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Booz Allen Hamilton
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609 Mission Street Suite 400 San Francisco. This publication is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. . CA 94105 Phone: (415) 284-7900 or 1-800-926-4JOB Fax: (415) 284-7910 Website: www.WetFeet. stored in a retrieval system. without the express written permission of WetFeet. in part or in whole. It may not be reproduced. Inc. or transmitted in any form or by any means. Inc. distributed. Inc. No copying in any form is permitted.WetFeet.com Booz Allen Hamilton ISBN: 1-58207-461-5 Photocopying Is Prohibited Copyright 2004 WetFeet. All rights reserved.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Lifestyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Typical Studies . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Quick History Lesson . . . . . . . . 10 Industry Position . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Table of Contents Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Organization of the Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 On the Job . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Firm . . . . . . 6 Competitive Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Workplace Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Workplace . . . . 17 Recent Client List. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 What’s Hot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Overview . . 36 Culture . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Grilling Your Interviewer. . . . . 64 The Interviewer’s Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Getting Hired. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Vacation . . . . . . . . . . 68 Interviewing Tips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 For Further Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Career Path. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Consulting-Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Other Sources of Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Recommended Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Civic Involvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Key People and Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 For Your Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 The Recruiting Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Insider Scoop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Training . . . . . . . .
operations. significant IT capabilities • Reputation for developing workable solutions based on very thorough analysis • Serves both government and corporate clients • Strong reputation in strategy. VA 22102 Phone: 703-902-5000 Fax: 703-902-3333 www. McKinsey & Co. to take different information.” “It tends to impress interviewers when you have detailed questions about particular areas or activities of the firm.At a Glance Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance Headquarters 8283 Greensboro Drive McLean. However do not try to puff yourself up too much. your bluff might very well be called. Bain & Co. SAIC Key Differentiating Factors • Part of the management consulting old guard • Combines strategic consulting with implementation.com Primary Competitors Accenture.. and come up with something realistic.” 1 . We’re looking for your ability to think.. For Booz Allen there is not one type of case. The Boston Consulting Group. be prepared for a case interview.boozallen. organizations/leadership. put a framework around it.” “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. and information technology • Global presence with experience in 20 industries In the Recruiter’s Words “First of all. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now.
interests. and other things such as creativity and business sense. no one is going to hold your hand. we also look for people who have good functional expertise. during a previous work experience. If not.At a Glance “We look for good structure. who is responsible and a self-starter. You may be asked to describe a particular assignment or discuss an industry or current trend. we want to be able to bring not only the big ideas.” “There’s nothing better than when the [client team] gets the accolades at the end of an engagement. validated assumptions. So there’s little reward in anything less than a cooperative outlook. If interviewing with the commercial side of the firm. I was pleasantly surprised by how much cooperation there really is. What Insiders Say “In contrast to our competitors. we look for not only strong generalists. I think that’s very different from some of the other firms. You have to find the motivation to do it yourself. I was worried that ‘up-or-out’ would drive a lot of negative behaviors.’ My partner will know that I did that. they all look good. but also the ability to make things happen. no one is going to make sure that you show up. I don’t need that recognition. you’ll be asked to discuss in detail some aspect of your work experience. I’ll get that internally when the client CEO calls the partner and says. or in the course of your education. These are usually based on an actual client engagement on which the interviewer has worked. ‘Your team did a great job.” “You have to be very self-motivated: No one is going to tell you what to do. you’ll also be asked one or more case questions. I think a lot of it just has to do with the fact that if a team is successful in their work. Think about ways you’ve demonstrated your ability to meet a unique challenge—whether through your involvement in sports. or resume. no one really looks good.” “Coming into consulting from industry.” “When we recruit. but that’s not the case at all.” In the Interview • Typically. • Your interviewer will be looking for what sets you apart.” 2 .” “We want someone who can think logically.
And I’ve felt that. It’s not uncommon to see cars there on the weekend. But on top of that.” The Career Ladder • Undergraduates enter the government side of the firm as consultants. 2004–05 Undergraduate MBA MBA summer hires. too. enter as associates. After 2 to 3 years. 2004 Worldwide United States New hires. currently.000+ 400 250 300 3 . • Booz Allen actively recruits experienced hires on both the government and commercial sides of the firm. 2004 Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. Most non-MBAs enter Booz Allen at the associate level. Revenue 2004 revenue: $2. who make up the majority of commercial-sector hires.” “Everyone is very bright. Promotion to principal is the final step before being elected an officer (informally known as “partner”) of the firm. Booz Allen does not release hiring projections. the commercial side of the firm hires few undergraduates.7 billion 1-year growth rate: 22. The firm also recruits PhDs and other non-MBA advanced-degree holders.7 percent Personnel Highlights Consulting professionals. ambitious. 15.At a Glance “We tend to hire overachiever types [into the World Technology Business unit]. They’re into it. • MBAs. People seem to really like their work.000+ 13. and driven—very high-caliber players. they become senior associates and begin to manage projects. everyone has a very different perspective and background. You bring such different perspectives and points of view to a problem that you really produce a superior answer.
Booz Allen does not release salary information.000–65.At a Glance Compensation.000 (can vary) depends on need $40. 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 $15. 4 .000 n/a depends on need Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. 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 .
Overview The Firm Founded in 1914 by Ed Booz. In recent years.000-plus employees. Booz Allen’s government business—which employs nearly 12. As it is. 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. The firm stands out not only by helping devise strategy. “We recognize where we are different and we know where we are the same. competing with strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey. it’s also one of the largest. but also by sticking around to help clients carry out the changes it prescribes. Bain. WTB’s large-scale implementation projects have made it more comparable to consulting firms like Accenture and government-consulting powerhouse SAIC. 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.000—is thriving. the firm has endeavored to create a single. firmwide infrastructure. and BCG. consultants work in the trenches and see their recommendations put into action. It focuses on long-term client relationships. CEO Ralph Shrader recently told Consulting Magazine. who was later joined by Jim Allen and Carl Hamilton. With more than 100 offices on six continents and 15. so much so that it has enabled the company to expand its commercial offerings. including the institution of the Global Operation Team. Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the most highly regarded firms in the management consulting industry. I believe that for the fore- 6 . or GO Team. whereas WTB works with government and other public-sector organizations. which is responsible for the worldwide organization of the entire firm.
Our economics are fantastic right now. which ensures some solid ground for the firm even during volatile economic times. No matter how the economy is doing. is picking up. Booz Allen is organized around industry and functional “natural market” teams. but there is a lot more in common than we ever gave ourselves credit for. there is always demand for health-care products and services.” Another European insider agrees. On the commercial side. health-care consulting has plenty of job security and growth potential. firms that cater to the health care industry are in good standing. Staff members are hired into a geographical location.” “” Everybody works in teams. “Public-sector business on the commercial side.” Insiders credit the diversity of Booz Allen’s clients and services with its relative financial health and continued growth during some difficult years for the consulting industry. Booz encourages you to follow your passion. “Of the years I’ve been here. the WTB grew much faster.” says an 8-year veteran. While WCB was going down a bit. or home team.seeable future. which is mostly consulting to ministries in Europe.” As a result. better than the last couple of years. “As a specialty. “we had one of our best years in terms of profitability last year. but your individuality is encouraged. and project teams are staffed from across the firm’s organizational 7 . The Firm Following the consulting slump that hit the industry hard in 2001. The opportunities are quite good. According to one insider. I’ve never felt stifled. “WTB has been doing very well during the downturn. there will always be a need for distinctiveness between certain segments of our business. Booz Allen’s work with government agencies that regulate health care have placed at in the forefront of this market. According to the October 2003 issue of Consultants News.” Health-care consulting is also on the rise. Booz Allen seems to be entering a time of growth and optimism.
most of your work will be focused on an industry or technical competency. “The business is currently being managed through these segments. according to insiders. This sector. Early on. Booz’s commercial career model might be best described as an hourglass: As a new hire. working on at least two projects a year in a variety of industries. industry. operations. since we use the ‘no walls’ concept. but frankly that’s where a lot of really good learning takes place. government assignments are staffed with a variety of functional and subject matter experts. “As an associate. you’ll again apply your experience to a wider range of cases.” The Firm 8 . After a few years of experience. In general. you’ll start by gaining broad exposure. Every project team. is staffed with a mix of information technology. You are almost always working on a team. but everyone is busy. expect a lot of oversight on your work.” one insider tells us. No decision has been made on the future of segments. is organized along the following business segments: • Civil • Defense • National security This could soon change. however. and the quicker you demonstrate the ability to write sensibly and quality-check your work.” Just as on the commercial side. as one insider says. the more leash you will be given. and the job manager is in charge of developing a work plan. “most of your work is reasonably structured: The proposal drives the deliverables.structure to meet specific client needs. If you make it to the level of principal or officer. They are just a management device and not key to any service offerings. however. there is a fair amount of rewriting for a big review. and strategy experts. although an associate typically ‘owns’ some kind of work stream.
” Another insider says. this diversity applies to Booz Allen on a global scale. but your individuality is encouraged. “Everybody works in teams. I’ve worked with other consulting firms. So you must have an international outlook. insiders agree that diversity is what sets Booz Allen’s culture apart from that of other management consulting firms.” 9 . education needs.” Unlike at some other firms.” one European insider tells us. you have someone in the office speaking another language. Wherever you go in the world. But new hires shouldn’t expect to move fluidly between the two sides of the firm. I feel like I have a lot of autonomy. but it has a different set of requirements. The firm’s diversity of clients and expertise in both the private and public sectors have been driving factors in its stability. “We are an international company. I think that’s something people fail to understand.” The Firm The Bottom Line Things are picking up all over the consulting industry: Booz Allen was on campus recruiting in the fall of 2003 and will return in 2004. Says one principal. but we embrace diversity and look for more of it. than does the commercial side of our business. “There’s some movement but it’s on the margins. otherwise you won’t be successful. etc. As one WCB recruiter puts it.. “You must have an international mindset.No matter which side of Booz Allen you work on. and this is the only one where I’ve really found this international exposure. They are really different business models. skill needs. “Not only do we have a very diverse bunch of people here. We have a wonderful government business. Booz encourages you to follow your passion in terms of industry interests. I’ve never felt stifled.
“That translates well into the client environment because we know that we work very hard to make not ourselves but our client look good. Indeed. Bain. talented individuals who are very concerned about seeing other people be successful. So when we leave.” Booz Allen’s track record of serving both government and corporate clients is certainly its strongest differentiator. and BCG. “[We’re a] firm of very smart. “which makes our culture different. many insiders emphasize that its follow-through is one of Booz Allen’s most distinguishing characteristics.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.” says another insider. along with McKinsey. We work very hard to make sure that they understand the recommendations.” says one insider. 10 . because we didn’t just hand them a recommendation—they created it with us. We’re willing to drop everything to go support a client. and it succeeded in alleviating to some degree that perception in the consulting marketplace.and private-sector clients. A companywide rebranding effort was launched in 2001 to position Booz Allen as one firm serving both public. “Our value proposition is different. but as a result the company is sometimes viewed—by both insiders and outsiders—as two firms within a firm. while its deep technology expertise puts it well ahead of companies like Accenture. 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.” And it’s the culture within the firm that supports its ability to offer this brand of thorough support to clients. and we work with them to make those recommendations happen.
We sweat a lot of details to get a right answer. according to most insiders. This trend is also evident abroad: “In Europe we have a growing public-sector business with some major clients in the U.” Still.” a recruiter tells us. though perhaps we put more emphasis on analysis and the research behind our recommendations as opposed to just pulling them out of the sky. Booz Allen 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. According to one insider. Global Assurance. ”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. as another of Booz Allen’s competitive strengths.K. The tighter linkage between our business units multiplies the firm’s power.” The Firm 11 . and German governments. across the firm for both commercial and government clients under what it calls “enterprise resilience.” integrating security into strategic corporate planning.” Another tells us. became the global resilience natural team. the division remains distinct. both quantitative and qualitative. one of Booz Allen’s recent initiatives. “Every commercial engagement is staffed with industry experts and functional experts in strategy. while our corporate clients want the special expertise we’ve developed through our government work. Beyond security. “We’re seeing an increasing number of companies that want help developing a plan to do more work with the government.” Insiders see analysis.” says one insider.” says an insider. a government-side group that deals with issues surrounding homeland security for business. every engagement would have people with those backgrounds. Every team brings the full power of Booz Allen to bear on every engagement. Booz Allen does similar work. we really crack it. operations.“Our government clients want the benefit of commercial best practices. In April 2004. “All consulting firms do the same kind of work. and IT. “When we crack a problem. Even if it’s a corporate strategy job.
up from number 16 in 2003.ConsultingCentral. www.com.” Booz Allen came in at number 12. 12 . 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. NH 03458 USA.Industry Position The Firm In Consultants News’ June 2004 ranking of the “50 Largest Management Consulting Firms in the World. 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. Peterborough. 20 Largest Consulting Firms. Consultants News/Kennedy Information. phone: 800-531-0007.
Fortune. in a ranking of employers most popular among MBAs. 4/19/2004. Consulting Firms that Ranked in the Top 50 Rank 1 4 7 10 11 13 27 Firm McKinsey & Co.Where MBAs Want to Work In 2004. 13 . The following ranking is a result of Universum’s 2004 survey of MBAs. published in Fortune. from 26th to tenth. Booz Allen Hamilton Deloitte Boston Consulting Group Accenture Source: Based on a study by Universum. Ann Harrington. IBM Bain & Co. who ranked the companies where they The Firm would most like to work. Booz Allen leapt 16 spots.
A Quick History Lesson The Firm Booz Allen Hamilton dates back to 1914. organization. and part lone wolf. He worked almost exclusively on his own for 15 years. entered the business world. In 1936. Thus the Booz. After hiring George Fry in 1925. and today’s Booz Allen Hamilton was born. a psychology and economics graduate from Northwestern University. Booz’s approach was to begin by studying a company’s management. advising the U. part business advisor. Ed Booz expanded his empire to a third employee in 1929: fellow Northwestern economics graduate Jim Allen. it seems that Mr. During the early years. Allen was lured back to Booz for a second time in 1943 (this time as chairman). and by the early ’40s both Jim Allen and George Fry had bolted for greener pastures. when founder Ed Booz. Booz was part entrepreneur. he helped define the new industry of management consulting. Allen & Hamilton partnership came into being.S. Jim Allen is widely credited with building the firm into a consulting powerhouse by spearheading its growth and diversification. The firm’s early years were pretty tumultuous. Although Ed Booz gets top billing on the corporate letterhead. Army and businesses and conducting market surveys and statistical analyses. 14 . Edwin G. Booz Surveys was largely a firm of independent consultants who worked on their own under the Booz umbrella. This lack of structure was evidently a little too much for Allen—he actually quit the firm twice over the years. persuaded Jim that they were ready to develop a formal management structure and operate the firm as an ongoing business. From the start. With this process. Ed Booz and George Fry. and personnel. Fry. together with newly hired Carl Hamilton.
A poor showing in the stock market led to the repurchase of the company. The wave of change just overtook the company. Department of Defense. William Stasior took charge in 1991. a third of the partners had jumped ship. the company moved to McLean.S.) One firm insider says. splitting its business into separate government (WTB) and commercial (WCB) units. The 1990s were much more prosperous for Booz Allen. Ralph Shrader became the CEO of the company. now the firm’s corporate headquarters as well as headquarters for its government business. In April 1999. WTB has continued to be one of the most successful businesses in the field. Charlie Bowen. which laid the groundwork for Booz Allen’s modern-day Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). Booz Allen began to emphasize its technical savvy. The Booz Allen commercial-sector business is headquartered in New York City. He wasn’t elected for that. Virginia. but he incorporated that well into the plan. and Booz Allen has been a privately held corporation ever since. when Michael McCullough put the already unstable firm through a vast restructuring of everything from industry focus to geographic areas. (During the early stages of government testing of the Internet. Although many others vie for multimillion-dollar government consulting gigs. By 1988.” The Firm 15 . Booz Allen continued to prosper over the years—so much so that its partners decided to take the firm public in 1970 under the guidance of a new chairman. The tumultuous times continued well into the 1980s. the new Booz Allen took on a significant amount of consulting work for the federal government during World War II.Besides working for commercial businesses. and he assumed the chairmanship in October of that year. Booz Allen worked alongside the U. The next year. To cope with the changing times. Awaiting him was a chaotic new consulting market. in which technology and the Internet were quickly changing the landscape of the industry. “Ralph Shrader has surfed well in chaotic times.
Booz Allen has grown to more than 15.In 2001. 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 fared better than most firms thanks to the relative strength of its government business.000 employees worldwide and is among the best-known strategy and technology consulting firms in the world. The Firm 16 . Today. However. Booz Allen was affected (like everyone else) by the bursting of the Internet bubble and a generally slumping economy.
or framework. strategy. new commercial-sector hires had to align with a practice group (industry focus) right away. Historically. The firm’s staffing model brings industry.Organization of the Firm The Firm View from the Top In a world of mega-mergers. Booz Allen has remained independent and privately held. government-focused Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). and the larger. That means the firm’s officers still call all the shots (and pull in the big bucks). operations. View from the Middle Booz Allen has taken a different approach to the standard management consulting setup. The organization consists of two business units: the corporate consulting group. called the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB). and information technology specialists together to form cross- 17 .and private-sector clients. 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. Booz Allen positions itself as one firm serving both government. “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. 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.” says a recruiter.
across all areas of expertise within the firm. which attract people from across the United States. According to a principal at the firm. For instance. you’ll work across industries and natural market teams.” says one insider. People 18 . but we encourage folks to work across multiple types of industries and jobs. too. “You can express interests and preferences.” 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.” Some offices are more difficult to get hired into than others.functional project teams. recruiters say that San Francisco and New York. see more competition for available positions than does Chicago. “In every step of the recruiting process. and 98 percent of the time. they get it. The people who won’t get their choice are the people who change their minds six times in the process. Early in your Booz Allen career. which for the most part “attracts graduates of the University of Chicago and Kellogg. recruits are encouraged to join the organization in the geographic location they desire. rather than just a narrower approach. and we need to know what they’re thinking. Commercial-sector recruiters tell us.” The location you join becomes your home team. but not Columbia. we ask candidates for their geographic preference. “That way our clients get the best thinking from across the firm. But we know we need X amount of people for the New York office. “Virtual teams are formed and disbanded as needed.
Early on. D. and most of its clients are situated in and around nearby Washington. and a return to your home-team location on Friday. and I only want to be a media guy’ —we look for people to be more rounded than that. In addition. clients themselves must be an integral part of the consulting process. Insiders report that people in some offices have less intense travel demands. we encourage folks to get out and kind of kick around a bit. It isn’t uncommon for the firm to simultaneously staff several teams working on different projects for a single client. Those who prefer to travel less might want to join Booz Allen’s government consulting practice. And teams are often joint engagements that include consultants from both the government and commercial sectors. may be substantially larger. to deliver enduring results. ‘I’m a media guy. 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. which include Booz Allen associates mixed with client personnel. Rather than spread its staff among hundreds of different clients. “We most often work in teams.” The typical workweek means Monday through Thursday at the client’s location.C.” says an insider. Virginia. It’s headquartered in McLean. “The structure is normally a principal running a project.come in the door and say. virtually all project teams include members of the client organization—in accordance with Booz Allen’s belief that. Booz Allen prefers to serve a smaller group of core clients. I actually had a team of 13 clients 19 . Senior associates have teams of four to five that they run. The Firm wherever that might be. particularly those on the government side.
We each used the other as a sounding board. but job titles don’t seem to get in the way of a team effort to do quality work.at one engagement. and you cannot help but have contact and interaction. As a matter of fact. there’s a lot of cooperation. “There is no official time it takes to make partner. This isn’t the kind of place where people try to get credit for things they didn’t do. I often get a quick e-mail back with a thorough explanation of their situation and some reference material.” Insiders say that promotions occur faster than they used to. it might be a little more structured and hierarchical. but still. Very helpful.” Another tells us. I often get referrals to others who may have had a similar business problem to the one on my project. On the client site. “I have never once felt like I am being taken less seriously or prohibited from doing my job because of my level. In reality. you find yourself in a team room with all levels of people on either side of you.” 20 . Once I had proven my credibility with [upper management]. and recruiters confirm that there is interest in promoting people more quickly. There was never any feeling of being second-class because I was junior to them. I had two subteams. as I would hope an associate or consultant would feel walking into my office. One Booz principal says. You get to show what you’re good at. At another. “When I came here. and you get rewarded for it. “It’s a real meritocracy.” And a senior associate says.” says a recruiter. “Every path is customcrafted. ranging from consultant (the entry point for undergrads) to senior vice president (known inside the firm as senior The Firm partner).” A WTB insider says. and I’ll contact them out of the blue. “I was promoted to senior associate last fall and all three of the people at my level were supportive.” There are seven job titles at Booz Allen. I would feel absolutely comfortable walking into a senior partner’s office here. each with a Booz Allen associate and two clients. I expected much more of a hierarchy. they gave me resources and trusted me to do my job and gave lots of coaching and mentoring.
Recent Client List Despite consulting firms’ notorious secrecy about their clients. BP-Amoco Caterpillar Chicago Transit Authority Dallas Symphony E-Trade Federal Aviation Administration Ford Motor Company General Electric Government of Peru Group AXA Grupo Synkro Honeywell Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Project (New Jersey) Internal Revenue Service L’Oréal The Firm 21 . Inc.com American Express Blue Cross Blue Shield BMW Boeing Borden. we’ve turned up a few that Booz Allen has worked with: Abbott Laboratories Amazon.
D. National Guard Washington. Inc. Food and Drug Administration U. Ministry of Economic Affairs (Netherlands) Motorola MTV Networks Museum of Television and Radio National Basketball Association The Nature Conservancy Net Brasil New Jersey Transit New York Times Nissan Procter & Gamble Pfizer Special Olympics. Police Department The World Bank The Firm 22 .S.C..Lucent Technologies Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Standard & Poor’s TAG Heuer Turner Broadcasting United Airlines U.S.
the Booz Allen team “identified important concerns at even the most well prepared agencies.S. transportation. it was still not in operation. Five years after beginning work on a system. Booz Allen helped the U.” U. Transportation Command More than half the soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm were taken to wrong locations and ill-facilitated hospitals. during war and peace times. After the conflict. 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. According to the FTA. Booz Allen stepped in and transformed the Web-based system to instantaneously track patients from origin to destination throughout the military’s health care system. Transportation Command realized that it needed to drastically overhaul its patienttracking procedures.Typical Studies The Firm U. and counterterrorism experts.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assess the security of public-transit systems nationwide. to address these issues. With a team that included security. the U. catchily titled the Regulating and Command and Control (C2) Evacuation System (TRAC2ES).S. TRANSCOM officials subsequently report that TRAC2ES has saved lives during recent encounters in Afghanistan and Iraq. 23 . Federal Transportation Authority After 9/11.S.
Booz Allen instituted a rapid “fix and build” program that not only restored The Firm and increased the bank’s profitability.5 percent compared to its main competitor’s 7. overhauling 500 branches and ultimately positioning it ahead of the competition. secured funding. the bank’s stock rose 23. Booz Allen devised a way to use global positioning system technology to track battlefield movement in real time. Space-Based Blue Force Tracking Together with the U. To make the project work. regulatory analysis. was on the brink of collapse.” the system. and convinced various military constituencies to accept the new system. Named “Space-Based Blue Force Tracking. 24 . Space Command. which is attached to existing satellite payloads.5 percent. and according to Booz Allen. and land-use planning to help turn long-neglected buildings in Denver. is used to streamline vast operations and locate wounded soldiers. Among other strides: Between 2001 and early 2003. one of the largest financial institutions in Southeast Asia. Bangkok Bank. but also implemented organizational changes. senior military commanders now rank Blue Force Tracking among the three most important new capabilities available to allied forces in Afghanistan. Booz Allen not only engineered the technology.S. Colorado. into a thriving.Bangkok Bank In the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late ’90s. Three months before its pilottest date. but modernized its business model. a prestigious award that acknowledges innovative projects that return unused or abandoned industrial and commercial sites to productive uses. livable community space. This project won the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Phoenix Award. Blue Force was put to use in Afghanistan. Innovative Approach to “Brownfield” Project Booz Allen used its expertise in outreach.
you could find a better work/life balance on the government side of the firm. especially from the lows of 2001 and early 2002. Virginia. in McLean.” And a government-side insider warned that recent “rapid growth is causing a significant amount of work.to 3-month assignments.to 8-week engagements seem to be becoming increasingly common. 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. which 25 . “I’ve worked on several strategy and operations projects in a number of industries. So. multiyear contracts. WTB tends to work on longer. we have to be faster and more flexible in staffing people. and financial services. “In the 2 years I’ve been here.” Another insider says. They used to be 6 months to 1 year. including energy. the multimonth mega-projects still exist. Of course. business is picking up in the consulting industry. But clients are looking to get more bang for their consulting buck. insiders report that engagements are generally shorter than they used to be.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. now we work 2.” says one associate. health care. One insider tells us that shorter projects can mean longer hours. If you’re not sure you can hack the demanding lifestyle of a commercial consultant.” 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. but well-defined 6.
there’s a great diversity of work. One insider describes the type of work Enterprise Resilience teams have done: “If your computers all went through the World Trade Center. we could help you figure out if you should build a redundant call center. 26 .” Booz Allen’s cross-firm initiative encompassing homeland security for the government sector. Even though my team has the same technical theme.” And there’s no indication that government-sector work isn’t every bit as interesting and challenging as that of its commercial-sector cousin.” says one insider. then you will be quickly overcome. We’ll help you handle the overflow. Another adds. business resilience for its corporate clients. “Some of my WCB colleagues travel 80 percent of the time. the Centers for Disease Control.” However. “It’s not a place where you can hang out and be a slacker. It’s not just applying the same thing over and over.” The Firm Security Blanket Booz Allen has long worked for government agencies. and the security needs shared by both. “because other teams come to us.accounts for the key quality-of-life difference between WTB and WCB. “I’ve gotten to work for a multitude of clients.” says one WTB insider. Cue “Enterprise Resilience.” Says another. the firm recognized a need for similar services in the commercial sector. I travel maybe 40 percent of the time. “I’ve done well at the firm by being able to adapt and figure out how my skills. If you come in hoping for that. another insider adds. We did a bioterrorism war game involving the FDA. my team’s skills. on national security issues. and my service offerings fit different client needs. We’ve also done war-gaming exercises. which is a big deal for information-intensive industries such as banking and insurance. But after September 11. “My clients are 10 miles away. such as the CIA and NSA. I’m not on the road every Monday through Thursday.
It’s worth noting that Booz Allen doesn’t limit itself to charitable involvement and pro bono projects with star power. its roster includes the Special Olympics. “One of our primary reasons for doing this. We have committed to donate at least $1 million every year to nonprofits in the D. the United Negro College Fund. and I’m not sure I’d be able to do it at any other firm.” says one insider.C.000 fans annually. My office takes that seriously. One insider working on a project for the Children’s Defense Fund says. which Booz Allen works on in collaboration with Columbia Business School and the National Black MBA Association. Former President Bill Clinton is another high-profile participant in the project. and Amigos de las Americas. We’re trying to help people understand the scary world we live in. “was to be able to give back to the Washington metro community.” an insider says.” James Woolsey. 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. now the Booz Allen Classic—attracts more than 180. Christmas in April. It’s a great opportunity.” Another hot pro bono project is the Harlem Small Business Initiative. In the first 23 years 27 .C. “This is my second pro bono project at Booz Allen. a Booz Allen vice president who used to run the CIA. is one of The Firm the most prominent members of the firm working in this area. and I think that’s kind of nice. Feel-Good Consulting Booz Allen makes an effort to offer its consultants plenty of opportunities to do good deeds. area. D. and we treat them just like any other client. Booz Allen signed a 3-year agreement to take over title sponsorship of the PGA Tour event in Washington. It makes me feel good about my consulting work. “It’s a project that has been generating a lot of internal buzz.insurance companies. The event—formerly the Kemper Open. and HMOs.
” says one insider. So this is a huge deal.” 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. 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. [Historically] we’ve been a little bit more discreet.” The Firm 28 . “We’re investing in our brand in ways that we never did before.of the tournament.
On the Job • Consultants • Associates On the Job 29 .
” Though not common. Booz Allen will be recruiting MBAs and others with advanced degrees into its commercial business almost exclusively. a few consultants are still doing work within WCB. “We tend to look for engineers. We look for technical people. including the following: • Conduct industry research • Develop analytical approaches to solving business problems • Run computer models • Interview clients On the Job 30 . computer scientists—people who have information systems and telecommunications backgrounds. “The profile of the type of undergraduate we recruit for WTB varies. Undergraduates from leading colleges and universities are more likely to find opportunities on the government side of the firm. because the person is very logical. as one WTB insider explains. the general lack of consultants on projects has not gone unnoticed by associates (MBAs and other advanced-degree holders).” says one. but it’s unfortunate because it piles more work onto associates.Consultants In 2004. especially those with electrical engineering and computer science degrees. there are always exceptions. and the work they do is similar to that of associates. That said. But I have somebody on my team who has a bachelor’s and a master’s in philosophy.” The move away from hiring consultants into the commercial side of the firm reflects corporate clients’ preference for having more senior people on projects. However. Undergraduates enter the firm with the title of consultant. We also look for people with business backgrounds who can do analysis. According to one recruiter. “It’s a reflection of the market.
More time on the spreadsheet. Whoa! Plenty of new data to crunch! Day’s over. The office. the indirect and shared costs that will be allocated across all of the shows? 10:30 Call accounting office to request report with show-by-show production costs and advertising revenues. media. Leave voice mail for several communications. Tonight’s topic: Which slide will the partner want to change first? Home. On the Job 31 . term ‘teamwork’ is 8:45 Discuss how to structure our analysis of really lived here. Run down to accounting to pick up cost/revenue report before the accountants all head home. 11:15 Dial into Knowledge Online (KOL) system to uncover internal company resources on TV programming profitability. Quick meeting with associate to discuss modeling technique. how much profit a television show generates for the network: What costs will we include? What are the direct costs vs. sweet home.• 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. 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. and technology associates who reportedly have worked on similar studies. Head out for dinner with rest of the team. Start developing television show profitability model. 12:30 Ask team member to pick up a sandwich and Coke so I can keep surfing KOL.
It’s a very different business model. and I build a tool kit that’s going to help them get to the next level. follow up with clients to make sure I completely understand the data. While working on a project.Associates New MBAs at Booz Allen are hired as associates. one associate reports that she “led a client team of about eight VPs and general managers. I train them how to be a management consultant. I put them on a series of jobs that are anywhere from 8 weeks to 5 months.” Even relatively recent associate hires enjoy a great deal of responsibility on On the Job project teams. which vary depending on the type of engagement. There were four associates. Then I tend to use the different levels of the firm as an apprenticeship program to help train them. We developed growth forecasts and looked at new markets. “As an associate. and ask the right questions in order to put it together and come up with sound results. and a partner on the case.” Associates are responsible for a number of different tasks. 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 . it’s my job to gather data. Most of their time is spent working as a part of a project team. two senior associates.” A recruiter explains the process: “We hire a kind of ‘athlete’ out of business school: someone who’s really smart and dedicated. but each associate was basically running his or her own work team. test that data and check the accuracy of it.
Time to wrap it up for the day. He says I’m doing a fantastic job and perhaps there’s a project management opportunity in my future. 12:30 Quick lunch break: sandwiches in the cafeteria with the rest of the team. 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. Meet with the officer from operations for a project update and status report. My laptop just crashed—I hate the new version of Excel! Think I’ll cool off by taking a quick walk around the building. My job: Focus on opportunities in Australia and Asia. 10:30 Arrive at client site just in time for a meeting with client’s director of strategic planning. 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.• Prepare presentations and write reports. 1:00 Back to the data collection project. Our job: Evaluate international retail-expansion opportunities. “What about acquisition opportunities?” 11:30 Work with consultant to generate data on petroleum franchises in Australia. On the Job 2:30 3:00 4:00 4:40 7:00 33 . Yes! Consultant has gathered great data on the target franchise. Work with consultant to reconstruct that beautiful model I lost in virtual spreadsheet land. but lower profitability than other chains. offer recommendations to the officer in charge. or is it a dog? I can’t believe it. What’s behind this? Put a consultant on the case. Outline objectives for tomorrow’s meetings. He says the company once considered opening a retail franchise in Australia but decided against it—too pricey. Discover one franchise that looks interesting—several outlets.
Grab dinner at the hotel restaurant. On the Job 34 . call my boyfriend. Get onto the Stairmaster before the health club closes.8:00 8:30 9:30 Check in at the Four Seasons. 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)
• 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.
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
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.
Friday, you’re looking at a 10-hour day. There’s a ramp-up phase at the beginning of a project, where the hours are more aggressive; then an execution phase, where it’s more manageable; and then at the end another ramp-up phase to tie it all together. Short-burn projects are more aggressive.” Another insider notes that operations projects tend to have slightly shorter hours than strategy projects. The average workweek is reportedly between 55 and 70 hours, but insiders say personal time off is available when you need it. “I got married this year,” says one, “and they told me to take as much time as I needed.” Correspondingly, a senior associate who’s been with the firm for 5 years says, “I took 6 months out of my career track to be a school manager. I needed some time: My second child was born, and I wanted to spend some time at home and not traveling
realize when they’re overloading you. “Now that I’m more through Thursday. Not every team can do that. ‘I will do this tonight. It becomes more manageable when little less on Monday you have the courage to say. It will provide company cars if you leave after dark and dinner allowances when you work late. you’ve got to do classified work in the office.” Still.[for work]. and I’ve built up a decent reputation. however. in the next few days. I’m overwhelmed. but I won’t be able to get and then you’re looking at 12. “The number-one thing I like about Booz Allen is the flexible work/life balance. and this is what I plan to achieve early flight. For example.’ because I won’t stay up all hour days. “but there’s the reality of consulting.to 14the other stuff done. I’m home Wednesdays and Fridays with the baby. “We say work/life balance is important. I can say. that she works in an area that allows employees to manage the work/life balance.” A senior associate on the government side says. [The firm] really values employees. Booz Allen provides support. senior. maybe a night anymore. I haven’t been at a 100 percent [work time] in the 3 years since my son was born. “There are some legitimate reasons why that is not uniform across WTB.” She notes.” The Workplace 39 . Can you you’re looking at a help me prioritize?’ The managers don’t always 10-hour day. when the hours get intense.” Several insiders emphasize that at Booz Allen you have the ability to adjust the pressure and that managers are receptive to “” You’re generally at the client site Monday requests for help. Says one. ‘This is what I can because you’re on an achieve tonight. given certain contract and classified requirements. Friday. there are some teams that are not up to speed with that [work/life balance]. But let me tell you.” says an insider.
it appears that at Booz Allen the only lack of diversity is in insiders’ opinions of their colleagues. walks of life. the word diversity is used with eerie frequency: “We have a very diverse bunch of people here—all kinds of backgrounds. but have in common that they believe in the same values. and perspectives. It’s very much a values-based culture.” In fact. in interviews with firm insiders. who are very different.” Yet another says. but once you get to know the individuals. “The culture of WTB is centered around a set of core values that are explicitly stated on the first page of the [employee] manual. Another says. is assessed on them every year. a government-side insider says. Every single employee.” says one insider. It’s the first thing the senior managers look at when determining how to progress someone. you’re constantly amazed by where people are coming from and what they’ve done. Booz Allen Family Values The Workplace Within its diverse workforce. “It’s very diverse and a little eclectic in the sense that we may all appear to be professionals and consultants upon first meeting. “Based on that. closely followed by the firm—not the other way around.” says one insider.” Similarly. no matter what level. “Booz Allen is a company made up of many individuals.Culture Consultants throughout the firm stress that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single “Booz Allen type.” In fact. It’s not a platitude. “The people are pretty diverse as far as interests and educational backgrounds are concerned. Booz Allen instills a prevailing ethic that resonates clearly across the firm. one could say that we have a culture where the individual comes first. People have dreams outside of consulting.” 40 .
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. so you can’t be thin-skinned. so you have to be ready to contribute.Competition and personality clashes might be expected at a firm staffed by so many individualists. “I feel that the people in my office really care about each other.” But laid-back and supportive doesn’t always mean warm and fuzzy. not the individual. .” 41 . . Allen is very challenging but also very friendly.” Says another. People try to tear your idea apart. but you can’t be thin-skinned. “I think Booz Allen’s culture is more down to earth and supportive than some firms. The team needs to crack the case. It is competitive but not in a negative sense—more collegial.” The Workplace In general. “The atmosphere is definitely a combination of intellectual competition and camaraderie.” says one insider. People try to tear your idea apart.” says one insider. 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. People are always sharing knowledge and helping each other out. “I do not find any competition between my peers within the firm. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. [instead. “The atmosphere at Booz “” You have to be confident enough to dispassionately sit back and pick through something you’ve just said. . You work with an intellectual set of people. Booz Allen exists as a relatively laid-back alternative to the BCGs and McKinseys of the consulting world. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. The people are great to work with and all have very interesting and diverse backgrounds to share. but insiders say that conflicts are rare.
Everyone here is really smart.” says an insider. then the office has a window. Of course. Romans. First you share an office. The senior associates have their own offices. But it’s a decent balance. “There is a fair amount of variation in the subcultures of different project teams. But I also like the fact that everyone here is extremely professional. have a combination of both types. Virginia. “Some partners and job managers are very outgoing. staffers have assigned spaces.” an insider says. And there’s the bullpen. and I’ve made some lifelong friends here. if you’re just stopping in.” Some offices.” Likewise. Most of the doors are open. associates can conduct conversation that’s both professional and social.” says an insider The Workplace assigned to the McLean. “Then there’s a virtual office in a hub where you come in and get assigned a place to sit. headquarters.Friends. office structure varies depending on where you’re stationed. There are five or six associates in large rooms so they can talk. whereas others consist of virtual offices. with lots of team dinners and other fun interactions. and it’s nice being around people I can learn a lot from and who challenge me. like the London office. There’s a laptop on every desk and team rooms in every hallway. Because of the cubicle setup.” 42 . “The people here are very funloving.” A New York insider says. In some offices. and then you get a private office. sometimes called hoteling. your mileage may vary depending on the team you work on. Some are more in the ‘eat your spinach’ mode and head back to the hotel to do e-mail and room service. “There are people who are squatters and have their own offices. Coworkers? Most insiders with whom we talked emphasized the balance struck between fun and professionalism at their individual offices. “There’s a ranking system. “There are sets of cubicles for the associates [in the New York office]. I was just in with my team—a working session over lunch.
“We are growing so fast on the TB side. In terms of the office culture. but it’s a concern. so on a Friday or Saturday. Is there a super-robust after-hours environment? Probably less than I would like to see. we have all these new people across the firm who don’t know Booz Allen. but it’s difficult. People are on the road. but coming out of the downturn. happy hours. which I think stems from the fact that we share offices and too much talking could be distracting. and that’s a lot of the appeal. saying. there’s a real inclination to go visit your other life and your friends outside of work. it’s a decent place to come in as an associate. And more than one insider mentions marriages that were made not only in heaven. but would I participate in it a lot more? That’s difficult to say. but also on Booz Allen project teams. though. I think people are a little gun-shy and tend to invest a little less in work relationships. usually in their cohort.Another insider counters. Says one insider.” The Workplace 43 . Do we do things socially as a work group? Absolutely.” Even so. “There isn’t a lot of chit-chat between employees. I think it used to be considerably better a few years ago. As you get more senior. Cutbacks after 2001 and the recent hiring boom have both had some effect on employees’ relationships. It’s not something I don’t like. there’s a lot of social interaction. “Social interaction outside of work really varies by level. many insiders mention seasonal outings.” According to one insider. “On the client site. there’s definitely some of that.” A WTB insider says the recent increases in hiring on that side are being felt among staff. In general. So this culture thing is hard. and other informal social opportunities. Some offices schedule activities—like ice cream socials and citywide scavenger hunts—to get employees together. most folks have some strong personal relationships with a couple other folks in the office.
“I think minorities seems to do better [here] in general. For at least one insider. and that was a big selling point. and benefits.” Still another insider says. 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.Workplace Diversity Booz Allen began a formal. Once people get to the more senior point. In 2001. retention. training.” The firm actively recruits at minority conferences such as the National Black MBA and National Hispanic MBA conferences. not as much Latino and AfricanAmerican. Booz Allen’s commitment to diversity was a significant factor in his decision to join the firm: “Since I’m African-American. [but] I don’t think it’s anything cultural. We have a good mix of minorities and women up to the point of the senior associate position.” 44 . Minority hiring trends tend to differ from office to office. we haven’t been able to maintain that [level of diversity]. though some insiders The Workplace report that the government side of the firm is more diverse than the commercial side. “There probably aren’t enough minority and women in upper management. policies. It meant they took diversity seriously. We don’t have as many female partners as some of our competitors do. A WCB insider says. “It’s still largely Asian and Caucasian. but we’re better than most of our clients. firmwide diversity initiative in 1993 and appointed a director of diversity to oversee diversity recruiting. staff development.” says an insider. it meant a lot to me that Booz Allen had quite a few black partners. We’re certainly not representative of the general population at higher levels.
the company has many employee groups that support diversity in the workplace.” The firm is making diversity training mandatory for its officers and principals. German Diversity Task Force. offering “encouragement and mentoring. is an employee-driven. and GLOBE Forum (for gay. Hispanic Interest Group.” computer-based courses designed to strengthen employees’ diversity skills. Booz Allen also provides sexual harassment awareness training for employees. 45 . Asia-Pacific–American Forum. lesbian. ESL Pilot Group. open to all employees. as is Ralph Shrader. Junior Exempt Employee Forum. and brown-bag lunch sessions on topics such as “Interacting with People with Disabilities. African-American Professional Development. Latin American Professional Development. and it offers a half-day course to teach The Workplace managers how to conduct interviews that are both probing and sensitive to diversity. Disabilities Task Force.” Diversity Training According to a Booz Allen recruiter. and transgendered employees). firm-sponsored series of professional development workshops that includes the Women’s Professional Development. bisexual. our current CEO. Nonexempt Employee Forum. Insiders report that women at Booz Allen generally support one another. For all staff. Blacks at Booz Allen.” Booz Allen’s Professional Development Diversity Series. and it really gives it a lot of weight. “Our former CEO was a huge proponent of diversity. Asian American Professional Development. including the African-American Forum. coming from the top like that. Booz Allen Hamilton Parents Network. Hispanic Forum. The firm’s Women of Greater Washington along with other site-specific women’s forums addresses gender issues at the firm. Disability Forum.Internally. the firm offers courses in diversity such as “Working Effectively in a Diverse Organization” and “Managing in a Diverse Organization. and Sexual Orientation in the Workplace courses.
In the July 2002 issue of Consulting Magazine. hiring. Booz Allen has an annual awards ceremony to recognize employees who’ve made a significant professional contribution to enhancing the firm’s diversity. the firm was among the top ten and ranked number one among consulting firms.) The Workplace • Employer of Choice (Minority Corporate Counsel Association.S. or supervise. in 2002 and 2003. work for. Booz Allen has been named to Working Mother’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for each of the last 5 years. Black Collegian magazine. Washington. 2004) • New Freedom Initiative Award (U. provides training. 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. “We’re 46 . Recognition Booz Allen’s commitment to attracting. which includes information about diversity at the firm and links to forums’ websites. and resources for staff with disabilities and the people they work with. sponsored by the firm’s Disability Forum. Its “Disability One-Stop” site. five AfricanAmerican Booz Allen officers were profiled. information. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Booz Allen has been recognized for its diversity initiatives by such organizations as the Human Rights Campaign. Opportunities for Women In addition to being recognized for its commitment to diversity. Chao. D. and retaining a diverse workforce has garnered the firm awards and acclaim from a number of corners. and the National Disability and Business Council.The firm has a diversity intranet site.C. 2003) In addition. Moreover.
including an all-day but it happens to be a kindergarten and extended-hours care. I don’t think it’s bad at all for women. The lack time and offers parental leave to both male and of female partners is female employees. “They’ve got the diversity thing down. but it happens to be a lot of diverse men.” However. and consulting is hard if you’re trying to start a family. Virginia. The lack of female partners to me is very discouraging. In 2002. In September 2000. company headquarters in McLean. another female insider says. Every year the firm also recognizes six of its female colleagues with the Women of Distinction Award. family. but we have a long way to go. One female insider says. women very discouraging. selflessness. The firm should give women Booz Allen has allowed officers to work partmore options. each with more than 620 you’re trying to start a locations across the United States. Some insiders think the firm could do a better job when it comes to promoting women.” says a recruiter. the firm opened the Booz Allen Family Center. have been elected to the partnership level while working part-time. by partnering with two consulting is hard if child-care companies. “At my level [associate] and lower. the firm extended its child-care benefits to There are very few women partners. there The Workplace 47 . There are very few women partners. to provide child care. and employees nationwide. The firm should maybe give women more options. Once you get to principal and partner. and balance.exceptionally proud of that. A ton more could be done on that point. at lot of diverse men. In a few instances. The firm sponsors a number of networking lunches and forums for female employees and a new Women’s Professional Development Course. This is a colleaguenominated award that honors women who exemplify strong character and spirit. “” They’ve got the diversity thing down. sensitivity.
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. It’s a long slog of travel in the future of anyone aspiring to be a partner. This is really getting down to society’s expectations for women vs.” says one insider. men. . “Women have a hard time staying around long enough to make it. . but from what I have seen. but they don’t seem to fare particularly well.” Indeed one senior associate says. and it crosses right though the primary child-bearing years for professional women. 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. “Minorities are also never represented well enough.aren’t that many role models.” The Workplace 48 . . I think they do fine. It’s not just Booz Allen.” In summary: “There are probably never enough women represented in the firm. Some part-time programs have been tried. That kind of arrangement is still rare for women. For those that don’t elect to have children.
“If you want a job where you’re not working until midnight and traveling all the time. Sometimes we can’t access the clients after 5:00. On holidays. In some cases I cannot even work [off premises] and charge it to the project. 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. though in our market in the federal sector. between salaries on Booz Allen’s government and commercial business sides. etc.” says one. however. There are differences. they don’t work.” says an insider. “With the war for The Workplace 49 .” We expect salaries to rise across the industry for 2004–05. Those on the government side reportedly earn less because of differences in fee structure and the partner-to-staff team ratios. “WTB is a more classic corporate structure with long careers—people stay for 20 to 25 years. insiders report that the lifestyle differences are the very reason they find the salary gap acceptable. weekends. “It’s a trade-off.. insist that their light travel schedules and regular work hours are dictated by the nature of their work: “I think one reason that the [WTB side could be] perceived as being laidback is because our clients are government and they work a very prescribed schedule during the week. I cannot go in and work. but as an insider tells us. the FBI on a national holiday and they’re closed. so starting salaries don’t vary a great deal from one firm to the next. say. “There’s a lot of stability because there’s no forced up-or-out model.” Although the firm says its salary structures are based on market rates rather than on less quantifiable elements such as lifestyle. you’re going to be paid less.” WTB insiders. however.Compensation Consulting firms are in direct competition for top talent. If you want a fast pace. If I am sent to. Booz Allen does not release specific salary information. you’re compensated accordingly.
7 percent of eligible compensation over the Social Security wage base (if applicable). and several other resources to help you achieve work/life The Workplace balance. In the United States. Booz Allen has a profit-sharing and savings plan called the employee capital accumulation plan (ECAP). which pay on the high side. Commercial consultants are also eligible for year-end bonuses. ECAP has two parts: a 401(k) plan. and signing bonuses vary widely if offered at all. Summer associates who return to the commercial sector after graduation from business school may be reimbursed for their second year of tuition. compared to private-sector positions. you’ll get to choose from a selection of health plans. many employees are eligible for a year-end bonus based on the employee’s performance as well as the firm’s. and you’ll be eligible for paid parental leave. in which staff can put up to 10 percent of salary. we expect salaries to rise more quickly than they have since the dotcom bust. 50 . 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. In addition to base pay.” The government-sector positions pay less. paid personal leave to meet specified personal commitments.000. In addition. Compensation packages for undergrads start at around $60. and Booz Allen frequently offers tuition support to those who choose to get an MBA if they return to the firm after graduation. and profit sharing.talent heating up. Summer internships at the MBA level pay a prorated amount based on the MBA starting salary. Relocation bonuses are based on need.
shelters. more likely than not. doing pro bono work.” Insiders also tell us that Booz Allen has a weekly e-mail bulletin that. “We get a lot of support from the partnership. encourages participation in various community events.” says one insider. along with announcing contract awards and job openings.Civic Involvement Booz Allen’s Community Relations program helps employees participate in a variety of activities and organizations. and I don’t want you to waste that. “It’s one of the things I like best about Booz Allen. Booz Allen’s intranet site includes an area called Community Relations Online. 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. The Neediest Kids. 51 . The Workplace “There are constant opportunities to get involved. Booz Allen will back up an employee’s civic commitment with dollars or equipment and time allowances. the firm is going to support it. Amigos de las Americas. and there is recognition for it. I can help you be successful but I’m not going got get involved unless you ask me. This is saying. Staff members volunteer their time by working in various community service projects at schools. If you see a cause you want to get involved in. Toys for Tots. and participating in charity races. I’ll bend over backward for you. According to one insider who has helped renovate homes in Chicago.” Booz Allen’s approach to pro bono and community work reflects the company culture. ‘Look I see an opportunity for you be successful. If you ask me to help. and nonprofit arts organizations.’” Some of the company’s pro bono and charitable activities include work with the Special Olympics. “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.” says an insider.
In November 2001. and the Smithsonian Institution. and teams whose volunteer service. The firm also raises more than $50. employee groups. hundreds of Booz Allen volunteers help renovate houses for those in need. The firm sponsors its own Involvement and Impact Awards to honor Booz Allen individuals. incorporate professional expertise.America’s Charities. 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. Christmas in April.000 annually for the Children’s National Medical Center. leadership. to name just a few. titled “Finding a New Balance in a New World: Combining Ambition and Altruism. Northern Virginia Family Services. produce clear and measurable results. CEO Ralph Shrader spoke out on the importance of civic involvement in a speech at Yale. This year’s awards came in six categories: • Individual volunteer service The Workplace • Individual leadership • Office or business unit volunteer service • Group collaboration volunteer service • Pro bono initiatives • Forum or affinity group volunteer service 52 . Each year. and generate substantial impact.
In fact. Employees in European offices can expect more vacation time than those joining in the United States. and 2 floating holidays that can be used at their discretion. The Workplace 53 . That means that once your vacation request is set up. not even a 1-day delay. no one has ever said that I couldn’t go.” New employees receive 2 to 5 weeks of vacation plus holidays (depending on the country). “I usually try to plan my vacation for a time when my project workload is light. I’ve never had to cancel a vacation. “The thought never occurred to me. 3 paid personal days. it often stunned them into silence.” says an insider.” Another insider says. That’s also because I communicate my plans far in advance. “In the 9 years I’ve been here. 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.Vacation Booz Allen employees are encouraged to use vacation time. but once I’ve made plans. it isn’t moved.
You’re expected to carry your own weight. Booz Allen increased its investment in learning and development by nearly 12 percent.to 10-day orientations—taking place in training centers around the world—where they learn about Booz Allen’s heritage. and enhance interpersonal communication. also giving it the “Best in Class” honor in the Professional Services Company category. it puts all new hires through 7. Many insiders agree. fine-tune their leadership abilities. employees go through a cohort class that’s designed The Workplace to help them develop their craft and analytical skills. Summer associates attend a 5-day orientation. so a lot of the learning comes from your day-to-day work. and approach to consulting.Training Training magazine ranked Booz Allen fourth in its “Training Top 100 List” for 2004. Those from nontraditional backgrounds who join Booz Allen on the commercial side also go through a mini-MBA program.” 54 . that “most of the training comes from just being on the project and working with the other team members. While many companies cut their training budgets last year. individualized training in specialized areas. culture. Not only does the firm offer tuition assistance and pay for self-led. however. And with each promotion.
Senior associates select a market-facing team and build professional depth through specialization in an industry or function. associates. and doors to offices are generally open. insiders say. and employees are able to nominate themselves for upcoming projects. 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. though she also says that good guidance abounds: “We do it informally—through our assessments and through personal recommendations. 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 . 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. One way is through its mentorship program. a WTB insider says that a formal mentoring program instituted in her office several years ago fizzled out. “I personally have about ten people who come into my office and ask. Most consulting firms have some sort of mentoring program. Staffing opportunities are posted on an intranet site. all WTB insiders sing praise for the support they receive.” One way or another. ‘Can I talk to you?’” says a senior associate. Promotions at Booz Allen are based on merit and. Booz Allen helps employees find challenging assignments and avenues to develop their careers. However. are occurring more quickly than in the past. Consultants. but several insiders at Booz Allen spoke unusually highly of theirs. Booz Allen employees—from consultant through senior vice president—tend to be on a first-name basis.Career Path Booz Allen seeks to develop professionals who have knowledge and expertise that is broad as well as deep.
“It’s different things at different levels. 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.” The typical path to partnership takes 6 to 8 years. “Now you can drive as hard and as fast as you want. you get help from all over the place: from partners down to the most junior people. it’s about managing the team. As for what gets you promoted. There’s a minimum hurdle you have to surpass. then about managing the client and delivering the business. Booz Allen’s commercial side has an up-or-out policy. This flexibility allows people with different skill sets to find a place within the firm.” 56 . “I think there’s always going to be pressure around that. an insider says. you must be promoted or asked to leave the The Workplace company. 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). There’s a sense of reality that at a certain time you either get promoted or move on.crafted. but people who play to one area or another are recognized. According to a senior associate. you’ll have the opportunity to play a role either in content leadership (which means you’ll sell projects and work closely with clients. I can only do that because I take enjoyment in seeing someone else be successful. As you get more senior. But I don’t think it’s anything that I can’t get around. So when you finally break down and ask for help.” This kind of support underscores the firm’s culture in general. “How quickly you progress is up to you. which means that at certain points in your career. An insider says. it’s about delivering the work.” As you rise through the Booz Allen ranks. That also means that you have the same high-caliber people internally who want to help you be successful. You can’t be a super communicator and a poor deliverer.” says a recruiter. At early stages. “This goes back to this whole idea of helping other people succeed.
boozallen. business. and business administration. Booz Allen helps a consultant find a position in a client company.On the government side. the firm does hire from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds.C. but want the experience of working on the client side without leaving Booz Allen. In this program. When the year is over. A good way to get a foot in the door before you graduate is via a Booz Allen internship. including engineering. Most undergraduates join the firm in the government sector. and people can either move up or stay at the same level for years without any pressure to leave. humanities.. and computer science. 57 . Booz Allen’s government side has a technology and public management internship program with positions located throughout the Washington. but it also has opportunities for students pursuing degrees in the liberal arts and the hard sciences. economics. This program seeks students with backgrounds in computer science. where the consultant spends a year broadening his or her exposure to the client’s industry before business school. information systems. math. the firm offers the Third Year in Industry program. there is no up-or-out policy. Resumes for internship opportunities are accepted throughout the year and can be submitted online at www. Booz Allen sponsors the consultant in business school (provided that he or she agrees to come back to work at Booz Allen). metropolitan area. The Workplace If you like consulting. 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. engineering. Opportunities for Undergraduates Although most of Booz Allen’s hires on the commercial side are MBAs. D. science.com.
At the top of the pyramid lie the lofty positions of principal. and senior vice president. they’re eligible for the same promotions and other opportunities as Booz Allen staff hired directly out of school. International Opportunities Booz Allen has an impressive worldwide footprint. Experienced industry professionals enter at different levels depending on their qualifications. To fill out the balance of its full-time MBA class. with representatives in more than 60 countries and offices on every continent except Antarctica. Of course. first-year MBA candidates are recruited on campus beginning in January for the Booz Allen summer program. 58 . Typically. Once on board. Booz Allen recruiters return to campus in the fall to court second-year students. After 2 to 3 years. 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. this depends on your language skills and the market. New hires are typically staffed into offices within their home countries. but employees who want one have a good chance of landing an international assignment. Many of those who participate in the summer program receive offers of full-time employment that they have 6 to 9 months to accept. where they manage projects. Insiders report that there’s a real upward pull for people who are ready and able to take on more responsibility. vice president.Opportunities for MBAs New MBA hires start as associates on the commercial side of the firm. they move up the ranks to senior associate.
One insider says. “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. If you can do it.” reports another insider. “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 .” Insider Scoop What Employees Really Like The Workplace Show Your Stuff “Meritocracy” seems to be a favorite word among insiders describing Booz Allen. Says one insider. According to one European recruiter. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now.” The firm’s European hiring trends are shifting. “There’s a lot of autonomy and responsibility on projects. “You’re expected to put your ideas and perspectives in there.” Says yet another. “The Japanese market is totally different from Singapore. where everything’s pretty much done in English. and employees are impressed by its thoroughness. 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. and we want to hear from new associates as much as from the partner.” The company’s 360-degree appraisal process is designed to reward excellence. In Europe. “Everybody is very bright and the environment really pushes you. you’ll have a chance to lead the thinking.
” says one.” 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.” It’s All About the People All of our insiders say that the people at Booz Allen are a major draw. “The people are talented and work well together. pragmatic. organization and change 60 .” Not Just Ivy Leaguers Insiders at Booz Allen tell us that the company’s recruiting efforts have a much wider reach in comparison to some of its competitors.” The Workplace Square Foundation Booz Allen employees point to the company’s broad consulting base as another big positive. you can design your own career. It’s fun. “The people are a lot more diverse than I thought they would be. Booz Allen offers a full range of consulting services in six main areas: strategy. You need to be on top of things.at any level—you get empowered very early in the process. and smart—but no ‘brains on sticks. team-oriented. “The people are down-toearth.” Another insider says. but they have different life experiences before that. Unlike firms that offer only strategy consulting or others that specialize in operations or information technology. Many employees see this as a real plus. One insider says. A principal says. “I’ve had clients pull me aside and tell me they appreciate how diverse we are. You need to take responsibility for what you are doing. “The camaraderie is great. Once you demonstrate that you are on top of things.’” A European insider says. My concern was that everybody would have the standard engineering degree and then an MBA. This is my fourth consulting firm and it’s the best place I’ve been. that it relates more to their organization. “The people are really what keep me here. People do have MBAs. after the first 6 months.
“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. information technology.” “” Watch Out! On the Road Again If you join the commercial side of Booz Allen. the travel demands are much less onerous.” says one insider. like any firm. Not a lot. According to one insider. “I think that some people come into consulting and really aren’t ready for the commitment that it takes. especially if you have kids or someday want to!” On the government side of the business. and global assurance. According to one insider. “We really kick the tires on any strategy we propose. operations.” 61 . 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. many Booz Allen consultants spend lots of time away from home. maybe 20 percent. “In the areas where we’re strong. That’s something people need to be honest about: Do you want to be traveling? Do you want to be working the long hours?” In the words of another insider: “Travel is always a drag. or arrogance. we build strong relationships with clients. pushpush-push. but you’ll remember that 20 percent well. is subject to personalities.leadership. you can expect to spend a lot of time on the road. technology management. Booz Allen.
Booz Allen may not be the place for you.Looking Out for Number 1 Insiders say that once you finish your training (which one describes as “really quick”). 62 . but you can’t relay that message in a convincing manner. you might be happier somewhere else. You can’t be a passive player and walk in the door and expect everything to work out perfectly for you. If you’re not comfortable being selfmotivated and assertive about getting ahead. Playing on stereotypes. especially among partners. but there’s also a lot of self-direction. But keep in mind that Booz Allen isn’t looking for employees who are brilliant with data but bad with people. There is a whole mentoring program and a staffing group that take people in and ramp them up.” Data-Heavy Though Booz Allen does its share of work on organizational and people issues. well.” Another insider tells us. insiders acknowledge that the firm places a relatively heavy emphasis on The Workplace quantitative analysis. adds this insider: “It doesn’t feel as yucky as it sounds. it’s useless to us and to the client. This is coming from someone whose personal weakness is quantitative analysis. you’re pretty much on your own. Another insider says. “If you have all the answers. but it is something I’d tell people to be aware of. that’s definitely not the case. “You should become really proficient with financial analysis and doing spreadsheets and modeling in order to get respect at this firm.” If you’d rather spend your time dealing primarily with people issues. “A lot of one’s success at Booz Allen depends on the network and alliance that you can build for yourself. “People have to be aggressive in managing their own careers. If you think you’re getting into consulting to get away from networking.” says an insider. and I’ve done just fine. one insider notes that the firm might be a better fit for those coming out of MIT’s business school than Harvard’s. According to one insider.” Not to worry.
Getting Hired • The Recruiting Process • The Interviewer’s Checklist • Interviewing Tips • Grilling Your Interviewer Getting Hired 63 .
Insiders we spoke to think this is an important opportunity to likewise help candidates decide whether Booz Allen is a good match for them. “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. Booz Allen has been on campus recruiting every year since 2001. Secondary to that is responding to the posting in the website. case examples. it helps to know someone. things are looking up. The firm has lately been quoted in various media as saying that its hiring projections are way up.” 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 . As in most companies. associates will even call students and then meet with them to discuss their goals for the future. “The best way to get a job is to know someone who already Getting Hired works at Booz Allen because more than 50 percent of all new hires come from employee referrals. and recommendations for prospective hires. and according to several insiders on both sides of the firm. The “Careers” section of Booz Allen’s website includes a document entitled “Interviewing Tips and Case Primer for Commercial Consulting Candidates.” which offers useful analytical frameworks. Booz Allen likes students to have as much contact as possible with the firm before the interview. This helps determine whether the student will fit in well at Booz Allen. An insider from global operations says. In some cases.” says one commercial-side insider. hiring is now up all around.
“We are looking for more than brains on a stick. One insider says. and then be able to talk about those in an interview and relate them to your resume. but you’re not likely to have done that in as stressful an environment as a case interview.” says one recent hire. Booz Allen relies on case interviews to test a candidate’s analytical abilities. We are also looking for leadership skills. everyone Booz Allen is likely to interview is going to be smart and accomplished.WetFeet. “Practice the case interview. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer. And if you don’t think ahead of time about the key things in your life that have helped make you successful. back-to-back interviews. but is now emphasizing the general resume review as well as conversation to determine how the candidate manages his or her work.” Remember. “Where most people fail is that they do not prepare for the ‘fit’ part of the interview.com. During my case interview.is being considered. achievement in a career before attending business school and an intellectual track record in school.” More than one recent hire we spoke to emphasized that the case interview is the best opportunity to stand out from the crowd. You think that it should be easy to answer questions about yourself. According to one recruiter. check out WetFeet’s Ace Your Case series at www. deals with conflict. you’re not going to be able to answer the fit questions very well. I didn’t feel like they were trying to trick me. We are also looking for leadership skills. The company seeks people with a demonstrated record of “” We are looking for more than brains on a stick. There was a logical flow.” (For a rigorous review of case questions.) Getting Hired 65 . “It’s a critical part of the evaluation process. Cultural fit also weighs heavily in candidate assessment. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer. Second and third rounds usually involve multiple. and so on. Our cases are based on prior client work of the people doing the interview. accepts responsibility.
We’re doing analytical work. “We try to encourage folks to go to more of a state school. But according to one recruiting insider. “We don’t look for a position per se. A lot of them go back to school as part of their work with us.” Once you’re in. and public policy degrees are likely to attract the most interest. Says one recruiter. Where the WTB side used to encourage only technical degrees.” says one WTB recruiter. then obviously relevant experience.” Expect several rounds of interviews.000 per year toward tuition. “We look for a candidate.” says a recruiter. but we have to communicate that to our client. A typical interview question I’d ask of a college hire: Give me an example of a project you had. the problems you encountered. business. We like to have writing samples. where they can take more classes [for that money]. computer science.” Insiders also emphasize that communication and writing skills are important. “We’re looking for someone who can communicate their thought processes. “University recruiting is not a large percentage of the recruiting we do for the government business. “We do hire a lot of Getting Hired junior staff coming right out of school. it now promotes the pursuit of MBAs for some of its employees. Interpersonal skills and analytical thinking are probably the top two criteria. I want to make sure these people can write. and we support that. Booz Allen will help you move ahead. and how you solved them. Be sure to highlight any government. “The firm gives $5. but we look for the best talent.” an insider reports.” 66 . national security.Undergraduates Currently. In an interview I try to probe their analytical thinking process. Booz Allen is not actively recruiting undergraduates into its commercial-sector unit. Undergraduates with engineering. but we still hire a large number of undergraduates. I like to tell people to come prepared with three things that they’ve built and white papers. or defense industry internships on your resume as well.
candidates with security clearances are especially attractive to the firm right now.MBAs The best way to get your foot in the door is to sign up for the on-campus interviewing program at your school. It can take up to 18 months to get a security clearance. “People with high-level security clearances are extremely precious and few and far between. Like college hires. The governmentsector side of the firm in particular brings in large numbers of experienced hires. Contact the Booz Allen location of your choice. WTB seeks candidates with government experience. to arrive at a logical solution.” Says another. They want to see how you can establish a framework. step by step. midcareer candidates must survive several rounds of interviews that include case questions.” says one insider hired out of B-school. “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. “I was asked many case questions in my interviews. One WTB insider says it looks for “individuals leaving government or military service with consulting experience and especially those with security clearances.” Getting Hired 67 .
” This is to say that whoever hired this insider’s traveling companion found somebody who was enjoyable company for those 12 hours. 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.The Interviewer’s Checklist To give candidates a more consistent interviewing experience. “If I were stuck at an airport with this candidate. Aside from it taking 12 hours to get from Detroit Getting Hired to New York. it wasn’t bad at all. Booz Allen designates a specific person to coordinate each campus recruiting effort. I’ve done it. would I go crazy?” An insider elaborates: “You hear about that airport test. 68 .
Your interviewer will also want to see that you’re comfortable with numbers.g.. you may just convince them that you’re nuts!) 4. “A lot of the time. Take the time to structure your response. “Your resume is supposed to be a list of the most important things you’ve done on one page. 250 million). Practice case questions if you’re applying to Booz Allen’s commercial business. Booz Allen won’t necessarily be looking for the right answer as much as for evidence of how you think.000. I see people giving their gut answers right away. Many don’t know what’s on their resumes. “If you can quantify things.” says one insider. and otherwise project a low-energy demeanor. 3. 100. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the intellectual side of consulting. It’s not a list of how you actually did those things. (Then again.” a commercial-side recruiter tells us. One tip from our experts: If you get a question that requires discussing numbers. and analyze. 1. slouch in their chairs. Booz Allen recruiters tell us that candidates often earn dings long before the case arrives.Interviewing Tips 1. 2. Consultants really get turned on by coming up with excellent solutions to difficult business problems. break it apart. you may convince your interviewers that you’re Booz Allen material. You should take a problem. If you can talk convincingly about how that will turn you on. 10.” 5. Know your resume. can’t explain why they want to work for Booz Allen. “But it’s all a list of actions and results. that’s great. be sure to pick those that are easy to handle (e. So if you sit down for an hour with your resume Getting Hired 69 .
cowboy. How did I actually get this stuff done? How did I handle people and pitfalls that came along the way. whereas the Worldwide Technology Business serves government and institutional clients.” 7. etc. Know the difference between WCB and WTB.” 6. It’s also a bad idea to refer to the firm as “BAH. That’s Booz Allen to you. Getting Hired 70 . Basically.. you’ll be much better prepared to answer any question that anyone asks you about yourself. 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.and think.
the samples below should get you started. 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. while the “Well Done” ones will help you put the fire to your interviewer’s feet. Rare • Give me examples of recent projects undertaken by the firm. • 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. 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 . The “Rare” questions are meant to be boring and innocuous.Grilling Your Interviewer This is your chance to turn the tables and find out what you want to know about Booz Allen. We strongly encourage you to spend time preparing questions of your own.
and what wrinkles remain to be ironed out? • Booz Allen has a reputation for developing numbers-driven solutions. do you think there is any downside to that approach? Getting Hired 72 . how does Booz Allen maintain a consistent culture and sense of community? • As a collection of individuals. and how effective do you think it will be? • How well have the changes you’ve made in your career development and in the organization been received by people in the organization. Do you find that to be true? If so. how well do Booz Allen professionals function on teams? • How many female and minority VPs does Booz Allen have? • What is Booz Allen doing to move ahead of its top-tier consulting competitors.• 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 .
Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to produce one of these during your interview. not just a few years. a software firm might hire a consulting firm to do a benchmark study on how much other firms are spending on customer service. it refers to those firms that want to be around for many decades or centuries. A book written by James C. Here’s another standard-issue item from the consulting toolbox. Benchmark. This buzzword comes from the book Built to Last (see next entry). in which they destroy the myth that the core product is more important than the vision the company espouses. It’s basically a graph with X and Y axes that cross in the middle. Built to Last.For Your Reference Consulting-Speak To help prepare you for both your interviews and a possible career in the field. For example.” this is a favorite consulting tool used to analyze a number of items along two dimensions. A benchmark study is an analysis of the performance of a number of companies along specified dimensions. Pronounced “two by two. Collins and Jerry I. The term now enjoys widespread usage as describing a company with a strong culture based on a core ideology or identity. 74 . Benchmarks are levels of performance or output against which you can evaluate the performance of something else. Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Beware: Unauthorized use of these terms has been known to seriously offend every known species of consultant. creating four different sectors. we’ve asked our insiders to give us the most up-to-date consulting jargon. Porras. BHAG. 2x2. More loosely.
” Case interview. the telephone. what kind of people would they be?” Change management. it’s about growing your bottom line. Communication technology that helps companies manage customer information. It has everything to do with whom you hire and what they do. Yoplait.) “Business design is about what you do. how you gear up the troops. the TV. and media—or “converging” industries. Convergence. how you execute your offering. and ultimately come up with a solution. The thinking is that the Internet.For Your Reference Business design. and Colombo yogurts came to life. Here’s a $5 buzzword that sounds like it’s making things clear. Customer relationship management (CRM). computers. wireless. Things a company does best. In a case interview. and the PC will someday all become one. Case questions can be numerical. it’s not about growing your top line. “How many dimes are currently in circulation?. Consulting services in telecommunications (cable. “Suppose a client asked you to figure out why his business is experiencing an unusual decline in sales and a severe cash flow problem. 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. such as. Core competencies.” They could also just be wacky.” or business-related. your product.” (The bottom line is profit. as in. The top line is sales. “If Dannon. 75 . It’s your channel. the PDA. Here’s a consultant’s definition: “For a company. and Internet). think it through. when really it’s just muddying up an already fuzzy concept. your interviewer will give you a set of facts and ask you a question to analyze how you structure a problem. wireline. as in.
Engagement/project/study/case/job. for instance. These are all different ways in which the firms refer to a specific project. most firms shifted their focus from reengineering—which often meant downsizing—to growth. and the more you use them (up to a point). Growth. nobody admits to doing just pure strategy work. ERP spurred doubledigit annual growth for firms.For Your Reference Deliverable. If you promise an analysis of shipping costs. Growth involved taking a small private start-up from. billing. a framework is any kind of structure you can use to look at a problem. Using the wrong word is not an automatic ding. but you’ll impress your interviewer if you get it right. “The company’s problems stem from both internal and external factors. all of the firms talk about how they work with clients to make sure that their expensive analyses and recommendations are actually implemented. From 1997–98 to around 2000. A popular consulting project during the ’90s. Interviewers often note which term you use— just to see whether you’ve read the company literature. Consultants love frameworks. Basically. It can be as simple as. like Porter’s Five Forces. As a result. The product or solution you give (deliver) to the client. and inventory.” Or it can be something more MBA-ish. Framework. 76 . 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. 25 or 30 employees to more than 500 and going public. say. that’s your deliverable. the more analytical you’ll sound. Enterprise resource planning (ERP). Deliverables typically come with dates (when you will deliver). Implementation. These days. An IT solution to streamline operations by connecting all parts of a business electronically—including HR.
lots of companies are turning to outsiders to provide many of the functions and services traditionally done inhouse. this includes the buying and processing of raw materials as well as the sale and distribution of the final products. payroll management. In the traditional consulting project. Pay-for-performance. you also won’t have to be any place in particular. Increasingly. Outsourcing. this refers to any period of time during which you aren’t staffed to a project. pay your bills. the presentation was the means by which a consulting firm shared all of its insights and recommendations with a client company. Popular candidates for outsourcing include accounting services. In consulting. public firms are turning to these services because they create stable revenue flows. so there’s a chance you’ll be able to leave the office early. In a manufacturing company. Operations refers to all of the day-to-day tasks associated with the running of a company. Although the standard overhead slideshow is now considered a bit sterile. and data processing. Billing based on performance. 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. At the simplest level. Operations. Presentation. and maybe even see your honey.For Your Reference On the beach. do your laundry. Although you won’t necessarily see any sunshine here. marketing communications. The client’s top management team would assemble in a boardroom. To reduce overhead expenses. this just means that they help clients run their businesses better. rather than strictly on hours. 77 . which their investors like. Many consulting firms do a big business providing operations advice. it’s still a popular drill at most firms.
Think of it as an unbridged gap between what you do and what others do. Reengineering lost its cachet in the mid-’90s. Value chain analysis. If you’re heading true north. Sexy terms for an office setup in which nobody has a personal desk or office. to analyze shareholder value. In its purest sense. each stage adds value to the product. Virtual office/hoteling. or an untapped source of growth. A money-making opportunity in an area you aren’t set up to make money in. True north. At best.For Your Reference Reengineering. you’re moving in the right direction. White-space opportunity. An analysis of all of the processes that go into a product. from the gathering of raw materials needed to make the product to the delivery of the final product to the customer. and they engage lots of consulting firms to help them do it. Means you could be hanging out with the clerks at Kinko’s. Shareholder value analysis. proprietary and not. The goal of many companies is to enhance their value to shareholders. a reengineering project was supposed to involve a complete rethinking of a company’s operations from ground zero. The place you want to get to. There are all manner of ways. 78 .
Shrader as saying.” and quotes CEO Ralph W. “This year. “This year everyone is starting to feel good again. but the short-term prognosis is generally upbeat. in support of the firm’s effort to apply private-sector technological solutions to government issues. which he calls “a major player” for Booz Allen today.C. It also describes Booz Allen as being “on a hiring binge.and public-sector business capabilities thereby making it stronger and more successful overall. as an example. He uses the health-care industry. 5/16/04.” It cautions that over-reliance on government tax and spending policies to boost an economy can be risky. we’re back in the hiring business big time.” Source: Neil Irwin.S.C.For Your Reference Recommended Reading “D.600 jobs were added to the D.600 people last year in the public-sector space—there aren’t enough MBA students in the major schools to fill all those spots. Region Job Market Has Look of a Boom” Last year. saying. Booz Allen CEO Ralph Shrader discusses the recent upswing in hiring on both the government and commercial sides of the firm.350 more people than it had originally planned last year. Food and Drug Administration 79 . It focuses on Booz Allen. which credits that boom in part to government spending. illustrating how Booz Allen’s work with the U. Interview with Ralph Shrader In this interview. Part of the summary includes the news that Booz Allen hired 1. 60.” He also describes how the firm is able to cross-pollinate its private. Washington Post. according to this article.-area job market. 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.” and “We hired close to 3.
” 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. “There is little evidence that mastery of the knowledge acquired in business schools enhances people’s careers. on average. Those folks (most of whom had only undergraduate liberal arts degrees) got. according to extensive research by the firms themselves.457 consultants from 50 of the profession’s 75 largest firms. Fortune. July/August 2004.For Your Reference makes it better able to assist pharmaceutical companies seeking to bring new products to market. 3 weeks of on-thejob training—after which. As an advice columnist for Fortune. Anne Fisher says she’s been hearing a lot lately from disgruntled MBA-holders who can’t get work. is that as the 80 . which found that “of 5. 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. the article contends. 47% consider their firms’ morale to be no better than neutral. Source: Consulting Magazine.” The implication follows from there.” 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. Source: Anne Fisher. they did their jobs just as well as or even better than their MBA peers. She goes on to outline a scholarly paper. 6/14/04. The paper says. recently written by two business school professors.” The difference. “Half of Consultants Aren’t Happy With Their Jobs” This article discusses the results of a 2003 Consulting Magazine poll.
Wall Street Journal. “Culture Club” “I got my best information by arriving early and speaking to the receptionist. Source: Consultants News..” and “Ask the interviewer or the company representative about her own background. The article includes tips from a Booz Allen representative. who says.” underscoring that Booz Allen and its employees fared the tough times relatively well with work/life standards mostly intact. the Booz Allen source lends insight into what is particularly valued at his firm. Does the company bring in people from eclectic backgrounds? That says a lot about what you’re likely to find at the firm. “If you have 10 interviews [for the same job] in three months. and compare the responses among individuals. many consultants who are dissatsified with long hours and diminishing returns are now leaving the profession. 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. et al.” Aside from offering good advice for jobseekers.For Your Reference economy recovers and industry begins hiring again. 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. Source: Karen Hube. figure decision making at the company is a tortuous process. November 2003. 81 .
For Your Reference
For Further Study
Booz Allen employees recommend the following books for prospective hires: 1. The Advice Business, by Charles Fombrun and Mark D. Nevins (Pearson Education, 2003). 2. Marketing and the Bottom Line, by Tim Ambler (Financial Times/Prentice Hall; 2nd edition, 2004). 3. Platform Leadership: How Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco Drive Industry Innovation, by Annabelle Gawer and Michael A. Cusumano (Harvard Business School Press; 1st edition, 2002).
The Human Factor: Leadership in the E-economy
Rolf Habbel (Uberreuter Wirtschaft, 2001). “If the company’s executives do not manage to convince the employees that the enterprise is going in the right direction, that it will last, that it must be innovative in order to win its future, and that it actually depends on its customers to survive, the company has no chance of being successful in the long term,” writes Booz Allen Vice President Rolf Habbel in the preface to his book. Unless you read German, you may not be able to actually read this book, but you might want to be familiar with the message of its author, Habbel, a Munich-based partner at Booz Allen. “This book tries to elaborate and demonstrate that man—often overlooked as a ‘small wheel’ in the greatness of new management methods and concepts—is more and more critical to being successful in this change,” Habbel writes. His message is that even though we may be armed with the best ideas and most advanced technology tools, the biggest barrier to the successful implementation of change is that we too often ignore the “the human factor.” For more, visit www.boozallen.com.
For Your Reference
The Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives
Michael J. Wolf (Times Books, 1999). Here’s a book about how mass media rules our lives that won’t tell you to destroy your television set. Instead, it’ll tell you to turn it on and learn some lessons about what sells and what doesn’t in today’s economy. It’s written by Michael J. Wolf, a former senior partner at Booz Allen who jumped ship for McKinsey in 2001. In a nutshell, Wolf ’s thesis is that to get ahead in today’s media-saturated marketplace, consumer businesses in all industries have to win and retain an audience by feeding it fresh, engrossing content. The influence of entertainment in all aspects of business and society is what he calls the “e-factor.”
Timothy M. Laseter (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998). Written by Booz Allen insider Timothy Laseter, this book explores a fundamental operational issue affecting all kinds of businesses: sourcing. Now that reengineering has gone out of favor, optimizing supplier relationships is one of the hottest cost-cutting strategies in use today. If your interests lie in business processes, read this book for some tips on helping your future clients maximize their bottom line by profitably outsourcing their assembly lines.
Smart Alliances: A Practical Guide to Repeatable Success
John Harbison and Peter Pekar, Jr. (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998). Written by Booz Allen consultants, Smart Alliances examines the familiar “buy or build” dilemma that has faced CEOs of all stripes at one time or another. Does it make more sense to acquire an outside business or to create one’s own? Harbison and Pekar’s proposed solution gives some compelling evidence in favor of a third alternative: forging strategic alliances with competing or complementary businesses for mutual benefit.
For Your Reference
Other Sources of Information
For more information on Booz Allen publications, check out www.boozallen.com. A general resource for information about the consulting industry is Consultants News, which is published by Kennedy Information. For more information about this and other Kennedy publications, visit www.consultingcentral.com or the Kennedy Information website, www.kennedyinfo.com. Visit www.WetFeet.com for more information about a number of consulting firms, their jobs, and recruiting. And for help with your case interviews, check out the WetFeet’s best-selling Ace Your Case series. Reading Fortune, Forbes, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times is a great way to stay up to date on the latest events and issues that management consultants address, and will arm you with plenty of information for your interviews.
chairman and CEO Dennis Doughty. Worldwide Commercial Business Horacio Rozanski.S. chief human resources officer Recruiting Contacts Interested candidates can post their profiles or apply for a specific job through the careers section of the Booz Allen website at www. Worldwide Technology Business Dan Lewis. president.boozallen. U. president.com. 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 . The company will not accept e-mail or paper resumes.For Your Reference Key People and Places Key People Ralph Shrader.
C. D.boozallen. 86 . International Offices For a complete listing of Booz Allen locations around the world. Virginia (corporate headquarters) Miami New Orleans New York (commercial headquarters) Philadelphia San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Tampa Washington.com.For Your Reference Major Offices North American Offices (Commercial Sector) Atlanta Boston Chicago Cleveland Colorado Springs Dallas Houston Los Angeles McLean. go to www.
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one day. About Our Name One of the most frequent questions we receive is. and add thousands of dollars to their compensation packages. Every time he went hunting in the Maine woods. avoid illfated career decisions. Leon Leonwood Bean got his start because he quite simply. and very literally. credible. The quality of our work and knowledge of the job-seeking world have also allowed us to develop an extensive corporate and university membership. and entertaining way. we do the work for you and present our results in an informative. was born . WetFeet was founded in 1994 by Stanford MBAs Gary Alpert and Steve Pollock. Today. And he told his friends. such as the annual WetFeet Student Recruitment Survey. all because a man who had wet feet decided to make boots. the successful mail-order company. Bean. But they didn’t exist. we needed products like the WetFeet Insider Guides to help us through the research and interviewing game. While exploring our next career moves. So. Web-based recruiting technologies. but entrepreneurs make boots. So we started writing. his shoes leaked. and he returned with soaked feet. “So. and manage their careers. Bean.L.L. WetFeet serves more than a million job candidates each month by helping them nail their interviews. . And he did. 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. .com). WetFeet Insider Guides provide you with inside information for a successful job search. WetFeet’s services include two award-winning websites (WetFeet. and our exclusive research studies. share a passion about the job-search process and a commitment to delivering the highest quality products and customer service.com and InternshipPrograms. And L. At WetFeet. In addition. The lesson we took from the Bean case? Lots of people get wet feet. Think of us as your own private research company whose primary mission is to assist you in making more informed career decisions. and they lined up to buy their own pairs of Bean boots. had a case of wet feet. . the company. consulting services. who come from diverse backgrounds.Who We Are WetFeet is the trusted destination for job seekers to research companies and industries. And that’s exactly what we’re doing at WetFeet. Our team members. he decided to make a better hunting shoe.
travel. WetFeet has earned a strong reputation among college graduates and career professionals for its series of highly credible. If you think you’re ready to take on challenging assignments. Booz Allen is among the most respected consulting firms in the industry and a top choice for recent graduates and MBAs. • About the workplace at Booz Allen. from top to bottom. combining management strategy with technological expertise.Careers/Job Search Prestigious. • What employees love most and like least about working at Booz Allen. 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.com .WetFeet. The firm’s long-term commitment to its clients keeps the work not only interesting. no-holds-barred Insider Guides. and diverse. hours. • How the firm is organized. but also fulfilling. Booz Allen may be the place to be. as well as their colleagues’ distinct backgrounds and personalities. • About typical responsibilities and day-to-day life for analysts and consultants. Turn to this WetFeet Insider Guide to learn • How Booz Allen has fared in the challenging economy of recent years. culture. supportive culture and commitment to employee development. and training. innovative. www. • What the recruiting process entails. and tips from Booz Allen insiders for acing the interview. compensation. what recruiters are looking for. including the lifestyle. Insiders consistently laud the firm’s open.
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