Booz Allen Hamilton

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2005 Edition

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Insider Guide

Booz Allen Hamilton
2005 Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.000 (can vary) depends on need $40.000 n/a depends on need Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. Booz Allen does not release salary information.000 $15.At a Glance Compensation. 4 . 2003–04 Undergraduate Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus MBA Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus $100.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. www. Peterborough. 20 Largest Consulting Firms. phone: 800-531-0007.Industry Position The Firm In Consultants News’ June 2004 ranking of the “50 Largest Management Consulting Firms in the World. NH 03458 USA.ConsultingCentral. 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 up from number 16 in 2003. 12 . Consultants News/Kennedy Information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent Client List Despite consulting firms’ notorious secrecy about their clients. Inc. 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 American Express Blue Cross Blue Shield BMW Boeing Borden.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

how much profit a television show generates for the network: What costs will we include? What are the direct costs vs. 12:30 Ask team member to pick up a sandwich and Coke so I can keep surfing KOL. Head out for dinner with rest of the team. 11:15 Dial into Knowledge Online (KOL) system to uncover internal company resources on TV programming profitability. sweet home. and technology associates who reportedly have worked on similar studies.• 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. Tonight’s topic: Which slide will the partner want to change first? Home. 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. media. More time on the spreadsheet. Quick meeting with associate to discuss modeling technique. Leave voice mail for several communications. The office. Run down to accounting to pick up cost/revenue report before the accountants all head home. Start developing television show profitability model. 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. On the Job 31 . 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.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. the firm opened the Booz Allen Family Center. each with more than 620 you’re trying to start a locations across the United States. by partnering with two consulting is hard if child-care companies. This is a colleaguenominated award that honors women who exemplify strong character and spirit. In 2002. and consulting is hard if you’re trying to start a family. There are very few women partners.” says a recruiter. company headquarters in McLean. A ton more could be done on that point. the firm extended its child-care benefits to There are very few women partners.” However. The lack time and offers parental leave to both male and of female partners is female employees. Once you get to principal and partner. including an all-day but it happens to be a kindergarten and extended-hours care. selflessness. The firm should give women Booz Allen has allowed officers to work partmore options. Virginia. but we have a long way to go. there The Workplace 47 . Some insiders think the firm could do a better job when it comes to promoting women. “” They’ve got the diversity thing down. The firm should maybe give women more options. In September 2000.exceptionally proud of that. “They’ve got the diversity thing down. another female insider says. and employees nationwide. family. to provide child care. and balance. “At my level [associate] and lower. sensitivity. have been elected to the partnership level while working part-time. but it happens to be a lot of diverse men. at lot of diverse men. In a few instances. Every year the firm also recognizes six of its female colleagues with the Women of Distinction Award. One female insider says. The lack of female partners to me is very discouraging. women very discouraging.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the meantime. • 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’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. the samples below should get you started. 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. 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. Rare • Give me examples of recent projects undertaken by the firm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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 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 or the Kennedy Information website, Visit for more information about a number of consulting firms, their jobs, and recruiting. And for help with your case interviews, check out the WetFeet’s best-selling Ace Your Case series. Reading Fortune, Forbes, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times is a great way to stay up to date on the latest events and issues that management consultants address, and will arm you with plenty of information for your interviews.


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

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

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

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

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