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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

The WetFeet Research Methodology
You hold in your hands a copy of the best-quality research available for job seekers. We have designed this Insider Guide to save you time doing your job research and to provide highly accurate information written precisely for the needs of the job-seeking public. (We also hope that you’ll enjoy reading it, because, believe it or not, the job search doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck.) Each WetFeet Insider Guide represents hundreds of hours of careful research and writing. We start with a review of the public information available. (Our writers are also experts in reading between the lines.) We augment this information with dozens of in-depth interviews of people who actually work for each company or industry we cover. And, although we keep the identity of the rank-and-file employees anonymous to encourage candor, we also interview the company’s recruiting staff extensively, to make sure that we give you, the reader, accurate information about recruiting, process, compensation, hiring targets, and so on. (WetFeet retains all editorial control of the product.) We also regularly survey our members and customers to learn about their experiences in the recruiting process. Finally, each Insider Guide goes through an editorial review and fact-checking process to make sure that the information and writing live up to our exacting standards before it goes out the door. Are we perfect? No—but we do believe that you’ll find our content to be the highest-quality content of its type available on the Web or in print. (Please see our guarantee below.) We also are eager to hear about your experiences on the recruiting front and your feedback (both positive and negative) about our products and our process. Thank you for your interest.

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Insider Guide

Booz Allen Hamilton
2005 Edition

Helping you make smarter career decisions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

000–65. Salaries for individuals working in the firm’s government-sector business tend to be lower than salaries for those in the commercial-sector business.At a Glance Compensation.000 $15. 2003–04 Undergraduate Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus MBA Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus $100. Booz Allen does not release salary information.000 n/a depends on need Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. 4 .000 (can vary) depends on need $40.

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 .

WCB traditionally caters to Fortune 1000 corporations. competing with strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey. but also by sticking around to help clients carry out the changes it prescribes. I believe that for the fore- 6 . the firm has endeavored to create a single. Booz Allen’s government business—which employs nearly 12. consultants work in the trenches and see their recommendations put into action.000-plus employees. it’s also one of the largest. or GO Team.000—is thriving. “We recognize where we are different and we know where we are the same. including the institution of the Global Operation Team. whereas WTB works with government and other public-sector organizations. 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. so much so that it has enabled the company to expand its commercial offerings. which is responsible for the worldwide organization of the entire firm. firmwide infrastructure. In recent years. 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. who was later joined by Jim Allen and Carl Hamilton. As it is. Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the most highly regarded firms in the management consulting industry. It focuses on long-term client relationships. Booz Allen comprises two business units: the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB) and the considerably larger Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). Bain. With more than 100 offices on six continents and 15. and BCG. CEO Ralph Shrader recently told Consulting Magazine.Overview The Firm Founded in 1914 by Ed Booz.

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

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

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

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

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

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. 20 Largest Consulting Firms. Consultants News/Kennedy Information.ConsultingCentral. www. 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.” Booz Allen came in at number 12. 12 .Industry Position The Firm In Consultants News’ June 2004 ranking of the “50 Largest Management Consulting Firms in the World.com. up from number 16 in 2003. Peterborough. NH 03458 USA.

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

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

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

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

Historically. strategy. and information technology specialists together to form cross- 17 . or framework. The organization consists of two business units: the corporate consulting group.and private-sector clients. Booz Allen positions itself as one firm serving both government. 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. The firm’s staffing model brings industry. operations. View from the Middle Booz Allen has taken a different approach to the standard management consulting setup. new commercial-sector hires had to align with a practice group (industry focus) right away. That means the firm’s officers still call all the shots (and pull in the big bucks).Organization of the Firm The Firm View from the Top In a world of mega-mergers. Though people within the firm are typically aligned with one side of the firm or the other.” says a recruiter. 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. perspective. and the larger. “I think we lost some people [in the past] because we weren’t as flexible as we could be. called the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB). government-focused Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). Booz Allen has remained independent and privately held.

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

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

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

Inc.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 . we’ve turned up a few that Booz Allen has worked with: Abbott Laboratories Amazon.Recent Client List Despite consulting firms’ notorious secrecy about their clients.

National Guard Washington.S.S. Inc.Lucent Technologies Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.C. Police Department The World Bank The Firm 22 .. D. Food and Drug Administration U. 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. Standard & Poor’s TAG Heuer Turner Broadcasting United Airlines U.

Booz Allen helped the U. 23 .Typical Studies The Firm U. and counterterrorism experts. transportation.S. 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. TRANSCOM officials subsequently report that TRAC2ES has saved lives during recent encounters in Afghanistan and Iraq. Transportation Command realized that it needed to drastically overhaul its patienttracking procedures.S. to address these issues.S. the U. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assess the security of public-transit systems nationwide. With a team that included security. catchily titled the Regulating and Command and Control (C2) Evacuation System (TRAC2ES). the Booz Allen team “identified important concerns at even the most well prepared agencies. Five years after beginning work on a system. during war and peace times.” U. Transportation Command More than half the soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm were taken to wrong locations and ill-facilitated hospitals. 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.S. According to the FTA. After the conflict. it was still not in operation. Federal Transportation Authority After 9/11.

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

the multimonth mega-projects still exist. you could find a better work/life balance on the government side of the firm. One insider tells us that shorter projects can mean longer hours. and financial services. including energy. 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. “The assignments in the market are now a little shorter than before. So. Of course. which 25 . WTB tends to work on longer.” 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. They used to be 6 months to 1 year.” Another insider says. and at least on the commercial side. especially from the lows of 2001 and early 2002. But clients are looking to get more bang for their consulting buck. now we work 2. we have to be faster and more flexible in staffing people.” says one associate. but well-defined 6. Virginia. multiyear contracts. but they also means there’s a good chance that you’ll see plenty of variety.What’s Hot The Firm Short and Sometimes Sweet Though the economy is still unreliable. health care.to 8-week engagements seem to be becoming increasingly common. in McLean. business is picking up in the consulting industry. “I’ve worked on several strategy and operations projects in a number of industries. “In the 2 years I’ve been here. insiders report that engagements are generally shorter than they used to be.to 3-month assignments.” And a government-side insider warned that recent “rapid growth is causing a significant amount of work.

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

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

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

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

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

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. Leave voice mail for several communications. 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. On the Job 31 . Run down to accounting to pick up cost/revenue report before the accountants all head home. The office. Head out for dinner with rest of the team. 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. More time on the spreadsheet. media. Start developing television show profitability model. sweet home. 11:15 Dial into Knowledge Online (KOL) system to uncover internal company resources on TV programming profitability. and technology associates who reportedly have worked on similar studies. 12:30 Ask team member to pick up a sandwich and Coke so I can keep surfing KOL. Whoa! Plenty of new data to crunch! Day’s over. term ‘teamwork’ is 8:45 Discuss how to structure our analysis of really lived here. Quick meeting with associate to discuss modeling technique.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think they do fine.” In summary: “There are probably never enough women represented in the firm. 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. but they don’t seem to fare particularly well.aren’t that many role models. . Some part-time programs have been tried. . but I think having a trailing spouse may be necessary to make it and have kids in this kind of environment. That kind of arrangement is still rare for women. but from what I have seen. men.” says one insider. . “Minorities are also never represented well enough. For those that don’t elect to have children. “Women have a hard time staying around long enough to make it.” Indeed one senior associate says. This is really getting down to society’s expectations for women vs.” The Workplace 48 . and it crosses right though the primary child-bearing years for professional women. we do a much better job in this area than our competitors. It’s not just Booz Allen. It’s a long slog of travel in the future of anyone aspiring to be a partner. This is harsh to say.

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

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

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

produce clear and measurable results. or corporate citizenship demonstrate the firm’s core values. CEO Ralph Shrader spoke out on the importance of civic involvement in a speech at Yale. to name just a few. titled “Finding a New Balance in a New World: Combining Ambition and Altruism.America’s Charities. The firm also raises more than $50. employee groups. and teams whose volunteer service. Christmas in April. The firm sponsors its own Involvement and Impact Awards to honor Booz Allen individuals.000 annually for the Children’s National Medical Center.” 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. In November 2001. and generate substantial impact. and the Smithsonian Institution. 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 . Each year. hundreds of Booz Allen volunteers help renovate houses for those in need. leadership. Northern Virginia Family Services. incorporate professional expertise.

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

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

Most consulting firms have some sort of mentoring program. but several insiders at Booz Allen spoke unusually highly of theirs. One way is through its mentorship program. are occurring more quickly than in the past. Consultants. associates. Senior associates select a market-facing team and build professional depth through specialization in an industry or function. Promotions at Booz Allen are based on merit and. though she also says that good guidance abounds: “We do it informally—through our assessments and through personal recommendations. a WTB insider says that a formal mentoring program instituted in her office several years ago fizzled out. all WTB insiders sing praise for the support they receive. 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. Staffing opportunities are posted on an intranet site. insiders say. ‘Can I talk to you?’” says a senior associate. 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. However. and doors to offices are generally open. and employees are able to nominate themselves for upcoming projects. Booz Allen employees—from consultant through senior vice president—tend to be on a first-name basis.” One way or another. Booz Allen helps employees find challenging assignments and avenues to develop their careers. 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. “I personally have about ten people who come into my office and ask.

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

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

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

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

at any level—you get empowered very early in the process. “The camaraderie is great.’” A European insider says. and smart—but no ‘brains on sticks. but they have different life experiences before that. My concern was that everybody would have the standard engineering degree and then an MBA. “The people are really what keep me here. “The people are a lot more diverse than I thought they would be.” Another insider says. It’s fun. “The people are talented and work well together. You need to take responsibility for what you are doing. pragmatic. that it relates more to their organization. A principal says.” It’s All About the People All of our insiders say that the people at Booz Allen are a major draw. “The people are down-toearth.” 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.” The Workplace Square Foundation Booz Allen employees point to the company’s broad consulting base as another big positive.” says one. People do have MBAs. You need to be on top of things. Unlike firms that offer only strategy consulting or others that specialize in operations or information technology. Once you demonstrate that you are on top of things. This is my fourth consulting firm and it’s the best place I’ve been. One insider says. “I’ve had clients pull me aside and tell me they appreciate how diverse we are.” 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. after the first 6 months. Booz Allen offers a full range of consulting services in six main areas: strategy. Many employees see this as a real plus. team-oriented. organization and change 60 . you can design your own career.

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

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

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

” which offers useful analytical frameworks. An insider from global operations says. Booz Allen likes students to have as much contact as possible with the firm before the interview. case examples. “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. things are looking up. it helps to know someone. In some cases. “We’re increasing our MBA recruiting over last year.” 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. The firm has lately been quoted in various media as saying that its hiring projections are way up. Insiders we spoke to think this is an important opportunity to likewise help candidates decide whether Booz Allen is a good match for them. hiring is now up all around. Secondary to that is responding to the posting in the website. and recommendations for prospective hires. As in most companies. associates will even call students and then meet with them to discuss their goals for the future. The “Careers” section of Booz Allen’s website includes a document entitled “Interviewing Tips and Case Primer for Commercial Consulting Candidates.” says one commercial-side insider. Booz Allen has been on campus recruiting every year since 2001.The Recruiting Process After a few very bad years for MBAs and undergraduates hoping to work in consulting. This helps determine whether the student will fit in well at Booz Allen.

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

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

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

it wasn’t bad at all.” This is to say that whoever hired this insider’s traveling companion found somebody who was enjoyable company for those 12 hours. Aside from it taking 12 hours to get from Detroit Getting Hired to New York. “If I were stuck at an airport with this candidate.The Interviewer’s Checklist To give candidates a more consistent interviewing experience. 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. 68 . I’ve done it. Booz Allen designates a specific person to coordinate each campus recruiting effort.

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

you’ll be much better prepared to answer any question that anyone asks you about yourself. Know the difference between WCB and WTB. whereas the Worldwide Technology Business serves government and institutional clients. That’s Booz Allen to you. the Worldwide Commercial Business serves commercial clients. It’s also a bad idea to refer to the firm as “BAH. cowboy. How did I actually get this stuff done? How did I handle people and pitfalls that came along the way.. Getting Hired 70 .” 6. etc.and think. 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.” 7. Basically.

Rare • Give me examples of recent projects undertaken by the firm. the samples below should get you started. • 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. • 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. 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 . We strongly encourage you to spend time preparing questions of your own. In the meantime. The “Rare” questions are meant to be boring and innocuous. while the “Well Done” ones will help you put the fire to your interviewer’s feet.Grilling Your Interviewer This is your chance to turn the tables and find out what you want to know about Booz Allen.

• 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. 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. 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. do you think there is any downside to that approach? Getting Hired 72 . and what wrinkles remain to be ironed out? • Booz Allen has a reputation for developing numbers-driven solutions. Do you find that to be true? If so. how does Booz Allen maintain a consistent culture and sense of community? • As a collection of individuals.

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

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

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

The product or solution you give (deliver) to the client. billing. and inventory. most firms shifted their focus from reengineering—which often meant downsizing—to growth. say. Deliverables typically come with dates (when you will deliver). “The company’s problems stem from both internal and external factors. a framework is any kind of structure you can use to look at a problem. Enterprise resource planning (ERP). for instance. Interviewers often note which term you use— just to see whether you’ve read the company literature. Consultants love frameworks. These days. As a result. nobody admits to doing just pure strategy work. all of the firms talk about how they work with clients to make sure that their expensive analyses and recommendations are actually implemented. Engagement/project/study/case/job. These are all different ways in which the firms refer to a specific project. Basically. but you’ll impress your interviewer if you get it right. ERP spurred doubledigit annual growth for firms. Using the wrong word is not an automatic ding. If you promise an analysis of shipping costs. that’s your deliverable. A popular consulting project during the ’90s. like Porter’s Five Forces.For Your Reference Deliverable. 25 or 30 employees to more than 500 and going public. the more analytical you’ll sound.” Or it can be something more MBA-ish. Growth. and the more you use them (up to a point). 76 . Framework. From 1997–98 to around 2000. An IT solution to streamline operations by connecting all parts of a business electronically—including HR. It can be as simple as. 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. Implementation. Growth involved taking a small private start-up from.

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

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

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

47% consider their firms’ morale to be no better than neutral. “There is little evidence that mastery of the knowledge acquired in business schools enhances people’s careers. the article contends. that highlights the inefficacy of the modern MBA.” and includes the current glut of MBA degrees in a stagnant market as one of the reasons MBAs aren’t getting jobs. according to extensive research by the firms themselves.” The implication follows from there. on average. Source: Anne Fisher. recently written by two business school professors.” 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. The paper says.For Your Reference makes it better able to assist pharmaceutical companies seeking to bring new products to market. Anne Fisher says she’s been hearing a lot lately from disgruntled MBA-holders who can’t get work. they did their jobs just as well as or even better than their MBA peers. Source: Consulting Magazine.457 consultants from 50 of the profession’s 75 largest firms.” The difference. As an advice columnist for Fortune. 6/14/04. July/August 2004. between this and last year’s similar findings. Those folks (most of whom had only undergraduate liberal arts degrees) got. 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. is that as the 80 . Fortune. “Half of Consultants Aren’t Happy With Their Jobs” This article discusses the results of a 2003 Consulting Magazine poll. “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. which found that “of 5. 3 weeks of on-thejob training—after which. She goes on to outline a scholarly paper.

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

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.


The company will not accept e-mail or paper resumes. chairman and CEO Dennis Doughty. Worldwide Commercial Business Horacio Rozanski. president.com.S. 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.boozallen. president. U. 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 . Worldwide Technology Business Dan Lewis.For Your Reference Key People and Places Key People Ralph Shrader.

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

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 .

P. 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 .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. 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.

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

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

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