. “I think minorities seems to do better [here] in general. we haven’t been able to maintain that [level of diversity]. though some insiders The Workplace report that the government side of the firm is more diverse than the commercial side. We’re certainly not representative of the general population at higher levels. and that was a big selling point. [but] I don’t think it’s anything cultural. A WCB insider says.” The firm actively recruits at minority conferences such as the National Black MBA and National Hispanic MBA conferences. It meant they took diversity seriously. retention. Booz Allen’s commitment to diversity was a significant factor in his decision to join the firm: “Since I’m African-American. “It’s still largely Asian and Caucasian.” 44 .” Still another insider says. training.Workplace Diversity Booz Allen began a formal. staff development. We don’t have as many female partners as some of our competitors do.

45 . For all staff. German Diversity Task Force. Hispanic Interest Group. Booz Allen Hamilton Parents Network. Hispanic Forum. Asian American Professional Development. is an employee-driven. open to all employees. offering “encouragement and mentoring. Junior Exempt Employee Forum. Asia-Pacific–American Forum. the company has many employee groups that support diversity in the workplace. and Sexual Orientation in the Workplace courses. “Our former CEO was a huge proponent of diversity. ESL Pilot Group. lesbian. Disability Forum. and brown-bag lunch sessions on topics such as “Interacting with People with Disabilities. our current CEO.” The firm is making diversity training mandatory for its officers and principals. the firm offers courses in diversity such as “Working Effectively in a Diverse Organization” and “Managing in a Diverse Organization. Latin American Professional Development. coming from the top like that. Nonexempt Employee Forum. Booz Allen also provides sexual harassment awareness training for employees. and transgendered employees).” Diversity Training According to a Booz Allen recruiter. as is Ralph Shrader.” Booz Allen’s Professional Development Diversity Series. African-American Professional Development. Blacks at Booz Allen. bisexual. The firm’s Women of Greater Washington along with other site-specific women’s forums addresses gender issues at the firm. Disabilities Task Force.Internally. and it offers a half-day course to teach The Workplace managers how to conduct interviews that are both probing and sensitive to diversity.” computer-based courses designed to strengthen employees’ diversity skills. and GLOBE Forum (for gay. Insiders report that women at Booz Allen generally support one another. including the African-American Forum. firm-sponsored series of professional development workshops that includes the Women’s Professional Development. and it really gives it a lot of weight.

hiring. “We’re 46 . work for. Its “Disability One-Stop” site. which includes information about diversity at the firm and links to forums’ websites. Opportunities for Women In addition to being recognized for its commitment to diversity. and the National Disability and Business Council. Booz Allen has been recognized for its diversity initiatives by such organizations as the Human Rights Campaign. 2003) In addition.The firm has a diversity intranet site. Chao. Washington.C. provides training.S. 2004) • New Freedom Initiative Award (U. and resources for staff with disabilities and the people they work with. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. or supervise. D. Booz Allen has been named to Working Mother’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for each of the last 5 years. Black Collegian magazine. Moreover. Booz Allen has an annual awards ceremony to recognize employees who’ve made a significant professional contribution to enhancing the firm’s diversity. information. The firm also received several awards last year for its diversity efforts: • Excellence Through Diversity Award (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Metropolitan. sponsored by the firm’s Disability Forum.) The Workplace • Employer of Choice (Minority Corporate Counsel Association. the firm was among the top ten and ranked number one among consulting firms. Recognition Booz Allen’s commitment to attracting. five AfricanAmerican Booz Allen officers were profiled. In the July 2002 issue of Consulting Magazine. and retaining a diverse workforce has garnered the firm awards and acclaim from a number of corners. in 2002 and 2003.

I don’t think it’s bad at all for women. and balance. but it happens to be a lot of diverse men. there The Workplace 47 . A ton more could be done on that point. at lot of diverse men. Every year the firm also recognizes six of its female colleagues with the Women of Distinction Award. This is a colleaguenominated award that honors women who exemplify strong character and spirit. The lack time and offers parental leave to both male and of female partners is female employees.” says a recruiter. each with more than 620 you’re trying to start a locations across the United States. sensitivity. have been elected to the partnership level while working part-time. “They’ve got the diversity thing down. The lack of female partners to me is very discouraging. “At my level [associate] and lower. Virginia. by partnering with two consulting is hard if child-care companies.exceptionally proud of that. and employees nationwide. In September 2000. There are very few women partners. but we have a long way to go. In 2002. “” They’ve got the diversity thing down. One female insider says. another female insider says. The firm should give women Booz Allen has allowed officers to work partmore options. including an all-day but it happens to be a kindergarten and extended-hours care. The firm sponsors a number of networking lunches and forums for female employees and a new Women’s Professional Development Course. and consulting is hard if you’re trying to start a family. Some insiders think the firm could do a better job when it comes to promoting women. the firm extended its child-care benefits to There are very few women partners. The firm should maybe give women more options. family. to provide child care. women very discouraging. In a few instances. Once you get to principal and partner. company headquarters in McLean. selflessness.” However. the firm opened the Booz Allen Family Center.

For those that don’t elect to have children.” Indeed one senior associate says.” says one insider. This is really getting down to society’s expectations for women vs. This is harsh to say. and the women who are at the higher levels got to where they are without maintaining lifestyle balance—but you could say that about the men as well. . we do a much better job in this area than our competitors. but from what I have seen. That kind of arrangement is still rare for women. but they don’t seem to fare particularly well. . I think they do fine.aren’t that many role models. “Minorities are also never represented well enough. and it crosses right though the primary child-bearing years for professional women. Some part-time programs have been tried. It’s a long slog of travel in the future of anyone aspiring to be a partner. “Women have a hard time staying around long enough to make it. . men. It’s not just Booz Allen.” In summary: “There are probably never enough women represented in the firm. but I think having a trailing spouse may be necessary to make it and have kids in this kind of environment.” The Workplace 48 .

” says an insider. The price we pay for stability is lower salaries and not as boutique-y a kind of image. “With the war for The Workplace 49 . you’re going to be paid less. we are very much a top-drawer firm. “It’s a trade-off. you’re compensated accordingly. Booz Allen does not release specific salary information. I cannot go in and work. so starting salaries don’t vary a great deal from one firm to the next. Those on the government side reportedly earn less because of differences in fee structure and the partner-to-staff team ratios.. On holidays. they don’t work. between salaries on Booz Allen’s government and commercial business sides. insist that their light travel schedules and regular work hours are dictated by the nature of their work: “I think one reason that the [WTB side could be] perceived as being laidback is because our clients are government and they work a very prescribed schedule during the week. but as an insider tells us.Compensation Consulting firms are in direct competition for top talent.” WTB insiders. “WTB is a more classic corporate structure with long careers—people stay for 20 to 25 years. “If you want a job where you’re not working until midnight and traveling all the time. however. There are differences. In some cases I cannot even work [off premises] and charge it to the project. say. “There’s a lot of stability because there’s no forced up-or-out model. though in our market in the federal sector. etc.” says one. insiders report that the lifestyle differences are the very reason they find the salary gap acceptable. Sometimes we can’t access the clients after 5:00.” Although the firm says its salary structures are based on market rates rather than on less quantifiable elements such as lifestyle. the FBI on a national holiday and they’re closed.” We expect salaries to rise across the industry for 2004–05. If I am sent to. weekends. however. If you want a fast pace.

and Booz Allen frequently offers tuition support to those who choose to get an MBA if they return to the firm after graduation. Relocation bonuses are based on need. paid personal leave to meet specified personal commitments. and profit sharing. Compensation packages for undergrads start at around $60. in which staff can put up to 10 percent of salary. and signing bonuses vary widely if offered at all. Summer internships at the MBA level pay a prorated amount based on the MBA starting salary. In addition to base pay. 50 . Summer associates who return to the commercial sector after graduation from business school may be reimbursed for their second year of tuition. we expect salaries to rise more quickly than they have since the dotcom bust. In addition. which pay on the high side. many employees are eligible for a year-end bonus based on the employee’s performance as well as the firm’s. Commercial consultants are also eligible for year-end bonuses.talent heating up.” The government-sector positions pay less. In the United States. and several other resources to help you achieve work/life The Workplace balance.7 percent of eligible compensation over the Social Security wage base (if applicable). in which each year the firm can contribute up to 10 percent of an employee’s eligible compensation (and it’s often the full 10 percent) and 5. you’ll get to choose from a selection of health plans. compared to private-sector positions.000. Booz Allen has a profit-sharing and savings plan called the employee capital accumulation plan (ECAP). and you’ll be eligible for paid parental leave. ECAP has two parts: a 401(k) plan.

and nonprofit arts organizations.” says one insider. Amigos de las Americas. This is saying. Booz Allen will back up an employee’s civic commitment with dollars or equipment and time allowances. more likely than not. I can help you be successful but I’m not going got get involved unless you ask me. “There are people who are smart and motivated but who don’t care about the folks around them—and this is not caring in the touchy-feely sense. the firm is going to support it.’” Some of the company’s pro bono and charitable activities include work with the Special Olympics.Civic Involvement Booz Allen’s Community Relations program helps employees participate in a variety of activities and organizations. The Neediest Kids.” Insiders also tell us that Booz Allen has a weekly e-mail bulletin that. Booz Allen’s intranet site includes an area called Community Relations Online. 51 .” says an insider. I’ll bend over backward for you. If you see a cause you want to get involved in. and there is recognition for it. “We get a lot of support from the partnership. Toys for Tots. which helps staff find volunteer opportunities and guides them through the process of securing the firm’s support for charities and organizations in which they are already involved. and participating in charity races. and I don’t want you to waste that. encourages participation in various community events. shelters.” Booz Allen’s approach to pro bono and community work reflects the company culture. “It’s one of the things I like best about Booz Allen. The Workplace “There are constant opportunities to get involved. doing pro bono work. along with announcing contract awards and job openings. Staff members volunteer their time by working in various community service projects at schools. According to one insider who has helped renovate homes in Chicago. ‘Look I see an opportunity for you be successful. If you ask me to help.

In November 2001. produce clear and measurable results. The firm sponsors its own Involvement and Impact Awards to honor Booz Allen individuals. and teams whose volunteer service. This year’s awards came in six categories: • Individual volunteer service The Workplace • Individual leadership • Office or business unit volunteer service • Group collaboration volunteer service • Pro bono initiatives • Forum or affinity group volunteer service 52 . incorporate professional expertise. CEO Ralph Shrader spoke out on the importance of civic involvement in a speech at Yale. titled “Finding a New Balance in a New World: Combining Ambition and Altruism. to name just a few.” Booz Allen’s charitable efforts run the gamut from the type of strategizing the firm does for Fortune 500 companies to hands-on work such as rebuilding homes and clearing park trails. Each year.000 annually for the Children’s National Medical Center. leadership. The firm also raises more than $50. employee groups. and the Smithsonian Institution.America’s Charities. Northern Virginia Family Services. Christmas in April. and generate substantial impact. or corporate citizenship demonstrate the firm’s core values. hundreds of Booz Allen volunteers help renovate houses for those in need.

” says an insider.” Another insider says. In fact. no one has ever said that I couldn’t go. Employees in European offices can expect more vacation time than those joining in the United States.Vacation Booz Allen employees are encouraged to use vacation time.” New employees receive 2 to 5 weeks of vacation plus holidays (depending on the country). it isn’t moved. “In the 9 years I’ve been here. I’ve never had to cancel a vacation. That’s also because I communicate my plans far in advance. and 2 floating holidays that can be used at their discretion. but once I’ve made plans. The Workplace 53 . the concept of a cancelled vacation is so foreign to Booz Allen insiders that when asked whether they’d ever been asked to change their vacation plans. it often stunned them into silence. 3 paid personal days. That means that once your vacation request is set up. “The thought never occurred to me. not even a 1-day delay. “I usually try to plan my vacation for a time when my project workload is light.

You’re expected to carry your own weight. Booz Allen increased its investment in learning and development by nearly 12 percent. culture.to 10-day orientations—taking place in training centers around the world—where they learn about Booz Allen’s heritage. it puts all new hires through 7. so a lot of the learning comes from your day-to-day work. employees go through a cohort class that’s designed The Workplace to help them develop their craft and analytical skills. Not only does the firm offer tuition assistance and pay for self-led. Summer associates attend a 5-day orientation.” 54 . that “most of the training comes from just being on the project and working with the other team members. and enhance interpersonal communication. and approach to consulting.Training Training magazine ranked Booz Allen fourth in its “Training Top 100 List” for 2004. And with each promotion. fine-tune their leadership abilities. also giving it the “Best in Class” honor in the Professional Services Company category. Many insiders agree. While many companies cut their training budgets last year. individualized training in specialized areas. Those from nontraditional backgrounds who join Booz Allen on the commercial side also go through a mini-MBA program. however.

‘Can I talk to you?’” says a senior associate. However. though she also says that good guidance abounds: “We do it informally—through our assessments and through personal recommendations.” One way or another. Booz Allen employees—from consultant through senior vice president—tend to be on a first-name basis. a WTB insider says that a formal mentoring program instituted in her office several years ago fizzled out. Senior associates select a market-facing team and build professional depth through specialization in an industry or function. A recruiter confirms that the firm is interested in moving people up faster and points out that every path to partner is custom- The Workplace 55 .Career Path Booz Allen seeks to develop professionals who have knowledge and expertise that is broad as well as deep. Staffing opportunities are posted on an intranet site. and doors to offices are generally open. Booz Allen helps employees find challenging assignments and avenues to develop their careers. One way is through its mentorship program. “I personally have about ten people who come into my office and ask. insiders say. associates. and senior associates each have a junior and a senior mentor who let them know what jobs are coming up and help guide their choices. Promotions at Booz Allen are based on merit and. but several insiders at Booz Allen spoke unusually highly of theirs. Commercial associates are hired into home offices and work on a series of engagements across industries and functions so they can develop broad skill sets. and employees are able to nominate themselves for upcoming projects. are occurring more quickly than in the past. Consultants. all WTB insiders sing praise for the support they receive. Most consulting firms have some sort of mentoring program.

You can’t be a super communicator and a poor deliverer. but everyone on your project—your mentors and your job managers—want you to succeed. There’s a minimum hurdle you have to surpass. but people who play to one area or another are recognized. you’ll have the opportunity to play a role either in content leadership (which means you’ll sell projects and work closely with clients.crafted. An insider says. So when you finally break down and ask for help.” This kind of support underscores the firm’s culture in general. you must be promoted or asked to leave the The Workplace company. you get help from all over the place: from partners down to the most junior people. “I think there’s always going to be pressure around that. There’s a sense of reality that at a certain time you either get promoted or move on. This flexibility allows people with different skill sets to find a place within the firm. I can only do that because I take enjoyment in seeing someone else be successful. Booz Allen’s commercial side has an up-or-out policy. “It’s different things at different levels. it’s about managing the team. managing relationships with them) or in thought leadership (which means you’ll become an expert in an industry and share your knowledge with others in the firm). As for what gets you promoted. As you get more senior.” The typical path to partnership takes 6 to 8 years. But I don’t think it’s anything that I can’t get around. “This goes back to this whole idea of helping other people succeed. According to a senior associate.” says a recruiter. an insider says. which means that at certain points in your career. “Now you can drive as hard and as fast as you want. it’s about delivering the work. At early stages.” As you rise through the Booz Allen ranks.” 56 . and that takes some of the uneasiness out of it. “How quickly you progress is up to you. then about managing the client and delivering the business. That also means that you have the same high-caliber people internally who want to help you be successful.

In this program. 57 . there is no up-or-out policy. engineering. Most undergraduates join the firm in the government sector. Booz Allen’s government side has a technology and public management internship program with positions located throughout the Washington. math.On the government side. The year in industry gives consultants relevant industry experience that can help them both in business school and later on if they decide to return to consulting or industry. economics. science. the firm does hire from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds.boozallen. and people can either move up or stay at the same level for years without any pressure to leave. When the year is over. business. Booz Allen helps a consultant find a position in a client company. and business administration. including engineering. This program seeks students with backgrounds in computer science. Resumes for internship opportunities are accepted throughout the year and can be submitted online at www. and computer science. information systems. metropolitan area. D.C. Booz Allen sponsors the consultant in business school (provided that he or she agrees to come back to work at Booz Allen). The Workplace If you like consulting.. the firm offers the Third Year in Industry program. humanities. Opportunities for Undergraduates Although most of Booz Allen’s hires on the commercial side are MBAs. A good way to get a foot in the door before you graduate is via a Booz Allen internship. but want the experience of working on the client side without leaving Booz Allen.com. but it also has opportunities for students pursuing degrees in the liberal arts and the hard sciences. where the consultant spends a year broadening his or her exposure to the client’s industry before business school.

After 2 to 3 years. this depends on your language skills and the market. Once on board. 58 . they move up the ranks to senior associate. first-year MBA candidates are recruited on campus beginning in January for the Booz Allen summer program. Typically. Experienced industry professionals enter at different levels depending on their qualifications. Of course. International Opportunities Booz Allen has an impressive worldwide footprint. vice president. Many of those who participate in the summer program receive offers of full-time employment that they have 6 to 9 months to accept. where they manage projects. At the top of the pyramid lie the lofty positions of principal. they’re eligible for the same promotions and other opportunities as Booz Allen staff hired directly out of school. To fill out the balance of its full-time MBA class. Opportunities for Midcareer Candidates Booz Allen actively recruits PhDs and other non-MBA advanced-degree candidates as well as experienced professionals from other consulting firms and The Workplace related industries.Opportunities for MBAs New MBA hires start as associates on the commercial side of the firm. but employees who want one have a good chance of landing an international assignment. New hires are typically staffed into offices within their home countries. with representatives in more than 60 countries and offices on every continent except Antarctica. Booz Allen recruiters return to campus in the fall to court second-year students. and senior vice president. Insiders report that there’s a real upward pull for people who are ready and able to take on more responsibility.

” The firm’s European hiring trends are shifting. “Everybody is very bright and the environment really pushes you. “I like to describe it as a flat hierarchical organization where you are free to work your own schedule and to set your own deadlines— 59 . you’ve pretty much got to be multilingual to build yourself a career. You have a lot of self-determination and a lot of responsibility. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now. “The Japanese market is totally different from Singapore. If you can do it. Says one insider. “You’re expected to put your ideas and perspectives in there. “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. and we want to hear from new associates as much as from the partner. In Europe. and employees are impressed by its thoroughness.” Says yet another. you’ll have a chance to lead the thinking.One insider says. According to one European recruiter.” Insider Scoop What Employees Really Like The Workplace Show Your Stuff “Meritocracy” seems to be a favorite word among insiders describing Booz Allen. “There’s a lot of autonomy and responsibility on projects.” The company’s 360-degree appraisal process is designed to reward excellence.” reports another insider. where everything’s pretty much done in English.

” Not Just Ivy Leaguers Insiders at Booz Allen tell us that the company’s recruiting efforts have a much wider reach in comparison to some of its competitors. Booz Allen offers a full range of consulting services in six main areas: strategy. You need to be on top of things. One insider says. after the first 6 months.” Insiders say this approach strengthens Booz Allen’s staff and helps the firm avoid the snobbery that characterizes other firms in the industry and that can make building a rapport with a client’s staff difficult. People do have MBAs. and smart—but no ‘brains on sticks. but they have different life experiences before that. It’s fun.’” A European insider says.” Another insider says. This is my fourth consulting firm and it’s the best place I’ve been. A principal says. Once you demonstrate that you are on top of things. you can design your own career. “The people are really what keep me here.” says one.at any level—you get empowered very early in the process. “The camaraderie is great.” It’s All About the People All of our insiders say that the people at Booz Allen are a major draw. Many employees see this as a real plus. “The people are down-toearth. “The people are talented and work well together. “I’ve had clients pull me aside and tell me they appreciate how diverse we are. You need to take responsibility for what you are doing. organization and change 60 . team-oriented. that it relates more to their organization. pragmatic. My concern was that everybody would have the standard engineering degree and then an MBA.” The Workplace Square Foundation Booz Allen employees point to the company’s broad consulting base as another big positive. “The people are a lot more diverse than I thought they would be. Unlike firms that offer only strategy consulting or others that specialize in operations or information technology.

“We really kick the tires on any strategy we propose. or arrogance.” 61 . “Some partners bring a style that can be tiresome: micromanage. operations. like any firm. Although the work and travel schedule I think that some people come into consulting and really aren’t ready for the commitment that it takes. pushpush-push. “I think that some people come into consulting and really aren’t ready for the commitment that it takes. Booz Allen.leadership.” says one insider. is subject to personalities. The Workplace Relations While most Booz Allen insiders celebrate the support and mentoring they receive. According to one insider. information technology. Not a lot. but you’ll remember that 20 percent well. That’s something people need to be honest about: Do you want to be traveling? Do you want to be working long hours? may be predictable over the course of a long project.” “” Watch Out! On the Road Again If you join the commercial side of Booz Allen. the travel demands are much less onerous. maybe 20 percent. especially if you have kids or someday want to!” On the government side of the business. we build strong relationships with clients. According to one insider. technology management. you can expect to spend a lot of time on the road. That’s something people need to be honest about: Do you want to be traveling? Do you want to be working the long hours?” In the words of another insider: “Travel is always a drag. “In the areas where we’re strong. and global assurance. many Booz Allen consultants spend lots of time away from home.

one insider notes that the firm might be a better fit for those coming out of MIT’s business school than Harvard’s.” Another insider tells us. But keep in mind that Booz Allen isn’t looking for employees who are brilliant with data but bad with people. but you can’t relay that message in a convincing manner. but there’s also a lot of self-direction. “You should become really proficient with financial analysis and doing spreadsheets and modeling in order to get respect at this firm. If you’re not comfortable being selfmotivated and assertive about getting ahead. According to one insider.” Data-Heavy Though Booz Allen does its share of work on organizational and people issues. “If you have all the answers. adds this insider: “It doesn’t feel as yucky as it sounds. If you think you’re getting into consulting to get away from networking.” If you’d rather spend your time dealing primarily with people issues. well. it’s useless to us and to the client. Another insider says. especially among partners. insiders acknowledge that the firm places a relatively heavy emphasis on The Workplace quantitative analysis. you might be happier somewhere else. “People have to be aggressive in managing their own careers.” says an insider. but it is something I’d tell people to be aware of. that’s definitely not the case. This is coming from someone whose personal weakness is quantitative analysis. 62 . and I’ve done just fine. You can’t be a passive player and walk in the door and expect everything to work out perfectly for you.Looking Out for Number 1 Insiders say that once you finish your training (which one describes as “really quick”). Booz Allen may not be the place for you. Playing on stereotypes. There is a whole mentoring program and a staffing group that take people in and ramp them up. “A lot of one’s success at Booz Allen depends on the network and alliance that you can build for yourself.” Not to worry. you’re pretty much on your own.

Getting Hired • The Recruiting Process • The Interviewer’s Checklist • Interviewing Tips • Grilling Your Interviewer Getting Hired 63 .

Booz Allen likes students to have as much contact as possible with the firm before the interview. Booz Allen has been on campus recruiting every year since 2001. “The best way to get a job is to know someone who already Getting Hired works at Booz Allen because more than 50 percent of all new hires come from employee referrals. and recommendations for prospective hires. Insiders we spoke to think this is an important opportunity to likewise help candidates decide whether Booz Allen is a good match for them.” says one commercial-side insider.” Booz Allen puts candidates for its commercial business through a standard hiring process that begins with first-round interviews on campus and continues with second and (sometimes) third rounds at the office for which the candidate 64 . and according to several insiders on both sides of the firm. case examples. As in most companies. The “Careers” section of Booz Allen’s website includes a document entitled “Interviewing Tips and Case Primer for Commercial Consulting Candidates.The Recruiting Process After a few very bad years for MBAs and undergraduates hoping to work in consulting. Secondary to that is responding to the posting in the website. things are looking up. associates will even call students and then meet with them to discuss their goals for the future. An insider from global operations says.” which offers useful analytical frameworks. This helps determine whether the student will fit in well at Booz Allen. hiring is now up all around. The firm has lately been quoted in various media as saying that its hiring projections are way up. “We’re increasing our MBA recruiting over last year. In some cases. it helps to know someone.

deals with conflict. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer. check out WetFeet’s Ace Your Case series at www. back-to-back interviews. There was a logical flow.is being considered. “It’s a critical part of the evaluation process. The company seeks people with a demonstrated record of “” We are looking for more than brains on a stick. everyone Booz Allen is likely to interview is going to be smart and accomplished.” says one recent hire. but is now emphasizing the general resume review as well as conversation to determine how the candidate manages his or her work. “We are looking for more than brains on a stick. Cultural fit also weighs heavily in candidate assessment.com. You think that it should be easy to answer questions about yourself. We are also looking for leadership skills. and then be able to talk about those in an interview and relate them to your resume. Second and third rounds usually involve multiple. achievement in a career before attending business school and an intellectual track record in school. you’re not going to be able to answer the fit questions very well.” Remember. And if you don’t think ahead of time about the key things in your life that have helped make you successful. “Practice the case interview. According to one recruiter. but you’re not likely to have done that in as stressful an environment as a case interview. We are also looking for leadership skills. “Where most people fail is that they do not prepare for the ‘fit’ part of the interview. accepts responsibility.) Getting Hired 65 . Our cases are based on prior client work of the people doing the interview. and so on.” (For a rigorous review of case questions. I didn’t feel like they were trying to trick me. Booz Allen relies on case interviews to test a candidate’s analytical abilities. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer.” More than one recent hire we spoke to emphasized that the case interview is the best opportunity to stand out from the crowd.WetFeet. One insider says. During my case interview.

but we have to communicate that to our client.000 per year toward tuition.” Expect several rounds of interviews. “We’re looking for someone who can communicate their thought processes.” Insiders also emphasize that communication and writing skills are important.” says one WTB recruiter. and we support that. Undergraduates with engineering. I want to make sure these people can write. but we look for the best talent. A lot of them go back to school as part of their work with us. Be sure to highlight any government.” 66 . and how you solved them. In an interview I try to probe their analytical thinking process. But according to one recruiting insider. I like to tell people to come prepared with three things that they’ve built and white papers. “We don’t look for a position per se. “We look for a candidate.” says a recruiter. “We try to encourage folks to go to more of a state school. Booz Allen will help you move ahead. We’re doing analytical work. “University recruiting is not a large percentage of the recruiting we do for the government business. “We do hire a lot of Getting Hired junior staff coming right out of school. or defense industry internships on your resume as well. Where the WTB side used to encourage only technical degrees. We like to have writing samples. and public policy degrees are likely to attract the most interest. national security. Says one recruiter. but we still hire a large number of undergraduates. A typical interview question I’d ask of a college hire: Give me an example of a project you had. then obviously relevant experience. Interpersonal skills and analytical thinking are probably the top two criteria.” an insider reports.” Once you’re in.Undergraduates Currently. the problems you encountered. computer science. where they can take more classes [for that money]. business. it now promotes the pursuit of MBAs for some of its employees. “The firm gives $5. Booz Allen is not actively recruiting undergraduates into its commercial-sector unit.

“I was asked many case questions in my interviews.” Getting Hired 67 . Like college hires.” says one insider hired out of B-school. The governmentsector side of the firm in particular brings in large numbers of experienced hires. “People with high-level security clearances are extremely precious and few and far between. “I know that interviewers derive many questions from cases they’ve been staffed on. WTB seeks candidates with government experience. It can take up to 18 months to get a security clearance.” Says another. One WTB insider says it looks for “individuals leaving government or military service with consulting experience and especially those with security clearances.MBAs The best way to get your foot in the door is to sign up for the on-campus interviewing program at your school. They want to see how you can establish a framework. Contact the Booz Allen location of your choice. midcareer candidates must survive several rounds of interviews that include case questions. candidates with security clearances are especially attractive to the firm right now.” Midcareer Candidates Booz Allen hires midcareer people from other consulting firms and from industry. to arrive at a logical solution. step by step.

The Interviewer’s Checklist To give candidates a more consistent interviewing experience. it wasn’t bad at all. Booz Allen designates a specific person to coordinate each campus recruiting effort. “If I were stuck at an airport with this candidate. His or her checklist will contain most of the following: • Drive (people who aren’t passionate about consulting usually fail) • Analytical skills (ability to analyze and assess data) • Teamwork (everything is done in teams) • Intellectual curiosity (Does this person get excited about solving problems?) • Communication skills (Can this person convey his or her ideas?) • Leadership (ability to get the most out of others) • Client skills (Can this person build effective client relationships?) • Poise (ability to remain cool under pressure) • Credibility (Does this person seem full of hot air?) • Interpersonal skills (see the “The Airport Test” below) The Airport Test What’s the airport test? The interviewer wonders. would I go crazy?” An insider elaborates: “You hear about that airport test. Aside from it taking 12 hours to get from Detroit Getting Hired to New York. I’ve done it.” This is to say that whoever hired this insider’s traveling companion found somebody who was enjoyable company for those 12 hours. 68 .

” a commercial-side recruiter tells us. “A lot of the time. Booz Allen won’t necessarily be looking for the right answer as much as for evidence of how you think. 100. and otherwise project a low-energy demeanor. 3. “But it’s all a list of actions and results. It’s not a list of how you actually did those things. slouch in their chairs. Take the time to structure your response. 2. You should take a problem. that’s great. “Your resume is supposed to be a list of the most important things you’ve done on one page. 1. Know your resume. Booz Allen recruiters tell us that candidates often earn dings long before the case arrives. “If you can quantify things. (Then again. be sure to pick those that are easy to handle (e. So if you sit down for an hour with your resume Getting Hired 69 . One tip from our experts: If you get a question that requires discussing numbers. Many don’t know what’s on their resumes. Consultants really get turned on by coming up with excellent solutions to difficult business problems.000. 10. If you can talk convincingly about how that will turn you on. break it apart. you may convince your interviewers that you’re Booz Allen material. and analyze.g. 250 million).” 5. Your interviewer will also want to see that you’re comfortable with numbers.. you may just convince them that you’re nuts!) 4. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the intellectual side of consulting. Practice case questions if you’re applying to Booz Allen’s commercial business. can’t explain why they want to work for Booz Allen. I see people giving their gut answers right away.Interviewing Tips 1.” says one insider.

etc. How did I actually get this stuff done? How did I handle people and pitfalls that came along the way. the Worldwide Commercial Business serves commercial clients. you’ll be much better prepared to answer any question that anyone asks you about yourself. That’s Booz Allen to you. Basically. Getting Hired 70 .. It’s also a bad idea to refer to the firm as “BAH. whereas the Worldwide Technology Business serves government and institutional clients.and think.” 7. Insiders tell us that the firm’s name is often shortened to omit Hamilton but that Booz by itself is too informal and should be avoided in an interview. cowboy. Know the difference between WCB and WTB.” 6.

what opportunities exist to work with clients in the commercial sector? And vice versa? • What mechanisms does Booz Allen have in place to support personal and professional development? 71 . • What’s the turnover rate at Booz Allen? • How easy or difficult is it to transfer between offices? Getting Hired • If assigned to the government sector.Grilling Your Interviewer This is your chance to turn the tables and find out what you want to know about Booz Allen. while the “Well Done” ones will help you put the fire to your interviewer’s feet. • Why did your last client hire Booz Allen instead of one of your competitors? • What are the business benefits and disadvantages of Booz Allen’s long-termrelationship approach with clients? • How do the commercial and government sides of the business work together? • Where do you see Booz Allen’s growth opportunities coming from in the near future? Medium • Describe your efforts to diversify your staff. We strongly encourage you to spend time preparing questions of your own. Rare • Give me examples of recent projects undertaken by the firm. The “Rare” questions are meant to be boring and innocuous. the samples below should get you started. In the meantime.

how does Booz Allen maintain a consistent culture and sense of community? • As a collection of individuals. and how effective do you think it will be? • How well have the changes you’ve made in your career development and in the organization been received by people in the organization. and what wrinkles remain to be ironed out? • Booz Allen has a reputation for developing numbers-driven solutions. do you think there is any downside to that approach? Getting Hired 72 .• Has the lack of undergraduate hires into WCB led to a heavier workload for associates? • How is Booz Allen addressing changes in the consulting industry? Well Done • Given its large organization and distinct industry groups. Do you find that to be true? If so. how well do Booz Allen professionals function on teams? • How many female and minority VPs does Booz Allen have? • What is Booz Allen doing to move ahead of its top-tier consulting competitors.

For Your Reference For Your Reference • Consulting-Speak • Recommended Reading • For Further Study • Other Sources of Information • Key People and Places 73 .

A book written by James C. Beware: Unauthorized use of these terms has been known to seriously offend every known species of consultant. a software firm might hire a consulting firm to do a benchmark study on how much other firms are spending on customer service. in which they destroy the myth that the core product is more important than the vision the company espouses. it refers to those firms that want to be around for many decades or centuries.” this is a favorite consulting tool used to analyze a number of items along two dimensions. It’s basically a graph with X and Y axes that cross in the middle. 2x2.For Your Reference Consulting-Speak To help prepare you for both your interviews and a possible career in the field. Big Hairy Audacious Goal. The term now enjoys widespread usage as describing a company with a strong culture based on a core ideology or identity. Collins and Jerry I. For example. This buzzword comes from the book Built to Last (see next entry). More loosely. Pronounced “two by two. Built to Last. we’ve asked our insiders to give us the most up-to-date consulting jargon. Here’s another standard-issue item from the consulting toolbox. BHAG. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to produce one of these during your interview. Porras. A benchmark study is an analysis of the performance of a number of companies along specified dimensions. creating four different sectors. Benchmark. Benchmarks are levels of performance or output against which you can evaluate the performance of something else. not just a few years. 74 .

and Internet). the telephone.” or business-related. such as. wireline. it’s not about growing your top line. Consulting services in telecommunications (cable. It’s your channel. Core competencies. 75 . your product.” (The bottom line is profit.” Case interview. the PDA. as in. and the PC will someday all become one. “Suppose a client asked you to figure out why his business is experiencing an unusual decline in sales and a severe cash flow problem. and media—or “converging” industries. your interviewer will give you a set of facts and ask you a question to analyze how you structure a problem. as in. it’s about growing your bottom line. what kind of people would they be?” Change management. Yoplait. the TV. and Colombo yogurts came to life. The top line is sales. Things a company does best. It has everything to do with whom you hire and what they do. “If Dannon. when really it’s just muddying up an already fuzzy concept.For Your Reference Business design. wireless.” They could also just be wacky. The thinking is that the Internet. “How many dimes are currently in circulation?. how you gear up the troops. how you execute your offering. computers. think it through. Convergence. Customer relationship management (CRM). In a case interview. Case questions can be numerical.) “Business design is about what you do. Here’s a $5 buzzword that sounds like it’s making things clear. Most firms use this term to refer to a specific type of consulting work dedicated to such things as helping a company restructure its organization and cope with the human problems that accompany such an effort. Here’s a consultant’s definition: “For a company. Communication technology that helps companies manage customer information. and ultimately come up with a solution.

The reason? Too many consulting firms were criticized for leaving behind a big stack of slides that never resulted in any action by the client. As a result.For Your Reference Deliverable. Engagement/project/study/case/job. The product or solution you give (deliver) to the client. A popular consulting project during the ’90s. and the more you use them (up to a point).” Or it can be something more MBA-ish. say. Framework. billing. that’s your deliverable. like Porter’s Five Forces. for instance. the more analytical you’ll sound. Basically. Deliverables typically come with dates (when you will deliver). a framework is any kind of structure you can use to look at a problem. It can be as simple as. Consultants love frameworks. These days. These are all different ways in which the firms refer to a specific project. Growth involved taking a small private start-up from. Interviewers often note which term you use— just to see whether you’ve read the company literature. If you promise an analysis of shipping costs. and inventory. An IT solution to streamline operations by connecting all parts of a business electronically—including HR. 76 . From 1997–98 to around 2000. all of the firms talk about how they work with clients to make sure that their expensive analyses and recommendations are actually implemented. most firms shifted their focus from reengineering—which often meant downsizing—to growth. nobody admits to doing just pure strategy work. but you’ll impress your interviewer if you get it right. Growth. 25 or 30 employees to more than 500 and going public. “The company’s problems stem from both internal and external factors. Enterprise resource planning (ERP). Implementation. Using the wrong word is not an automatic ding. ERP spurred doubledigit annual growth for firms.

In consulting. payroll management. the presentation was the means by which a consulting firm shared all of its insights and recommendations with a client company. you also won’t have to be any place in particular. lots of companies are turning to outsiders to provide many of the functions and services traditionally done inhouse. At the simplest level. do your laundry. Outsourcing. Pay-for-performance. pay your bills. and maybe even see your honey. To reduce overhead expenses.For Your Reference On the beach. marketing communications. this just means that they help clients run their businesses better. and a partner or case team manager would spin through dozens of overhead slides displaying all of the analysis his or her firm had completed. and data processing. In a manufacturing company. In the traditional consulting project. Many consulting firms do a big business providing operations advice. Although the standard overhead slideshow is now considered a bit sterile. Presentation. Popular candidates for outsourcing include accounting services. public firms are turning to these services because they create stable revenue flows. Billing based on performance. it’s still a popular drill at most firms. Operations refers to all of the day-to-day tasks associated with the running of a company. so there’s a chance you’ll be able to leave the office early. which their investors like. Operations. rather than strictly on hours. 77 . The client’s top management team would assemble in a boardroom. this refers to any period of time during which you aren’t staffed to a project. Although you won’t necessarily see any sunshine here. this includes the buying and processing of raw materials as well as the sale and distribution of the final products. Increasingly.

For Your Reference Reengineering. proprietary and not. If you’re heading true north. from the gathering of raw materials needed to make the product to the delivery of the final product to the customer. Sexy terms for an office setup in which nobody has a personal desk or office. At best. a reengineering project was supposed to involve a complete rethinking of a company’s operations from ground zero. you’re moving in the right direction. Means you could be hanging out with the clerks at Kinko’s. There are all manner of ways. or an untapped source of growth. The goal of many companies is to enhance their value to shareholders. Value chain analysis. In its purest sense. Virtual office/hoteling. A money-making opportunity in an area you aren’t set up to make money in. each stage adds value to the product. to analyze shareholder value. Think of it as an unbridged gap between what you do and what others do. and they engage lots of consulting firms to help them do it. Reengineering lost its cachet in the mid-’90s. An analysis of all of the processes that go into a product. White-space opportunity. Shareholder value analysis. 78 . The place you want to get to. True north.

according to this article. “This year everyone is starting to feel good again. He uses the health-care industry.600 people last year in the public-sector space—there aren’t enough MBA students in the major schools to fill all those spots. Booz Allen CEO Ralph Shrader discusses the recent upswing in hiring on both the government and commercial sides of the firm. Part of the summary includes the news that Booz Allen hired 1.S.C.” He also describes how the firm is able to cross-pollinate its private. in support of the firm’s effort to apply private-sector technological solutions to government issues. identifying the firm as a “mainstay of Washington’s professional and business services industry” and “the number two source of local employment behind the government itself. as an example. Region Job Market Has Look of a Boom” Last year.” and quotes CEO Ralph W. but the short-term prognosis is generally upbeat. Washington Post. It focuses on Booz Allen.350 more people than it had originally planned last year. 60.” and “We hired close to 3. we’re back in the hiring business big time.For Your Reference Recommended Reading “D. It also describes Booz Allen as being “on a hiring binge. “This year. saying. illustrating how Booz Allen’s work with the U.” It cautions that over-reliance on government tax and spending policies to boost an economy can be risky.and public-sector business capabilities thereby making it stronger and more successful overall. which he calls “a major player” for Booz Allen today.” Source: Neil Irwin. 5/16/04. Interview with Ralph Shrader In this interview.C. which credits that boom in part to government spending. Food and Drug Administration 79 .-area job market.600 jobs were added to the D. Shrader as saying.

457 consultants from 50 of the profession’s 75 largest firms. She goes on to outline a scholarly paper. As an advice columnist for Fortune. according to extensive research by the firms themselves. is that as the 80 . that highlights the inefficacy of the modern MBA. Source: Anne Fisher. Those folks (most of whom had only undergraduate liberal arts degrees) got. Fortune.” The implication follows from there. they did their jobs just as well as or even better than their MBA peers. recently written by two business school professors. July/August 2004.” All of which provides a noteworthy contrast to the article above in which Ralph Shrader suggests that Booz Allen’s current growth could consume all the MBAs graduating from the major schools this year. Anne Fisher says she’s been hearing a lot lately from disgruntled MBA-holders who can’t get work.” The difference. between this and last year’s similar findings. 3 weeks of on-thejob training—after which. on average. the article contends. “Why an MBA May Not Be Worth It” The article subhead reads “One reader says he used his MBA to line his African gray parrot’s birdcage.For Your Reference makes it better able to assist pharmaceutical companies seeking to bring new products to market. “Half of Consultants Aren’t Happy With Their Jobs” This article discusses the results of a 2003 Consulting Magazine poll. The paper says. Fisher mentions that “the supercompetitive job market of the late ’90s led top consulting firms like McKinsey and Booz Allen to hire people who lacked MBAs. Source: Consulting Magazine.” and includes the current glut of MBA degrees in a stagnant market as one of the reasons MBAs aren’t getting jobs. 6/14/04. 47% consider their firms’ morale to be no better than neutral. which found that “of 5. “There is little evidence that mastery of the knowledge acquired in business schools enhances people’s careers.

” Aside from offering good advice for jobseekers. “If you have 10 interviews [for the same job] in three months.” and “Ask the interviewer or the company representative about her own background. figure decision making at the company is a tortuous process.” underscoring that Booz Allen and its employees fared the tough times relatively well with work/life standards mostly intact. Wall Street Journal. “Culture Club” “I got my best information by arriving early and speaking to the receptionist. 81 . who says. 3/29/04. Source: Consultants News. and compare the responses among individuals.” says one advice-giver in this Wall Street Journal piece about how to get the skinny on a company’s office-culture before getting a job there. The accompanying Consulting Magazine survey ranks Booz Allen at number six (down from the previous year’s number three but still firmly in the top ten) among the “Best Consultancies to Work For.For Your Reference economy recovers and industry begins hiring again. the Booz Allen source lends insight into what is particularly valued at his firm. November 2003. The article includes tips from a Booz Allen representative.. Source: Karen Hube. et al. Does the company bring in people from eclectic backgrounds? That says a lot about what you’re likely to find at the firm. many consultants who are dissatsified with long hours and diminishing returns are now leaving the profession.

For Your Reference

For Further Study
Booz Allen employees recommend the following books for prospective hires: 1. The Advice Business, by Charles Fombrun and Mark D. Nevins (Pearson Education, 2003). 2. Marketing and the Bottom Line, by Tim Ambler (Financial Times/Prentice Hall; 2nd edition, 2004). 3. Platform Leadership: How Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco Drive Industry Innovation, by Annabelle Gawer and Michael A. Cusumano (Harvard Business School Press; 1st edition, 2002).

The Human Factor: Leadership in the E-economy
Rolf Habbel (Uberreuter Wirtschaft, 2001). “If the company’s executives do not manage to convince the employees that the enterprise is going in the right direction, that it will last, that it must be innovative in order to win its future, and that it actually depends on its customers to survive, the company has no chance of being successful in the long term,” writes Booz Allen Vice President Rolf Habbel in the preface to his book. Unless you read German, you may not be able to actually read this book, but you might want to be familiar with the message of its author, Habbel, a Munich-based partner at Booz Allen. “This book tries to elaborate and demonstrate that man—often overlooked as a ‘small wheel’ in the greatness of new management methods and concepts—is more and more critical to being successful in this change,” Habbel writes. His message is that even though we may be armed with the best ideas and most advanced technology tools, the biggest barrier to the successful implementation of change is that we too often ignore the “the human factor.” For more, visit www.boozallen.com.


For Your Reference

The Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives
Michael J. Wolf (Times Books, 1999). Here’s a book about how mass media rules our lives that won’t tell you to destroy your television set. Instead, it’ll tell you to turn it on and learn some lessons about what sells and what doesn’t in today’s economy. It’s written by Michael J. Wolf, a former senior partner at Booz Allen who jumped ship for McKinsey in 2001. In a nutshell, Wolf ’s thesis is that to get ahead in today’s media-saturated marketplace, consumer businesses in all industries have to win and retain an audience by feeding it fresh, engrossing content. The influence of entertainment in all aspects of business and society is what he calls the “e-factor.”

Balanced Sourcing
Timothy M. Laseter (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998). Written by Booz Allen insider Timothy Laseter, this book explores a fundamental operational issue affecting all kinds of businesses: sourcing. Now that reengineering has gone out of favor, optimizing supplier relationships is one of the hottest cost-cutting strategies in use today. If your interests lie in business processes, read this book for some tips on helping your future clients maximize their bottom line by profitably outsourcing their assembly lines.

Smart Alliances: A Practical Guide to Repeatable Success
John Harbison and Peter Pekar, Jr. (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998). Written by Booz Allen consultants, Smart Alliances examines the familiar “buy or build” dilemma that has faced CEOs of all stripes at one time or another. Does it make more sense to acquire an outside business or to create one’s own? Harbison and Pekar’s proposed solution gives some compelling evidence in favor of a third alternative: forging strategic alliances with competing or complementary businesses for mutual benefit.


For Your Reference

Other Sources of Information
For more information on Booz Allen publications, check out www.boozallen.com. A general resource for information about the consulting industry is Consultants News, which is published by Kennedy Information. For more information about this and other Kennedy publications, visit www.consultingcentral.com or the Kennedy Information website, www.kennedyinfo.com. Visit www.WetFeet.com for more information about a number of consulting firms, their jobs, and recruiting. And for help with your case interviews, check out the WetFeet’s best-selling Ace Your Case series. Reading Fortune, Forbes, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times is a great way to stay up to date on the latest events and issues that management consultants address, and will arm you with plenty of information for your interviews.


U. The company will not accept e-mail or paper resumes.boozallen. president. Worldwide Commercial Business Horacio Rozanski.S.For Your Reference Key People and Places Key People Ralph Shrader. chief human resources officer Recruiting Contacts Interested candidates can post their profiles or apply for a specific job through the careers section of the Booz Allen website at www. Commercial Sector Cynthia Shamin 212-551-6444 Europe Commercial Sector Alison Devey 44-207-393-3212 (London office) Latin America/Asia Pacific/Middle East Commercial Sector Ana Quintella Rodriguez 212-551-6193 Government Sector Judy Merkel 703-902-6900 85 .com. chairman and CEO Dennis Doughty. Worldwide Technology Business Dan Lewis. president.

Virginia (corporate headquarters) Miami New Orleans New York (commercial headquarters) Philadelphia San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Tampa Washington. go to www.com.For Your Reference Major Offices North American Offices (Commercial Sector) Atlanta Boston Chicago Cleveland Colorado Springs Dallas Houston Los Angeles McLean. D. International Offices For a complete listing of Booz Allen locations around the world. 86 .C.boozallen.

WETFEET’S INSIDER GUIDE SERIES JOB SEARCH GUIDES Getting Your Ideal Internship Job Hunting A to Z: Landing the Job You Want Killer Consulting Resumes Killer Investment Banking Resumes Killer Resumes & Cover Letters Negotiating Your Salary & Perks Networking Works! INTERVIEW GUIDES Ace Your Case: Consulting Interviews Ace Your Case II: 15 More Consulting Cases Ace Your Case III: Practice Makes Perfect Ace Your Case IV: The Latest & Greatest Ace Your Case V: Return to the Case Interview Ace Your Interview! Beat the Street: Investment Banking Interviews Beat the Street II: Investment Banking Interview Practice Guide CAREER & INDUSTRY GUIDES Careers in Accounting Careers in Advertising & Public Relations Careers in Asset Management & Retail Brokerage Careers in Biotech & Pharmaceuticals Careers in Brand Management Careers in Consumer Products Careers in Entertainment & Sports Careers in Human Resources .

Morgan Chase & Company Lehman Brothers McKinsey & Company Merrill Lynch Morgan Stanley 25 Top Consulting Firms Top 20 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Firms Top 25 Financial Services Firm .P. Doctors & Lawyers Industries & Careers for MBAs Industries & Careers for Undergrads COMPANY GUIDES Accenture Bain & Company Boston Consulting Group Booz Allen Hamilton Citigroup’s Corporate & Investment Bank Credit Suisse First Boston Deloitte Consulting Goldman Sachs Group J.Careers in Information Technology Careers in Investment Banking Careers in Management Consulting Careers in Manufacturing Careers in Marketing & Market Research Careers in Nonprofits & Government Careers in Real Estate Careers in Supply Chain Management Careers in Venture Capital Consulting for PhDs.

And he did.L. Our team members. he decided to make a better hunting shoe.Who We Are WetFeet is the trusted destination for job seekers to research companies and industries. About Our Name One of the most frequent questions we receive is. credible. So. WetFeet Insider Guides provide you with inside information for a successful job search. . and he returned with soaked feet. what’s the story behind your name?” The short story is that the inspiration for our name comes from a popular business school case study about L. such as the annual WetFeet Student Recruitment Survey. At WetFeet. but entrepreneurs make boots. Every time he went hunting in the Maine woods. had a case of wet feet. all because a man who had wet feet decided to make boots. The lesson we took from the Bean case? Lots of people get wet feet.com and InternshipPrograms. Think of us as your own private research company whose primary mission is to assist you in making more informed career decisions. In addition. who come from diverse backgrounds. and they lined up to buy their own pairs of Bean boots. And L. and very literally. While exploring our next career moves. we do the work for you and present our results in an informative. So we started writing. and our exclusive research studies. was born . WetFeet’s services include two award-winning websites (WetFeet. one day. Today. the company. And that’s exactly what we’re doing at WetFeet. WetFeet serves more than a million job candidates each month by helping them nail their interviews. . “So. avoid illfated career decisions. and add thousands of dollars to their compensation packages. the successful mail-order company. . his shoes leaked. consulting services. But they didn’t exist. Bean. And he told his friends. Bean. Leon Leonwood Bean got his start because he quite simply. we needed products like the WetFeet Insider Guides to help us through the research and interviewing game. The quality of our work and knowledge of the job-seeking world have also allowed us to develop an extensive corporate and university membership. and manage their careers. WetFeet was founded in 1994 by Stanford MBAs Gary Alpert and Steve Pollock.com).L. Web-based recruiting technologies. share a passion about the job-search process and a commitment to delivering the highest quality products and customer service. and entertaining way.

supportive culture and commitment to employee development. and training. Booz Allen is among the most respected consulting firms in the industry and a top choice for recent graduates and MBAs. as well as their colleagues’ distinct backgrounds and personalities. • About the workplace at Booz Allen. If you think you’re ready to take on challenging assignments. innovative. travel. www. and tips from Booz Allen insiders for acing the interview. Turn to this WetFeet Insider Guide to learn • How Booz Allen has fared in the challenging economy of recent years. and diverse. including the lifestyle.WetFeet. from top to bottom. WetFeet has earned a strong reputation among college graduates and career professionals for its series of highly credible. what recruiters are looking for. culture. Booz Allen may be the place to be. compensation. WetFeet’s investigative writers get behind the annual reports and corporate PR to tell the real story of what it’s like to work at specific companies and in different industries. hours. The firm’s long-term commitment to its clients keeps the work not only interesting. • What employees love most and like least about working at Booz Allen. • How the firm is organized. Insiders consistently laud the firm’s open. but also fulfilling. combining management strategy with technological expertise. no-holds-barred Insider Guides.com . • What the recruiting process entails.Careers/Job Search Prestigious. • About typical responsibilities and day-to-day life for analysts and consultants.

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