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Booz Allen Hamilton
Helping you make smarter career decisions.
CA 94105 Phone: (415) 284-7900 or 1-800-926-4JOB Fax: (415) 284-7910 Website: www. without the express written permission of WetFeet. Inc. Inc. stored in a retrieval system. 609 Mission Street Suite 400 San Francisco. No copying in any form is permitted. It may not be reproduced. in part or in whole.WetFeet. Inc. distributed. This publication is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. or transmitted in any form or by any means. .WetFeet. All rights reserved.com Booz Allen Hamilton ISBN: 1-58207-461-5 Photocopying Is Prohibited Copyright 2004 WetFeet.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Table of Contents Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance . . . . . . . . . 36 Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Competitive Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Quick History Lesson . . . . . . . . 1 The Firm . . . . . 40 Workplace Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 What’s Hot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 On the Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Lifestyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Organization of the Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Industry Position . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Workplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Recent Client List. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Typical Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Key People and Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Consulting-Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Grilling Your Interviewer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Civic Involvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Getting Hired. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Interviewing Tips. . . 74 Recommended Reading . . 54 Career Path. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Insider Scoop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The Interviewer’s Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Other Sources of Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 For Your Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Vacation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 For Further Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 The Recruiting Process . . . . . . . . 85 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
and come up with something realistic.At a Glance Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance Headquarters 8283 Greensboro Drive McLean. McKinsey & Co. However do not try to puff yourself up too much.boozallen. We’re looking for your ability to think.” 1 . put a framework around it..” “It tends to impress interviewers when you have detailed questions about particular areas or activities of the firm. be prepared for a case interview. Bain & Co. VA 22102 Phone: 703-902-5000 Fax: 703-902-3333 www. operations.. The Boston Consulting Group. and information technology • Global presence with experience in 20 industries In the Recruiter’s Words “First of all. your bluff might very well be called. SAIC Key Differentiating Factors • Part of the management consulting old guard • Combines strategic consulting with implementation.” “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. organizations/leadership. to take different information. significant IT capabilities • Reputation for developing workable solutions based on very thorough analysis • Serves both government and corporate clients • Strong reputation in strategy. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now.com Primary Competitors Accenture. For Booz Allen there is not one type of case.
You have to find the motivation to do it yourself. These are usually based on an actual client engagement on which the interviewer has worked. but that’s not the case at all. or resume. who is responsible and a self-starter. you’ll also be asked one or more case questions. or in the course of your education. no one is going to make sure that you show up. I’ll get that internally when the client CEO calls the partner and says. If not. no one is going to hold your hand. they all look good. you’ll be asked to discuss in detail some aspect of your work experience.” “You have to be very self-motivated: No one is going to tell you what to do. we want to be able to bring not only the big ideas. no one really looks good. I was worried that ‘up-or-out’ would drive a lot of negative behaviors.” “When we recruit.” 2 . but also the ability to make things happen. I was pleasantly surprised by how much cooperation there really is. What Insiders Say “In contrast to our competitors.’ My partner will know that I did that. So there’s little reward in anything less than a cooperative outlook. You may be asked to describe a particular assignment or discuss an industry or current trend. we look for not only strong generalists. and other things such as creativity and business sense. validated assumptions. during a previous work experience.” “Coming into consulting from industry. we also look for people who have good functional expertise. I think that’s very different from some of the other firms.” In the Interview • Typically.At a Glance “We look for good structure. Think about ways you’ve demonstrated your ability to meet a unique challenge—whether through your involvement in sports. interests. If interviewing with the commercial side of the firm.” “We want someone who can think logically.” “There’s nothing better than when the [client team] gets the accolades at the end of an engagement. • Your interviewer will be looking for what sets you apart. I don’t need that recognition. I think a lot of it just has to do with the fact that if a team is successful in their work. ‘Your team did a great job.
and driven—very high-caliber players. they become senior associates and begin to manage projects. Booz Allen does not release hiring projections. 15. the commercial side of the firm hires few undergraduates.7 percent Personnel Highlights Consulting professionals. The firm also recruits PhDs and other non-MBA advanced-degree holders. And I’ve felt that.” The Career Ladder • Undergraduates enter the government side of the firm as consultants. too. After 2 to 3 years. • Booz Allen actively recruits experienced hires on both the government and commercial sides of the firm.000+ 400 250 300 3 .7 billion 1-year growth rate: 22. currently. It’s not uncommon to see cars there on the weekend. who make up the majority of commercial-sector hires.000+ 13. But on top of that.At a Glance “We tend to hire overachiever types [into the World Technology Business unit]. You bring such different perspectives and points of view to a problem that you really produce a superior answer. 2004–05 Undergraduate MBA MBA summer hires. People seem to really like their work. ambitious. enter as associates.” “Everyone is very bright. They’re into it. • MBAs. everyone has a very different perspective and background. 2004 Worldwide United States New hires. Promotion to principal is the final step before being elected an officer (informally known as “partner”) of the firm. Most non-MBAs enter Booz Allen at the associate level. 2004 Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. Revenue 2004 revenue: $2.
Booz Allen does not release salary information. 4 . 2003–04 Undergraduate Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus MBA Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus $100. Salaries for individuals working in the firm’s government-sector business tend to be lower than salaries for those in the commercial-sector business.000 (can vary) depends on need $40.000 n/a depends on need Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates.At a Glance Compensation.000 $15.000–65.
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 .
the firm has endeavored to create a single. and BCG. competing with strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey. including the institution of the Global Operation Team.000—is thriving. The firm stands out not only by helping devise strategy. As it is. Bain. CEO Ralph Shrader recently told Consulting Magazine. “We recognize where we are different and we know where we are the same. WCB traditionally caters to Fortune 1000 corporations. so much so that it has enabled the company to expand its commercial offerings. or GO Team. It focuses on long-term client relationships. it’s also one of the largest. With more than 100 offices on six continents and 15. Booz Allen’s government business—which employs nearly 12. but also by sticking around to help clients carry out the changes it prescribes. Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the most highly regarded firms in the management consulting industry.Overview The Firm Founded in 1914 by Ed Booz. which is responsible for the worldwide organization of the entire firm. whereas WTB works with government and other public-sector organizations.000-plus employees. Booz Allen comprises two business units: the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB) and the considerably larger Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). I believe that for the fore- 6 . And Booz Allen has had for years what other consulting firms now strive for: the ability to deliver strategic recommendations and the technological expertise to execute them. who was later joined by Jim Allen and Carl Hamilton. consultants work in the trenches and see their recommendations put into action. firmwide infrastructure. WTB’s large-scale implementation projects have made it more comparable to consulting firms like Accenture and government-consulting powerhouse SAIC. In recent years.
Booz encourages you to follow your passion.seeable future. While WCB was going down a bit. Booz Allen seems to be entering a time of growth and optimism. According to one insider. “As a specialty. which ensures some solid ground for the firm even during volatile economic times. there will always be a need for distinctiveness between certain segments of our business. “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 . is picking up. Booz Allen’s work with government agencies that regulate health care have placed at in the forefront of this market. The opportunities are quite good. Our economics are fantastic right now. better than the last couple of years.” Another European insider agrees. “Of the years I’ve been here. there is always demand for health-care products and services. No matter how the economy is doing. I’ve never felt stifled. The Firm Following the consulting slump that hit the industry hard in 2001. “Public-sector business on the commercial side. On the commercial side. which is mostly consulting to ministries in Europe. the WTB grew much faster. health-care consulting has plenty of job security and growth potential. but there is a lot more in common than we ever gave ourselves credit for. “WTB has been doing very well during the downturn. According to the October 2003 issue of Consultants News. firms that cater to the health care industry are in good standing.” “” Everybody works in teams. Staff members are hired into a geographical location. or home team.” says an 8-year veteran.” 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.” Health-care consulting is also on the rise. Booz Allen is organized around industry and functional “natural market” teams.” As a result.
This sector. government assignments are staffed with a variety of functional and subject matter experts. “As an associate. according to insiders. industry. and strategy experts.” The Firm 8 . “most of your work is reasonably structured: The proposal drives the deliverables. They are just a management device and not key to any service offerings.” one insider tells us. Booz’s commercial career model might be best described as an hourglass: As a new hire.” Just as on the commercial side. there is a fair amount of rewriting for a big review. “The business is currently being managed through these segments. but frankly that’s where a lot of really good learning takes place. you’ll start by gaining broad exposure.structure to meet specific client needs. If you make it to the level of principal or officer. You are almost always working on a team. After a few years of experience. expect a lot of oversight on your work. operations. and the quicker you demonstrate the ability to write sensibly and quality-check your work. working on at least two projects a year in a variety of industries. however. is staffed with a mix of information technology. as one insider says. is organized along the following business segments: • Civil • Defense • National security This could soon change. although an associate typically ‘owns’ some kind of work stream. and the job manager is in charge of developing a work plan. the more leash you will be given. No decision has been made on the future of segments. however. since we use the ‘no walls’ concept. Early on. Every project team. most of your work will be focused on an industry or technical competency. In general. but everyone is busy. you’ll again apply your experience to a wider range of cases.
. but we embrace diversity and look for more of it. I feel like I have a lot of autonomy. and this is the only one where I’ve really found this international exposure. insiders agree that diversity is what sets Booz Allen’s culture apart from that of other management consulting firms. We have a wonderful government business.No matter which side of Booz Allen you work on. As one WCB recruiter puts it. you have someone in the office speaking another language. So you must have an international outlook.” one European insider tells us. “We are an international company. but your individuality is encouraged. “Not only do we have a very diverse bunch of people here. “You must have an international mindset.” Unlike at some other firms. I’ve worked with other consulting firms.” Another insider says. “Everybody works in teams. than does the commercial side of our business. etc. “There’s some movement but it’s on the margins. education needs.” 9 . They are really different business models. this diversity applies to Booz Allen on a global scale. Booz encourages you to follow your passion in terms of industry interests. otherwise you won’t be successful. Wherever you go in the world. The firm’s diversity of clients and expertise in both the private and public sectors have been driving factors in its stability. But new hires shouldn’t expect to move fluidly between the two sides of the firm. Says one principal. but it has a different set of requirements. I’ve never felt stifled. skill needs.” The Firm The Bottom Line Things are picking up all over the consulting industry: Booz Allen was on campus recruiting in the fall of 2003 and will return in 2004. I think that’s something people fail to understand.
“That translates well into the client environment because we know that we work very hard to make not ourselves but our client look good.” says one insider. 10 .” Booz Allen’s track record of serving both government and corporate clients is certainly its strongest differentiator.” And it’s the culture within the firm that supports its ability to offer this brand of thorough support to clients. and BCG. because we didn’t just hand them a recommendation—they created it with us.” says another insider.and private-sector clients. 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. while its deep technology expertise puts it well ahead of companies like Accenture. “[We’re a] firm of very smart. So when we leave. Bain. We work very hard to make sure that they understand the recommendations. talented individuals who are very concerned about seeing other people be successful. many insiders emphasize that its follow-through is one of Booz Allen’s most distinguishing characteristics. along with McKinsey. Indeed. A companywide rebranding effort was launched in 2001 to position Booz Allen as one firm serving both public. and we work with them to make those recommendations happen.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. We’re willing to drop everything to go support a client. we know that our clients are going to be able to execute well. “which makes our culture different. and it succeeded in alleviating to some degree that perception in the consulting marketplace. “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.
Booz Allen does similar work. according to most insiders. the division remains distinct. every engagement would have people with those backgrounds. “We’re seeing an increasing number of companies that want help developing a plan to do more work with the government.” integrating security into strategic corporate planning. though perhaps we put more emphasis on analysis and the research behind our recommendations as opposed to just pulling them out of the sky. According to one insider. This trend is also evident abroad: “In Europe we have a growing public-sector business with some major clients in the U. 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. “Every commercial engagement is staffed with industry experts and functional experts in strategy. The tighter linkage between our business units multiplies the firm’s power. while our corporate clients want the special expertise we’ve developed through our government work. Every team brings the full power of Booz Allen to bear on every engagement. Global Assurance.” The Firm 11 .” Another tells us.” a recruiter tells us. Even if it’s a corporate strategy job. became the global resilience natural team. “When we crack a problem. and IT. one of Booz Allen’s recent initiatives. ”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.K.” says an insider. We sweat a lot of details to get a right answer. “All consulting firms do the same kind of work. Beyond security.“Our government clients want the benefit of commercial best practices. In April 2004.” Still. a government-side group that deals with issues surrounding homeland security for business.” Insiders see analysis. as another of Booz Allen’s competitive strengths. we really crack it.” says one insider. both quantitative and qualitative. and German governments. operations. across the firm for both commercial and government clients under what it calls “enterprise resilience.
up from number 16 in 2003.ConsultingCentral. by 2003 Consulting Revenue Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Firm IBM Accenture Deloitte Capgemini CSC BearingPoint Hewlett-Packard McKinsey & Co. 20 Largest Consulting Firms. NH 03458 USA.Industry Position The Firm In Consultants News’ June 2004 ranking of the “50 Largest Management Consulting Firms in the World. phone: 800-531-0007. Consultants News/Kennedy Information. 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. www. 12 . Peterborough.” Booz Allen came in at number 12.com.
Booz Allen leapt 16 spots. IBM Bain & Co. in a ranking of employers most popular among MBAs. who ranked the companies where they The Firm would most like to work. Fortune. from 26th to tenth. 13 . The following ranking is a result of Universum’s 2004 survey of MBAs. Ann Harrington. 4/19/2004. Booz Allen Hamilton Deloitte Boston Consulting Group Accenture Source: Based on a study by Universum. published in Fortune. 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.
part business advisor. Allen & Hamilton partnership came into being. In 1936. Ed Booz and George Fry. Allen was lured back to Booz for a second time in 1943 (this time as chairman). advising the U.S. Thus the Booz. together with newly hired Carl Hamilton.A Quick History Lesson The Firm Booz Allen Hamilton dates back to 1914. and part lone wolf. and by the early ’40s both Jim Allen and George Fry had bolted for greener pastures. From the start. entered the business world. a psychology and economics graduate from Northwestern University. Booz Surveys was largely a firm of independent consultants who worked on their own under the Booz umbrella. persuaded Jim that they were ready to develop a formal management structure and operate the firm as an ongoing business. The firm’s early years were pretty tumultuous. organization. and today’s Booz Allen Hamilton was born. Ed Booz expanded his empire to a third employee in 1929: fellow Northwestern economics graduate Jim Allen. and personnel. Booz was part entrepreneur. Jim Allen is widely credited with building the firm into a consulting powerhouse by spearheading its growth and diversification. This lack of structure was evidently a little too much for Allen—he actually quit the firm twice over the years. Edwin G. it seems that Mr. During the early years. Fry. Booz’s approach was to begin by studying a company’s management. With this process. After hiring George Fry in 1925. when founder Ed Booz. Although Ed Booz gets top billing on the corporate letterhead. he helped define the new industry of management consulting. He worked almost exclusively on his own for 15 years. Army and businesses and conducting market surveys and statistical analyses. 14 .
Awaiting him was a chaotic new consulting market. Booz Allen worked alongside the U.S. He wasn’t elected for that. and he assumed the chairmanship in October of that year. WTB has continued to be one of the most successful businesses in the field. (During the early stages of government testing of the Internet. but he incorporated that well into the plan.) One firm insider says. Although many others vie for multimillion-dollar government consulting gigs. The 1990s were much more prosperous for Booz Allen. The Booz Allen commercial-sector business is headquartered in New York City. when Michael McCullough put the already unstable firm through a vast restructuring of everything from industry focus to geographic areas. “Ralph Shrader has surfed well in chaotic times. a third of the partners had jumped ship.Besides working for commercial businesses. the new Booz Allen took on a significant amount of consulting work for the federal government during World War II. Ralph Shrader became the CEO of the company. In April 1999. Booz Allen began to emphasize its technical savvy. Virginia. and Booz Allen has been a privately held corporation ever since. A poor showing in the stock market led to the repurchase of the company. The tumultuous times continued well into the 1980s. Department of Defense. Charlie Bowen. By 1988. which laid the groundwork for Booz Allen’s modern-day Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). the company moved to McLean. The next year. now the firm’s corporate headquarters as well as headquarters for its government business. The wave of change just overtook the company.” The Firm 15 . William Stasior took charge in 1991. in which technology and the Internet were quickly changing the landscape of the industry. splitting its business into separate government (WTB) and commercial (WCB) units. Booz Allen continued to prosper over the years—so much so that its partners decided to take the firm public in 1970 under the guidance of a new chairman. To cope with the changing times.
and engagements with participants from both units are increasingly common. However. Booz Allen has grown to more than 15. Booz Allen is successfully leveraging the strengths of its WTB and WCB units. Booz Allen was affected (like everyone else) by the bursting of the Internet bubble and a generally slumping economy. Today. 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.In 2001. The Firm 16 .
The organization consists of two business units: the corporate consulting group. operations. and the larger. Booz Allen positions itself as one firm serving both government. Historically. new commercial-sector hires had to align with a practice group (industry focus) right away. strategy.and private-sector clients. government-focused Worldwide Technology Business (WTB).Organization of the Firm The Firm View from the Top In a world of mega-mergers. That means the firm’s officers still call all the shots (and pull in the big bucks). The firm’s staffing model brings industry. Booz Allen has remained independent and privately held. 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. called the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB). View from the Middle Booz Allen has taken a different approach to the standard management consulting setup. 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. or framework. perspective. Though people within the firm are typically aligned with one side of the firm or the other. “I think we lost some people [in the past] because we weren’t as flexible as we could be. and information technology specialists together to form cross- 17 .” says a recruiter.
” The location you join becomes your home team.functional project teams. which for the most part “attracts graduates of the University of Chicago and Kellogg. “You can express interests and preferences. People 18 . but we encourage folks to work across multiple types of industries and jobs. across all areas of expertise within the firm. but not Columbia. Commercial-sector recruiters tell us. rather than just a narrower approach.” 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. The people who won’t get their choice are the people who change their minds six times in the process. and we need to know what they’re thinking. recruiters say that San Francisco and New York. “Virtual teams are formed and disbanded as needed. Early in your Booz Allen career. too.” says one insider.” Some offices are more difficult to get hired into than others. you’ll work across industries and natural market teams. “In every step of the recruiting process. and 98 percent of the time. “That way our clients get the best thinking from across the firm. which attract people from across the United States. they get it. we ask candidates for their geographic preference. According to a principal at the firm. recruits are encouraged to join the organization in the geographic location they desire. But we know we need X amount of people for the New York office. see more competition for available positions than does Chicago. For instance.
“The structure is normally a principal running a project. 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.” The typical workweek means Monday through Thursday at the client’s location. which include Booz Allen associates mixed with client personnel.” says an insider. we encourage folks to get out and kind of kick around a bit. may be substantially larger. The Firm wherever that might be.come in the door and say.C. and I only want to be a media guy’ —we look for people to be more rounded than that. It’s headquartered in McLean. particularly those on the government side. clients themselves must be an integral part of the consulting process. Virginia. ‘I’m a media guy. Rather than spread its staff among hundreds of different clients. In addition. Early on. It isn’t uncommon for the firm to simultaneously staff several teams working on different projects for a single client. “We most often work in teams. Insiders report that people in some offices have less intense travel demands. D. Senior associates have teams of four to five that they run. and most of its clients are situated in and around nearby Washington. I actually had a team of 13 clients 19 . virtually all project teams include members of the client organization—in accordance with Booz Allen’s belief that. And teams are often joint engagements that include consultants from both the government and commercial sectors. to deliver enduring results. Those who prefer to travel less might want to join Booz Allen’s government consulting practice. and a return to your home-team location on Friday. Booz Allen prefers to serve a smaller group of core clients.
” A WTB insider says. but still. and I’ll contact them out of the blue. you find yourself in a team room with all levels of people on either side of you. You get to show what you’re good at.” There are seven job titles at Booz Allen. it might be a little more structured and hierarchical. “It’s a real meritocracy. There was never any feeling of being second-class because I was junior to them.at one engagement.” says a recruiter. I often get a quick e-mail back with a thorough explanation of their situation and some reference material. ranging from consultant (the entry point for undergrads) to senior vice president (known inside the firm as senior The Firm partner). “Every path is customcrafted. At another. On the client site. I would feel absolutely comfortable walking into a senior partner’s office here. “There is no official time it takes to make partner. 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.” Insiders say that promotions occur faster than they used to. “I have never once felt like I am being taken less seriously or prohibited from doing my job because of my level. there’s a lot of cooperation.” 20 . each with a Booz Allen associate and two clients. This isn’t the kind of place where people try to get credit for things they didn’t do. We each used the other as a sounding board.” And a senior associate says. and recruiters confirm that there is interest in promoting people more quickly.” Another tells us. I often get referrals to others who may have had a similar business problem to the one on my project. and you get rewarded for it. “When I came here. Once I had proven my credibility with [upper management]. One Booz principal says. and you cannot help but have contact and interaction. Very helpful. In reality. As a matter of fact. but job titles don’t seem to get in the way of a team effort to do quality work. “I was promoted to senior associate last fall and all three of the people at my level were supportive. I had two subteams. as I would hope an associate or consultant would feel walking into my office.
Inc. BP-Amoco Caterpillar Chicago Transit Authority Dallas Symphony E-Trade Federal Aviation Administration Ford Motor Company General Electric Government of Peru Group AXA Grupo Synkro Honeywell Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Project (New Jersey) Internal Revenue Service L’Oréal The Firm 21 .Recent Client List Despite consulting firms’ notorious secrecy about their clients. we’ve turned up a few that Booz Allen has worked with: Abbott Laboratories Amazon.com American Express Blue Cross Blue Shield BMW Boeing Borden.
.S.C. Food and Drug Administration U. Inc. Standard & Poor’s TAG Heuer Turner Broadcasting United Airlines 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 . National Guard Washington.S.Lucent Technologies Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. D.
With a team that included security. Booz Allen helped the U. Transportation Command More than half the soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm were taken to wrong locations and ill-facilitated hospitals. it was still not in operation. Booz Allen developed and implemented a novel threat-andvulnerability-assessment tool in just 30 days—in time to secure Utah’s public transit for the Winter Olympics.S. transportation. and counterterrorism experts. After the conflict. According to the FTA.S. Transportation Command realized that it needed to drastically overhaul its patienttracking procedures. TRANSCOM officials subsequently report that TRAC2ES has saved lives during recent encounters in Afghanistan and Iraq. to address these issues. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assess the security of public-transit systems nationwide.” U. the U.S. Five years after beginning work on a system. catchily titled the Regulating and Command and Control (C2) Evacuation System (TRAC2ES). during war and peace times. Federal Transportation Authority After 9/11. the Booz Allen team “identified important concerns at even the most well prepared agencies. 23 .Typical Studies The Firm U.S. Booz Allen stepped in and transformed the Web-based system to instantaneously track patients from origin to destination throughout the military’s health care system.
5 percent. Blue Force was put to use in Afghanistan. but modernized its business model. To make the project work. This project won the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Phoenix Award. which is attached to existing satellite payloads. was on the brink of collapse. Three months before its pilottest date. senior military commanders now rank Blue Force Tracking among the three most important new capabilities available to allied forces in Afghanistan. and land-use planning to help turn long-neglected buildings in Denver. into a thriving.Bangkok Bank In the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late ’90s. secured funding. 24 . is used to streamline vast operations and locate wounded soldiers. Named “Space-Based Blue Force Tracking. regulatory analysis. livable community space. Booz Allen devised a way to use global positioning system technology to track battlefield movement in real time. a prestigious award that acknowledges innovative projects that return unused or abandoned industrial and commercial sites to productive uses. but also implemented organizational changes. the bank’s stock rose 23. and convinced various military constituencies to accept the new system. and according to Booz Allen. Colorado. Booz Allen not only engineered the technology. Space-Based Blue Force Tracking Together with the U. overhauling 500 branches and ultimately positioning it ahead of the competition. Space Command. Bangkok Bank. one of the largest financial institutions in Southeast Asia. Booz Allen instituted a rapid “fix and build” program that not only restored The Firm and increased the bank’s profitability. Among other strides: Between 2001 and early 2003. Innovative Approach to “Brownfield” Project Booz Allen used its expertise in outreach.5 percent compared to its main competitor’s 7.S.” the system.
If you’re not sure you can hack the demanding lifestyle of a commercial consultant.to 8-week engagements seem to be becoming increasingly common. and financial services. They used to be 6 months to 1 year. “I’ve worked on several strategy and operations projects in a number of industries. But clients are looking to get more bang for their consulting buck. business is picking up in the consulting industry. “In the 2 years I’ve been here. One insider tells us that shorter projects can mean longer hours.” 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. Virginia. Of course. but they also means there’s a good chance that you’ll see plenty of variety.” And a government-side insider warned that recent “rapid growth is causing a significant amount of work.” says one associate. especially from the lows of 2001 and early 2002.What’s Hot The Firm Short and Sometimes Sweet Though the economy is still unreliable. we have to be faster and more flexible in staffing people. and many government-sector consultants are based in the federal government’s backyard. insiders report that engagements are generally shorter than they used to be.” Another insider says. you could find a better work/life balance on the government side of the firm. which 25 . now we work 2.to 3-month assignments. but well-defined 6. including energy. and at least on the commercial side. the multimonth mega-projects still exist. WTB tends to work on longer. in McLean. health care. multiyear contracts. “The assignments in the market are now a little shorter than before. So.
If you come in hoping for that. which is a big deal for information-intensive industries such as banking and insurance. then you will be quickly overcome. I travel maybe 40 percent of the time. We did a bioterrorism war game involving the FDA.” And there’s no indication that government-sector work isn’t every bit as interesting and challenging as that of its commercial-sector cousin. the Centers for Disease Control. Even though my team has the same technical theme. Cue “Enterprise Resilience. business resilience for its corporate clients. there’s a great diversity of work. “I’ve gotten to work for a multitude of clients. But after September 11. the firm recognized a need for similar services in the commercial sector. my team’s skills. and the security needs shared by both.” However. “It’s not a place where you can hang out and be a slacker. such as the CIA and NSA. 26 . I’m not on the road every Monday through Thursday. “Some of my WCB colleagues travel 80 percent of the time. We’ll help you handle the overflow.accounts for the key quality-of-life difference between WTB and WCB. “I’ve done well at the firm by being able to adapt and figure out how my skills.” says one WTB insider. “because other teams come to us. on national security issues.” Says another.” says one insider. another insider adds. It’s not just applying the same thing over and over.” The Firm Security Blanket Booz Allen has long worked for government agencies. We’ve also done war-gaming exercises.” Booz Allen’s cross-firm initiative encompassing homeland security for the government sector. we could help you figure out if you should build a redundant call center. One insider describes the type of work Enterprise Resilience teams have done: “If your computers all went through the World Trade Center. “My clients are 10 miles away. and my service offerings fit different client needs. Another adds.
” says one insider. and HMOs. One insider working on a project for the Children’s Defense Fund says. D. It’s a great opportunity. “It’s a project that has been generating a lot of internal buzz.C. a Booz Allen vice president who used to run the CIA. “was to be able to give back to the Washington metro community.C.000 fans annually. area. which Booz Allen works on in collaboration with Columbia Business School and the National Black MBA Association. “One of our primary reasons for doing this. and Amigos de las Americas. and we treat them just like any other client.insurance companies. “This is my second pro bono project at Booz Allen.” an insider says. It’s worth noting that Booz Allen doesn’t limit itself to charitable involvement and pro bono projects with star power. 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.” James Woolsey. now the Booz Allen Classic—attracts more than 180.” Another hot pro bono project is the Harlem Small Business Initiative. The event—formerly the Kemper Open. It was a 3-day game to model what would happen if smallpox broke out in a city like Detroit or Virginia Beach. Former President Bill Clinton is another high-profile participant in the project. and I’m not sure I’d be able to do it at any other firm. We’re trying to help people understand the scary world we live in. My office takes that seriously. In the first 23 years 27 . the United Negro College Fund. In 2004. It makes me feel good about my consulting work. its roster includes the Special Olympics. We have committed to donate at least $1 million every year to nonprofits in the D. is one of The Firm the most prominent members of the firm working in this area. Booz Allen signed a 3-year agreement to take over title sponsorship of the PGA Tour event in Washington. Christmas in April.
So this is a huge deal. [Historically] we’ve been a little bit more discreet. most of which was not earmarked for charities in the local area.of the tournament. but we’re being more aggressive about getting our message out now.” The Firm 28 . “Our brand has never been better.” The PGA sponsorship also reflects the company’s current initiative to raise the profile of the Booz Allen brand.” says one insider. it raised only $8 million for charity. “We’re investing in our brand in ways that we never did before.
On the Job • Consultants • Associates On the Job 29 .
because the person is very logical. there are always exceptions.Consultants In 2004. “We tend to look for engineers. Undergraduates enter the firm with the title of consultant. According to one recruiter. the general lack of consultants on projects has not gone unnoticed by associates (MBAs and other advanced-degree holders).” Though not common. a few consultants are still doing work within WCB. as one WTB insider explains. We look for technical people. “It’s a reflection of the market. “The profile of the type of undergraduate we recruit for WTB varies. especially those with electrical engineering and computer science degrees. That said. Booz Allen will be recruiting MBAs and others with advanced degrees into its commercial business almost exclusively.” The move away from hiring consultants into the commercial side of the firm reflects corporate clients’ preference for having more senior people on projects. including the following: • Conduct industry research • Develop analytical approaches to solving business problems • Run computer models • Interview clients On the Job 30 . and the work they do is similar to that of associates. but it’s unfortunate because it piles more work onto associates. However. But I have somebody on my team who has a bachelor’s and a master’s in philosophy.” says one. Undergraduates from leading colleges and universities are more likely to find opportunities on the government side of the firm. We also look for people with business backgrounds who can do analysis. computer scientists—people who have information systems and telecommunications backgrounds.
Head out for dinner with rest of the team. More time on the spreadsheet. Start developing television show profitability model. Tonight’s topic: Which slide will the partner want to change first? 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. The office. media. how much profit a television show generates for the network: What costs will we include? What are the direct costs vs. and technology associates who reportedly have worked on similar studies. 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. On the Job 31 . Whoa! Plenty of new data to crunch! Day’s over. Leave voice mail for several communications. sweet home. Quick meeting with associate to discuss modeling technique. 12:30 Ask team member to pick up a sandwich and Coke so I can keep surfing KOL. 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. 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. term ‘teamwork’ is 8:45 Discuss how to structure our analysis of really lived here.
and ask the right questions in order to put it together and come up with sound results. and I build a tool kit that’s going to help them get to the next level.” A recruiter explains the process: “We hire a kind of ‘athlete’ out of business school: someone who’s really smart and dedicated. “As an associate. I train them how to be a management consultant. one associate reports that she “led a client team of about eight VPs and general managers. I put them on a series of jobs that are anywhere from 8 weeks to 5 months.Associates New MBAs at Booz Allen are hired as associates.” Even relatively recent associate hires enjoy a great deal of responsibility on On the Job project teams. We developed growth forecasts and looked at new markets. two senior associates. While working on a project. Most of their time is spent working as a part of a project team. and a partner on the case. 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. test that data and check the accuracy of it. but each associate was basically running his or her own work team. Then I tend to use the different levels of the firm as an apprenticeship program to help train them. It’s a very different business model. follow up with clients to make sure I completely understand the data.” Associates are responsible for a number of different tasks. There were four associates. which vary depending on the type of engagement.
1:00 Back to the data collection project. My laptop just crashed—I hate the new version of Excel! Think I’ll cool off by taking a quick walk around the building. Meet with the officer from operations for a project update and status report. Yes! Consultant has gathered great data on the target franchise. Our job: Evaluate international retail-expansion opportunities. Time to wrap it up for the day. 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. On the Job 2:30 3:00 4:00 4:40 7:00 33 . My job: Focus on opportunities in Australia and Asia. or is it a dog? I can’t believe it. offer recommendations to the officer in charge. but lower profitability than other chains. He says I’m doing a fantastic job and perhaps there’s a project management opportunity in my future. Work with consultant to reconstruct that beautiful model I lost in virtual spreadsheet land. Discover one franchise that looks interesting—several outlets. 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. Outline objectives for tomorrow’s meetings. 10:30 Arrive at client site just in time for a meeting with client’s director of strategic planning. “What about acquisition opportunities?” 11:30 Work with consultant to generate data on petroleum franchises in Australia. What’s behind this? Put a consultant on the case.• Prepare presentations and write reports. 12:30 Quick lunch break: sandwiches in the cafeteria with the rest of the team. He says the company once considered opening a retail franchise in Australia but decided against it—too pricey. I’m thinking.
Get onto the Stairmaster before the health club closes. call my boyfriend. On the Job 34 . Grab dinner at the hotel restaurant. and settle in for an early evening.8:00 8:30 9:30 Check in at the Four Seasons.
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
in the next few days. I can say. [The firm] really values employees. and this is what I plan to achieve early flight. I’m overwhelmed. “The number-one thing I like about Booz Allen is the flexible work/life balance.” 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. “but there’s the reality of consulting. ‘This is what I can because you’re on an achieve tonight.” A senior associate on the government side says. I haven’t been at a 100 percent [work time] in the 3 years since my son was born.” says an insider. maybe a night anymore. when the hours get intense.[for work]. Booz Allen provides support. Says one. there are some teams that are not up to speed with that [work/life balance]. you’ve got to do classified work in the office. realize when they’re overloading you. “There are some legitimate reasons why that is not uniform across WTB.” The Workplace 39 .” She notes. For example. But let me tell you. Friday. I’m home Wednesdays and Fridays with the baby. that she works in an area that allows employees to manage the work/life balance.to 14the other stuff done. and I’ve built up a decent reputation. It will provide company cars if you leave after dark and dinner allowances when you work late. but I won’t be able to get and then you’re looking at 12. senior. “We say work/life balance is important. given certain contract and classified requirements. It becomes more manageable when little less on Monday you have the courage to say. “Now that I’m more through Thursday.’ because I won’t stay up all hour days.” Still. ‘I will do this tonight. however. Can you you’re looking at a help me prioritize?’ The managers don’t always 10-hour day. Not every team can do that.
“Booz Allen is a company made up of many individuals.” says one insider. but have in common that they believe in the same values.” In fact. it appears that at Booz Allen the only lack of diversity is in insiders’ opinions of their colleagues. but once you get to know the individuals. “It’s very diverse and a little eclectic in the sense that we may all appear to be professionals and consultants upon first meeting. People have dreams outside of consulting. “The culture of WTB is centered around a set of core values that are explicitly stated on the first page of the [employee] manual.” says one insider.” Yet another says. the word diversity is used with eerie frequency: “We have a very diverse bunch of people here—all kinds of backgrounds. “The people are pretty diverse as far as interests and educational backgrounds are concerned. one could say that we have a culture where the individual comes first. Every single employee.” In fact. walks of life. closely followed by the firm—not the other way around.Culture Consultants throughout the firm stress that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single “Booz Allen type. It’s not a platitude. in interviews with firm insiders. and perspectives. you’re constantly amazed by where people are coming from and what they’ve done. is assessed on them every year. a government-side insider says. Another says. Booz Allen instills a prevailing ethic that resonates clearly across the firm. It’s the first thing the senior managers look at when determining how to progress someone.” Similarly. “Based on that.” 40 . Booz Allen Family Values The Workplace Within its diverse workforce. who are very different. no matter what level. It’s very much a values-based culture.
not the individual.” The Workplace In general. 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. [instead. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. The team needs to crack the case. “The atmosphere at Booz “” You have to be confident enough to dispassionately sit back and pick through something you’ve just said. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. . however knowledge is shared and there is a very familial atmosphere.” Says another.” says one insider. 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. Booz Allen exists as a relatively laid-back alternative to the BCGs and McKinseys of the consulting world. so you can’t be thin-skinned.” says one insider.” But laid-back and supportive doesn’t always mean warm and fuzzy. The people are great to work with and all have very interesting and diverse backgrounds to share. You work with an intellectual set of people. People try to tear your idea apart. but you can’t be thin-skinned. Allen is very challenging but also very friendly.Competition and personality clashes might be expected at a firm staffed by so many individualists. so you have to be ready to contribute. People try to tear your idea apart. but insiders say that conflicts are rare. “I think Booz Allen’s culture is more down to earth and supportive than some firms. People are always sharing knowledge and helping each other out. “I do not find any competition between my peers within the firm. . It is competitive but not in a negative sense—more collegial.” 41 . “I feel that the people in my office really care about each other. “The atmosphere is definitely a combination of intellectual competition and camaraderie. .
if you’re just stopping in. “The people here are very funloving. Some are more in the ‘eat your spinach’ mode and head back to the hotel to do e-mail and room service. office structure varies depending on where you’re stationed. sometimes called hoteling.” 42 . associates can conduct conversation that’s both professional and social. your mileage may vary depending on the team you work on.” an insider says. Everyone here is really smart. whereas others consist of virtual offices. “There are people who are squatters and have their own offices. And there’s the bullpen. and I’ve made some lifelong friends here. like the London office. Most of the doors are open. There are five or six associates in large rooms so they can talk. “There are sets of cubicles for the associates [in the New York office]. Coworkers? Most insiders with whom we talked emphasized the balance struck between fun and professionalism at their individual offices. then the office has a window. I was just in with my team—a working session over lunch. staffers have assigned spaces. Of course. “Then there’s a virtual office in a hub where you come in and get assigned a place to sit. In some offices. The senior associates have their own offices. Romans. “There’s a ranking system. and then you get a private office. headquarters. “Some partners and job managers are very outgoing. But I also like the fact that everyone here is extremely professional. “There is a fair amount of variation in the subcultures of different project teams.” says an insider. and it’s nice being around people I can learn a lot from and who challenge me.Friends.” says an insider The Workplace assigned to the McLean.” Likewise.” A New York insider says.” Some offices. But it’s a decent balance. Virginia. There’s a laptop on every desk and team rooms in every hallway. First you share an office. with lots of team dinners and other fun interactions. have a combination of both types. Because of the cubicle setup.
but it’s a concern. but it’s difficult. and other informal social opportunities. though. but would I participate in it a lot more? That’s difficult to say.” Even so.Another insider counters. which I think stems from the fact that we share offices and too much talking could be distracting.” According to one insider. “Social interaction outside of work really varies by level. In general. many insiders mention seasonal outings. People are on the road. It’s not something I don’t like. As you get more senior. Says one insider. “There isn’t a lot of chit-chat between employees. there’s a real inclination to go visit your other life and your friends outside of work. we have all these new people across the firm who don’t know Booz Allen. happy hours. “We are growing so fast on the TB side. but also on Booz Allen project teams. Do we do things socially as a work group? Absolutely. In terms of the office culture. “On the client site. and that’s a lot of the appeal. there’s definitely some of that. it’s a decent place to come in as an associate. there’s a lot of social interaction. I think people are a little gun-shy and tend to invest a little less in work relationships. So this culture thing is hard. And more than one insider mentions marriages that were made not only in heaven. usually in their cohort. but coming out of the downturn.” A WTB insider says the recent increases in hiring on that side are being felt among staff.” The Workplace 43 . Is there a super-robust after-hours environment? Probably less than I would like to see. saying. I think it used to be considerably better a few years ago. Some offices schedule activities—like ice cream socials and citywide scavenger hunts—to get employees together. so on a Friday or Saturday. most folks have some strong personal relationships with a couple other folks in the office. Cutbacks after 2001 and the recent hiring boom have both had some effect on employees’ relationships.
It meant they took diversity seriously. “I think minorities seems to do better [here] in general.” The firm actively recruits at minority conferences such as the National Black MBA and National Hispanic MBA conferences. Minority hiring trends tend to differ from office to office. not as much Latino and AfricanAmerican. and that was a big selling point. Once people get to the more senior point. “There probably aren’t enough minority and women in upper management. and benefits. “It’s still largely Asian and Caucasian.” 44 . A WCB insider says.” Still another insider says. but we’re better than most of our clients. We don’t have as many female partners as some of our competitors do. staff development. 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. Booz Allen’s commitment to diversity was a significant factor in his decision to join the firm: “Since I’m African-American. firmwide diversity initiative in 1993 and appointed a director of diversity to oversee diversity recruiting. we haven’t been able to maintain that [level of diversity]. [but] I don’t think it’s anything cultural. In 2001. We’re certainly not representative of the general population at higher levels. it meant a lot to me that Booz Allen had quite a few black partners.” says an insider. retention. For at least one insider. though some insiders The Workplace report that the government side of the firm is more diverse than the commercial side. training. policies. We have a good mix of minorities and women up to the point of the senior associate position.Workplace Diversity Booz Allen began a formal.
Nonexempt Employee Forum. Asia-Pacific–American Forum. Insiders report that women at Booz Allen generally support one another. and it really gives it a lot of weight. and it offers a half-day course to teach The Workplace managers how to conduct interviews that are both probing and sensitive to diversity. is an employee-driven. 45 . Junior Exempt Employee Forum. the firm offers courses in diversity such as “Working Effectively in a Diverse Organization” and “Managing in a Diverse Organization. the company has many employee groups that support diversity in the workplace. offering “encouragement and mentoring. For all staff.Internally. Disability Forum. Asian American Professional Development.” computer-based courses designed to strengthen employees’ diversity skills. and brown-bag lunch sessions on topics such as “Interacting with People with Disabilities.” The firm is making diversity training mandatory for its officers and principals. Latin American Professional Development. Booz Allen also provides sexual harassment awareness training for employees.” Diversity Training According to a Booz Allen recruiter.” Booz Allen’s Professional Development Diversity Series. Blacks at Booz Allen. Disabilities Task Force. and Sexual Orientation in the Workplace courses. Hispanic Interest Group. firm-sponsored series of professional development workshops that includes the Women’s Professional Development. and GLOBE Forum (for gay. African-American Professional Development. including the African-American Forum. Hispanic Forum. Booz Allen Hamilton Parents Network. The firm’s Women of Greater Washington along with other site-specific women’s forums addresses gender issues at the firm. open to all employees. bisexual. and transgendered employees). coming from the top like that. “Our former CEO was a huge proponent of diversity. ESL Pilot Group. lesbian. German Diversity Task Force. as is Ralph Shrader. our current CEO.
C. Booz Allen has an annual awards ceremony to recognize employees who’ve made a significant professional contribution to enhancing the firm’s diversity.S. In the July 2002 issue of Consulting Magazine. Washington. the firm was among the top ten and ranked number one among consulting firms. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Recognition Booz Allen’s commitment to attracting. in 2002 and 2003. Chao. work for. or supervise. 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. 2004) • New Freedom Initiative Award (U. and resources for staff with disabilities and the people they work with. D. and retaining a diverse workforce has garnered the firm awards and acclaim from a number of corners. Opportunities for Women In addition to being recognized for its commitment to diversity. information. Moreover.The firm has a diversity intranet site.) The Workplace • Employer of Choice (Minority Corporate Counsel Association. The firm also received several awards last year for its diversity efforts: • Excellence Through Diversity Award (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Metropolitan. sponsored by the firm’s Disability Forum. hiring. and the National Disability and Business Council. Its “Disability One-Stop” site. 2003) In addition. five AfricanAmerican Booz Allen officers were profiled. Booz Allen has been recognized for its diversity initiatives by such organizations as the Human Rights Campaign. provides training. Black Collegian magazine. which includes information about diversity at the firm and links to forums’ websites. “We’re 46 .
“They’ve got the diversity thing down. There are very few women partners. by partnering with two consulting is hard if child-care companies. “” They’ve got the diversity thing down. there The Workplace 47 . and consulting is hard if you’re trying to start a family. another female insider says. I don’t think it’s bad at all for women. and balance. have been elected to the partnership level while working part-time. company headquarters in McLean. women very discouraging. In September 2000. “At my level [associate] and lower. including an all-day but it happens to be a kindergarten and extended-hours care. but it happens to be a lot of diverse men. at lot of diverse men. The lack of female partners to me is very discouraging.” says a recruiter. In a few instances. One female insider says. Some insiders think the firm could do a better job when it comes to promoting women.exceptionally proud of that. In 2002. The firm should give women Booz Allen has allowed officers to work partmore options. Once you get to principal and partner. Every year the firm also recognizes six of its female colleagues with the Women of Distinction Award. the firm opened the Booz Allen Family Center. each with more than 620 you’re trying to start a locations across the United States. A ton more could be done on that point. Virginia. the firm extended its child-care benefits to There are very few women partners. The firm should maybe give women more options. family. but we have a long way to go. to provide child care. sensitivity. This is a colleaguenominated award that honors women who exemplify strong character and spirit. selflessness. and employees nationwide.” However. The firm sponsors a number of networking lunches and forums for female employees and a new Women’s Professional Development Course. The lack time and offers parental leave to both male and of female partners is female employees.
but they don’t seem to fare particularly well. . “Minorities are also never represented well enough.” Indeed one senior associate says. Some part-time programs have been tried. . This is harsh to say.” The Workplace 48 . I think they do fine. It’s a long slog of travel in the future of anyone aspiring to be a partner.” In summary: “There are probably never enough women represented in the firm. but from what I have seen. “Women have a hard time staying around long enough to make it. but I think having a trailing spouse may be necessary to make it and have kids in this kind of environment. It’s not just Booz Allen. That kind of arrangement is still rare for women. This is really getting down to society’s expectations for women vs. 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.” says one insider. and it crosses right though the primary child-bearing years for professional women.aren’t that many role models. we do a much better job in this area than our competitors. . men. For those that don’t elect to have children.
you’re going to be paid less. so starting salaries don’t vary a great deal from one firm to the next. There are differences. “It’s a trade-off. you’re compensated accordingly. we are very much a top-drawer firm. between salaries on Booz Allen’s government and commercial business sides. however.” We expect salaries to rise across the industry for 2004–05. The price we pay for stability is lower salaries and not as boutique-y a kind of image. etc. “WTB is a more classic corporate structure with long careers—people stay for 20 to 25 years. but as an insider tells us. I cannot go in and work. On holidays. 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. Booz Allen does not release specific salary information. “If you want a job where you’re not working until midnight and traveling all the time. the FBI on a national holiday and they’re closed. insiders report that the lifestyle differences are the very reason they find the salary gap acceptable. “With the war for The Workplace 49 .” WTB insiders. however. In some cases I cannot even work [off premises] and charge it to the project. Sometimes we can’t access the clients after 5:00. though in our market in the federal sector. they don’t work. Those on the government side reportedly earn less because of differences in fee structure and the partner-to-staff team ratios.” says one. say. If I am sent to.Compensation Consulting firms are in direct competition for top talent. If you want a fast pace.” Although the firm says its salary structures are based on market rates rather than on less quantifiable elements such as lifestyle. “There’s a lot of stability because there’s no forced up-or-out model.. weekends.” says an insider.
Summer internships at the MBA level pay a prorated amount based on the MBA starting salary. and you’ll be eligible for paid parental leave.talent heating up. 50 . and signing bonuses vary widely if offered at all. Commercial consultants are also eligible for year-end bonuses. Compensation packages for undergrads start at around $60. In addition to base pay.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 which staff can put up to 10 percent of salary. we expect salaries to rise more quickly than they have since the dotcom bust. In addition. paid personal leave to meet specified personal commitments.” The government-sector positions pay less. compared to private-sector positions. Booz Allen has a profit-sharing and savings plan called the employee capital accumulation plan (ECAP).000. and Booz Allen frequently offers tuition support to those who choose to get an MBA if they return to the firm after graduation. many employees are eligible for a year-end bonus based on the employee’s performance as well as the firm’s. and profit sharing. 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. Relocation bonuses are based on need. Summer associates who return to the commercial sector after graduation from business school may be reimbursed for their second year of tuition. you’ll get to choose from a selection of health plans. which pay on the high side. In the United States. ECAP has two parts: a 401(k) plan.
This is saying. “It’s one of the things I like best about Booz Allen. shelters. “We get a lot of support from the partnership. and nonprofit arts organizations. Staff members volunteer their time by working in various community service projects at schools. which helps staff find volunteer opportunities and guides them through the process of securing the firm’s support for charities and organizations in which they are already involved. and I don’t want you to waste that. I can help you be successful but I’m not going got get involved unless you ask me.” says one insider. I’ll bend over backward for you.Civic Involvement Booz Allen’s Community Relations program helps employees participate in a variety of activities and organizations. Booz Allen’s intranet site includes an area called Community Relations Online. and participating in charity races. The Neediest Kids. encourages participation in various community events. doing pro bono work.’” Some of the company’s pro bono and charitable activities include work with the Special Olympics. and there is recognition for it. Toys for Tots. along with announcing contract awards and job openings. If you ask me to help. If you see a cause you want to get involved in. 51 . Booz Allen will back up an employee’s civic commitment with dollars or equipment and time allowances. According to one insider who has helped renovate homes in Chicago. The Workplace “There are constant opportunities to get involved.” says an insider. more likely than not.” Insiders also tell us that Booz Allen has a weekly e-mail bulletin that.” Booz Allen’s approach to pro bono and community work reflects the company culture. ‘Look I see an opportunity for you be successful. the firm is going to support it. Amigos de las Americas. “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.
CEO Ralph Shrader spoke out on the importance of civic involvement in a speech at Yale. Christmas in April. to name just a few. and teams whose volunteer service. produce clear and measurable results. titled “Finding a New Balance in a New World: Combining Ambition and Altruism. In November 2001.000 annually for the Children’s National Medical Center. and generate substantial impact. and the Smithsonian Institution.America’s Charities. The firm also raises more than $50. leadership. Each year. hundreds of Booz Allen volunteers help renovate houses for those in need. incorporate professional expertise. Northern Virginia Family Services.” 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. employee groups. or corporate citizenship demonstrate the firm’s core values. 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 . The firm sponsors its own Involvement and Impact Awards to honor Booz Allen individuals.
I’ve never had to cancel a vacation. That’s also because I communicate my plans far in advance. “The thought never occurred to me. The Workplace 53 . it often stunned them into silence. “I usually try to plan my vacation for a time when my project workload is light.” New employees receive 2 to 5 weeks of vacation plus holidays (depending on the country). it isn’t moved. no one has ever said that I couldn’t go. 3 paid personal days. “In the 9 years I’ve been here. and 2 floating holidays that can be used at their discretion.Vacation Booz Allen employees are encouraged to use vacation time.” Another insider says. That means that once your vacation request is set up. Employees in European offices can expect more vacation time than those joining in the United States.” says an insider. 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. In fact. but once I’ve made plans. not even a 1-day delay.
and approach to consulting. And with each promotion. Not only does the firm offer tuition assistance and pay for self-led. and enhance interpersonal communication. so a lot of the learning comes from your day-to-day work. Many insiders agree. also giving it the “Best in Class” honor in the Professional Services Company category. fine-tune their leadership abilities. You’re expected to carry your own weight.” 54 .to 10-day orientations—taking place in training centers around the world—where they learn about Booz Allen’s heritage. that “most of the training comes from just being on the project and working with the other team members. culture. it puts all new hires through 7. however. Booz Allen increased its investment in learning and development by nearly 12 percent. Summer associates attend a 5-day orientation.Training Training magazine ranked Booz Allen fourth in its “Training Top 100 List” for 2004. While many companies cut their training budgets last year. Those from nontraditional backgrounds who join Booz Allen on the commercial side also go through a mini-MBA program. individualized training in specialized areas. employees go through a cohort class that’s designed The Workplace to help them develop their craft and analytical skills.
“I personally have about ten people who come into my office and ask.Career Path Booz Allen seeks to develop professionals who have knowledge and expertise that is broad as well as deep. but several insiders at Booz Allen spoke unusually highly of theirs. Most consulting firms have some sort of mentoring program. insiders say. One way is through its mentorship program. 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 . all WTB insiders sing praise for the support they receive. a WTB insider says that a formal mentoring program instituted in her office several years ago fizzled out. Senior associates select a market-facing team and build professional depth through specialization in an industry or function. though she also says that good guidance abounds: “We do it informally—through our assessments and through personal recommendations. Promotions at Booz Allen are based on merit and. and employees are able to nominate themselves for upcoming projects. Staffing opportunities are posted on an intranet site. and doors to offices are generally open. ‘Can I talk to you?’” says a senior associate. Booz Allen employees—from consultant through senior vice president—tend to be on a first-name basis. Consultants. and senior associates each have a junior and a senior mentor who let them know what jobs are coming up and help guide their choices. associates. However. 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. are occurring more quickly than in the past.” One way or another. Booz Allen helps employees find challenging assignments and avenues to develop their careers.
This flexibility allows people with different skill sets to find a place within the firm. “It’s different things at different levels. “Now you can drive as hard and as fast as you want. then about managing the client and delivering the business. There’s a sense of reality that at a certain time you either get promoted or move on. That also means that you have the same high-caliber people internally who want to help you be successful.crafted. An insider says.” The typical path to partnership takes 6 to 8 years. it’s about delivering the work. an insider says.” As you rise through the Booz Allen ranks. So when you finally break down and ask for help. But I don’t think it’s anything that I can’t get around. “This goes back to this whole idea of helping other people succeed. but people who play to one area or another are recognized. I can only do that because I take enjoyment in seeing someone else be successful. and that takes some of the uneasiness out of it. At early stages.” says a recruiter. There’s a minimum hurdle you have to surpass. you must be promoted or asked to leave the The Workplace company. you get help from all over the place: from partners down to the most junior people. you’ll have the opportunity to play a role either in content leadership (which means you’ll sell projects and work closely with clients. According to a senior associate. 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). it’s about managing the team. “I think there’s always going to be pressure around that. but everyone on your project—your mentors and your job managers—want you to succeed.” This kind of support underscores the firm’s culture in general. Booz Allen’s commercial side has an up-or-out policy. “How quickly you progress is up to you. You can’t be a super communicator and a poor deliverer.” 56 . As you get more senior. which means that at certain points in your career. As for what gets you promoted.
. D. there is no up-or-out policy.boozallen. engineering. but it also has opportunities for students pursuing degrees in the liberal arts and the hard sciences. including engineering. business. 57 . math. The Workplace If you like consulting. metropolitan area. and people can either move up or stay at the same level for years without any pressure to leave. and computer science.com. In this program. economics.On the government side. When the year is over. Opportunities for Undergraduates Although most of Booz Allen’s hires on the commercial side are MBAs. Booz Allen helps a consultant find a position in a client company. the firm does hire from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. Resumes for internship opportunities are accepted throughout the year and can be submitted online at www. and business administration. science. Booz Allen’s government side has a technology and public management internship program with positions located throughout the Washington. This program seeks students with backgrounds in computer science. humanities. Most undergraduates join the firm in the government sector. the firm offers the Third Year in Industry program. 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. where the consultant spends a year broadening his or her exposure to the client’s industry before business school.C. A good way to get a foot in the door before you graduate is via a Booz Allen internship. Booz Allen sponsors the consultant in business school (provided that he or she agrees to come back to work at Booz Allen). information systems. but want the experience of working on the client side without leaving Booz Allen.
New hires are typically staffed into offices within their home countries. At the top of the pyramid lie the lofty positions of principal. where they manage projects. International Opportunities Booz Allen has an impressive worldwide footprint. Booz Allen recruiters return to campus in the fall to court second-year students. this depends on your language skills and the market. 58 . they move up the ranks to senior associate. Insiders report that there’s a real upward pull for people who are ready and able to take on more responsibility. Of course. Typically. they’re eligible for the same promotions and other opportunities as Booz Allen staff hired directly out of school. vice president. and senior vice president. After 2 to 3 years. To fill out the balance of its full-time MBA class. Opportunities for Midcareer Candidates Booz Allen actively recruits PhDs and other non-MBA advanced-degree candidates as well as experienced professionals from other consulting firms and The Workplace related industries. first-year MBA candidates are recruited on campus beginning in January for the Booz Allen summer program. with representatives in more than 60 countries and offices on every continent except Antarctica. Experienced industry professionals enter at different levels depending on their qualifications. Once on board.Opportunities for MBAs New MBA hires start as associates on the commercial side of the firm. Many of those who participate in the summer program receive offers of full-time employment that they have 6 to 9 months to accept. but employees who want one have a good chance of landing an international assignment.
” Insider Scoop What Employees Really Like The Workplace Show Your Stuff “Meritocracy” seems to be a favorite word among insiders describing Booz Allen. “Everybody is very bright and the environment really pushes you. According to one European recruiter.” The company’s 360-degree appraisal process is designed to reward excellence. “You’re expected to put your ideas and perspectives in there.” The firm’s European hiring trends are shifting.” reports another insider. 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.” Says yet another. you’ll have a chance to lead the thinking. In Europe. where everything’s pretty much done in English. “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. “There’s a lot of autonomy and responsibility on projects. Says one insider. You have a lot of self-determination and a lot of responsibility. and employees are impressed by its thoroughness. If you can do it. “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 . “The Japanese market is totally different from Singapore.One insider says. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now.
and smart—but no ‘brains on sticks. “I’ve had clients pull me aside and tell me they appreciate how diverse we are. “The people are talented and work well together. Unlike firms that offer only strategy consulting or others that specialize in operations or information technology.” Another insider says. “The people are a lot more diverse than I thought they would be. One insider says. team-oriented.” The Workplace Square Foundation Booz Allen employees point to the company’s broad consulting base as another big positive. My concern was that everybody would have the standard engineering degree and then an MBA. “The camaraderie is great. You need to take responsibility for what you are doing. pragmatic.” It’s All About the People All of our insiders say that the people at Booz Allen are a major draw. but they have different life experiences before that. that it relates more to their organization.” says one. “The people are down-toearth. after the first 6 months. you can design your own career. organization and change 60 . A principal says. You need to be on top of things. “The people are really what keep me here. Once you demonstrate that you are on top of things. People do have MBAs. Many employees see this as a real plus. Booz Allen offers a full range of consulting services in six main areas: strategy. This is my fourth consulting firm and it’s the best place I’ve been. It’s fun.’” A European insider says.at any level—you get empowered very early in the process.” 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.” 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.
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. operations. Booz Allen. but you’ll remember that 20 percent well. According to one insider. “Some partners bring a style that can be tiresome: micromanage. “In the areas where we’re strong. we build strong relationships with clients. information technology. the travel demands are much less onerous. especially if you have kids or someday want to!” On the government side of the business. “I think that some people come into consulting and really aren’t ready for the commitment that it takes. 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. many Booz Allen consultants spend lots of time away from home. you can expect to spend a lot of time on the road.leadership. Not a lot. like any firm.” says one insider. or arrogance. maybe 20 percent.” “” Watch Out! On the Road Again If you join the commercial side of Booz Allen. “We really kick the tires on any strategy we propose. technology management. and global assurance. is subject to personalities. According to one insider. pushpush-push. The Workplace Relations While most Booz Allen insiders celebrate the support and mentoring they receive. 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.” 61 .
“If you have all the answers. If you think you’re getting into consulting to get away from networking.” If you’d rather spend your time dealing primarily with people issues. Booz Allen may not be the place for you. But keep in mind that Booz Allen isn’t looking for employees who are brilliant with data but bad with people.” Not to worry. Another insider says. one insider notes that the firm might be a better fit for those coming out of MIT’s business school than Harvard’s. you’re pretty much on your own. This is coming from someone whose personal weakness is quantitative analysis. You can’t be a passive player and walk in the door and expect everything to work out perfectly for you. but there’s also a lot of self-direction. If you’re not comfortable being selfmotivated and assertive about getting ahead.Looking Out for Number 1 Insiders say that once you finish your training (which one describes as “really quick”). 62 .” Data-Heavy Though Booz Allen does its share of work on organizational and people issues. it’s useless to us and to the client.” says an insider. Playing on stereotypes. you might be happier somewhere else. “People have to be aggressive in managing their own careers. especially among partners. adds this insider: “It doesn’t feel as yucky as it sounds. There is a whole mentoring program and a staffing group that take people in and ramp them up. “A lot of one’s success at Booz Allen depends on the network and alliance that you can build for yourself. that’s definitely not the case. but it is something I’d tell people to be aware of. According to one insider. “You should become really proficient with financial analysis and doing spreadsheets and modeling in order to get respect at this firm. well. but you can’t relay that message in a convincing manner.” Another insider tells us. insiders acknowledge that the firm places a relatively heavy emphasis on The Workplace quantitative analysis. and I’ve done just fine.
Getting Hired • The Recruiting Process • The Interviewer’s Checklist • Interviewing Tips • Grilling Your Interviewer Getting Hired 63 .
Booz Allen likes students to have as much contact as possible with the firm before the interview.” which offers useful analytical frameworks.The Recruiting Process After a few very bad years for MBAs and undergraduates hoping to work in consulting. This helps determine whether the student will fit in well at Booz Allen.” 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 . Insiders we spoke to think this is an important opportunity to likewise help candidates decide whether Booz Allen is a good match for them. The firm has lately been quoted in various media as saying that its hiring projections are way up. The “Careers” section of Booz Allen’s website includes a document entitled “Interviewing Tips and Case Primer for Commercial Consulting Candidates. it helps to know someone. “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. An insider from global operations says. As in most companies. things are looking up. “We’re increasing our MBA recruiting over last year. Secondary to that is responding to the posting in the website. hiring is now up all around. and according to several insiders on both sides of the firm. case examples. associates will even call students and then meet with them to discuss their goals for the future. and recommendations for prospective hires. Booz Allen has been on campus recruiting every year since 2001. In some cases.” says one commercial-side insider.
“Practice the case interview. Cultural fit also weighs heavily in candidate assessment. “Where most people fail is that they do not prepare for the ‘fit’ part of the interview.is being considered. Second and third rounds usually involve multiple.com.WetFeet. achievement in a career before attending business school and an intellectual track record in school. We are also looking for leadership skills. During my case interview. check out WetFeet’s Ace Your Case series at www.” Remember. and then be able to talk about those in an interview and relate them to your resume. You think that it should be easy to answer questions about yourself. back-to-back interviews. There was a logical flow. We are also looking for leadership skills. you’re not going to be able to answer the fit questions very well.” More than one recent hire we spoke to emphasized that the case interview is the best opportunity to stand out from the crowd.) Getting Hired 65 .” (For a rigorous review of case questions. “We are looking for more than brains on a stick. One insider says. accepts responsibility. Our cases are based on prior client work of the people doing the interview. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer. but is now emphasizing the general resume review as well as conversation to determine how the candidate manages his or her work. everyone Booz Allen is likely to interview is going to be smart and accomplished. but you’re not likely to have done that in as stressful an environment as a case interview. “It’s a critical part of the evaluation process. and so on. deals with conflict. I didn’t feel like they were trying to trick me. The company seeks people with a demonstrated record of “” We are looking for more than brains on a stick. Booz Allen relies on case interviews to test a candidate’s analytical abilities. And if you don’t think ahead of time about the key things in your life that have helped make you successful. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer. According to one recruiter.” says one recent hire.
“University recruiting is not a large percentage of the recruiting we do for the government business. Interpersonal skills and analytical thinking are probably the top two criteria. Undergraduates with engineering. In an interview I try to probe their analytical thinking process. but we look for the best talent. We’re doing analytical work. “We do hire a lot of Getting Hired junior staff coming right out of school. computer science. But according to one recruiting insider. national security. and how you solved them.Undergraduates Currently. Where the WTB side used to encourage only technical degrees.” says a recruiter.” Expect several rounds of interviews. I like to tell people to come prepared with three things that they’ve built and white papers. Booz Allen will help you move ahead. “The firm gives $5. or defense industry internships on your resume as well. “We’re looking for someone who can communicate their thought processes. but we have to communicate that to our client.” an insider reports. where they can take more classes [for that money]. it now promotes the pursuit of MBAs for some of its employees.” 66 . but we still hire a large number of undergraduates. A lot of them go back to school as part of their work with us. “We don’t look for a position per se. the problems you encountered. Booz Allen is not actively recruiting undergraduates into its commercial-sector unit. and public policy degrees are likely to attract the most interest. Says one recruiter. I want to make sure these people can write.000 per year toward tuition.” Once you’re in. then obviously relevant experience. We like to have writing samples.” says one WTB recruiter. business. “We try to encourage folks to go to more of a state school. A typical interview question I’d ask of a college hire: Give me an example of a project you had.” Insiders also emphasize that communication and writing skills are important. and we support that. “We look for a candidate. Be sure to highlight any government.
” Midcareer Candidates Booz Allen hires midcareer people from other consulting firms and from industry.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.” Getting Hired 67 . step by step. One WTB insider says it looks for “individuals leaving government or military service with consulting experience and especially those with security clearances. They want to see how you can establish a framework. “People with high-level security clearances are extremely precious and few and far between. candidates with security clearances are especially attractive to the firm right now. The governmentsector side of the firm in particular brings in large numbers of experienced hires. “I was asked many case questions in my interviews. to arrive at a logical solution. Contact the Booz Allen location of your choice. “I know that interviewers derive many questions from cases they’ve been staffed on.” says one insider hired out of B-school.” Says another. midcareer candidates must survive several rounds of interviews that include case questions. WTB seeks candidates with government experience. Like college hires.
Booz Allen designates a specific person to coordinate each campus recruiting effort. His or her checklist will contain most of the following: • Drive (people who aren’t passionate about consulting usually fail) • Analytical skills (ability to analyze and assess data) • Teamwork (everything is done in teams) • Intellectual curiosity (Does this person get excited about solving problems?) • Communication skills (Can this person convey his or her ideas?) • Leadership (ability to get the most out of others) • Client skills (Can this person build effective client relationships?) • Poise (ability to remain cool under pressure) • Credibility (Does this person seem full of hot air?) • Interpersonal skills (see the “The Airport Test” below) The Airport Test What’s the airport test? The interviewer wonders. Aside from it taking 12 hours to get from Detroit Getting Hired to New York.The Interviewer’s Checklist To give candidates a more consistent interviewing experience. would I go crazy?” An insider elaborates: “You hear about that airport test. “If I were stuck at an airport with this candidate. it wasn’t bad at all. I’ve done it. 68 .” This is to say that whoever hired this insider’s traveling companion found somebody who was enjoyable company for those 12 hours.
slouch in their chairs. 2.g. that’s great. Know your resume. One tip from our experts: If you get a question that requires discussing numbers. break it apart.Interviewing Tips 1. “Your resume is supposed to be a list of the most important things you’ve done on one page. Booz Allen won’t necessarily be looking for the right answer as much as for evidence of how you think. and analyze.000.” 5. Booz Allen recruiters tell us that candidates often earn dings long before the case arrives. you may just convince them that you’re nuts!) 4. and otherwise project a low-energy demeanor. Your interviewer will also want to see that you’re comfortable with numbers. be sure to pick those that are easy to handle (e. You should take a problem. “But it’s all a list of actions and results. 10. “A lot of the time. 250 million). Take the time to structure your response. 3.. Practice case questions if you’re applying to Booz Allen’s commercial business. 100. you may convince your interviewers that you’re Booz Allen material. “If you can quantify things. 1. So if you sit down for an hour with your resume Getting Hired 69 . If you can talk convincingly about how that will turn you on. Consultants really get turned on by coming up with excellent solutions to difficult business problems. I see people giving their gut answers right away. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the intellectual side of consulting. It’s not a list of how you actually did those things. (Then again. can’t explain why they want to work for Booz Allen. Many don’t know what’s on their resumes.” a commercial-side recruiter tells us.” says one insider.
Getting Hired 70 . Basically.. whereas the Worldwide Technology Business serves government and institutional clients. etc. you’ll be much better prepared to answer any question that anyone asks you about yourself. How did I actually get this stuff done? How did I handle people and pitfalls that came along the way. Insiders tell us that the firm’s name is often shortened to omit Hamilton but that Booz by itself is too informal and should be avoided in an interview. That’s Booz Allen to you. the Worldwide Commercial Business serves commercial clients. cowboy.” 6.and think. Know the difference between WCB and WTB. It’s also a bad idea to refer to the firm as “BAH.” 7.
We strongly encourage you to spend time preparing questions of your own. Rare • Give me examples of recent projects undertaken by the firm. • 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. what opportunities exist to work with clients in the commercial sector? And vice versa? • What mechanisms does Booz Allen have in place to support personal and professional development? 71 . • What’s the turnover rate at Booz Allen? • How easy or difficult is it to transfer between offices? Getting Hired • If assigned to the government sector. the samples below should get you started. The “Rare” questions are meant to be boring and innocuous. In the meantime.Grilling Your Interviewer This is your chance to turn the tables and find out what you want to know about Booz Allen.
and what wrinkles remain to be ironed out? • Booz Allen has a reputation for developing numbers-driven solutions.• Has the lack of undergraduate hires into WCB led to a heavier workload for associates? • How is Booz Allen addressing changes in the consulting industry? Well Done • Given its large organization and distinct industry groups. Do you find that to be true? If so. do you think there is any downside to that approach? Getting Hired 72 . and how effective do you think it will be? • How well have the changes you’ve made in your career development and in the organization been received by people in the organization. how does Booz Allen maintain a consistent culture and sense of community? • As a collection of individuals. how well do Booz Allen professionals function on teams? • How many female and minority VPs does Booz Allen have? • What is Booz Allen doing to move ahead of its top-tier consulting competitors.
For Your Reference For Your Reference • Consulting-Speak • Recommended Reading • For Further Study • Other Sources of Information • Key People and Places 73 .
For example. This buzzword comes from the book Built to Last (see next entry). not just a few years. 74 . creating four different sectors. Collins and Jerry I. 2x2. Pronounced “two by two. Porras. Benchmark. it refers to those firms that want to be around for many decades or centuries. Built to Last. Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Benchmarks are levels of performance or output against which you can evaluate the performance of something else. The term now enjoys widespread usage as describing a company with a strong culture based on a core ideology or identity. we’ve asked our insiders to give us the most up-to-date consulting jargon. a software firm might hire a consulting firm to do a benchmark study on how much other firms are spending on customer service. BHAG. A benchmark study is an analysis of the performance of a number of companies along specified dimensions. A book written by James C. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to produce one of these during your interview.” this is a favorite consulting tool used to analyze a number of items along two dimensions. in which they destroy the myth that the core product is more important than the vision the company espouses. More loosely. Here’s another standard-issue item from the consulting toolbox. Beware: Unauthorized use of these terms has been known to seriously offend every known species of consultant.For Your Reference Consulting-Speak To help prepare you for both your interviews and a possible career in the field. It’s basically a graph with X and Y axes that cross in the middle.
wireless. it’s not about growing your top line. and ultimately come up with a solution.” (The bottom line is profit. Yoplait. It’s your channel. Things a company does best. 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. The top line is sales. think it through. the telephone. and the PC will someday all become one. Communication technology that helps companies manage customer information. Convergence. wireline.For Your Reference Business design. Core competencies. your interviewer will give you a set of facts and ask you a question to analyze how you structure a problem. Case questions can be numerical. “Suppose a client asked you to figure out why his business is experiencing an unusual decline in sales and a severe cash flow problem. how you execute your offering. Here’s a $5 buzzword that sounds like it’s making things clear. and media—or “converging” industries. the TV. “If Dannon. Customer relationship management (CRM). as in. and Colombo yogurts came to life. The thinking is that the Internet. it’s about growing your bottom line.” They could also just be wacky. such as. computers. how you gear up the troops. In a case interview. your product. and Internet). Here’s a consultant’s definition: “For a company. what kind of people would they be?” Change management. as in. 75 .” or business-related. the PDA. Consulting services in telecommunications (cable.” Case interview.) “Business design is about what you do. It has everything to do with whom you hire and what they do. “How many dimes are currently in circulation?. when really it’s just muddying up an already fuzzy concept.
Implementation. Using the wrong word is not an automatic ding. If you promise an analysis of shipping costs. nobody admits to doing just pure strategy work. all of the firms talk about how they work with clients to make sure that their expensive analyses and recommendations are actually implemented. a framework is any kind of structure you can use to look at a problem. 25 or 30 employees to more than 500 and going public. Consultants love frameworks. for instance. billing. Framework. Deliverables typically come with dates (when you will deliver). These are all different ways in which the firms refer to a specific project. but you’ll impress your interviewer if you get it right. The product or solution you give (deliver) to the client. As a result. and inventory. Basically.” Or it can be something more MBA-ish. From 1997–98 to around 2000. 76 . Engagement/project/study/case/job. like Porter’s Five Forces. These days. the more analytical you’ll sound. A popular consulting project during the ’90s. say. and the more you use them (up to a point). most firms shifted their focus from reengineering—which often meant downsizing—to growth. Interviewers often note which term you use— just to see whether you’ve read the company literature. 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. ERP spurred doubledigit annual growth for firms. Enterprise resource planning (ERP).For Your Reference Deliverable. “The company’s problems stem from both internal and external factors. that’s your deliverable. Growth involved taking a small private start-up from. An IT solution to streamline operations by connecting all parts of a business electronically—including HR. It can be as simple as. Growth.
Presentation. payroll management. In a manufacturing company. At the simplest level. this refers to any period of time during which you aren’t staffed to a project. marketing communications. Although the standard overhead slideshow is now considered a bit sterile. Pay-for-performance. lots of companies are turning to outsiders to provide many of the functions and services traditionally done inhouse. In the traditional consulting project. it’s still a popular drill at most firms. Outsourcing. and data processing. this includes the buying and processing of raw materials as well as the sale and distribution of the final products. do your laundry.For Your Reference On the beach. 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. Billing based on performance. Increasingly. Many consulting firms do a big business providing operations advice. pay your bills. Popular candidates for outsourcing include accounting services. so there’s a chance you’ll be able to leave the office early. The client’s top management team would assemble in a boardroom. the presentation was the means by which a consulting firm shared all of its insights and recommendations with a client company. Although you won’t necessarily see any sunshine here. Operations. and maybe even see your honey. this just means that they help clients run their businesses better. rather than strictly on hours. you also won’t have to be any place in particular. public firms are turning to these services because they create stable revenue flows. which their investors like. 77 . To reduce overhead expenses. Operations refers to all of the day-to-day tasks associated with the running of a company. In consulting.
Means you could be hanging out with the clerks at Kinko’s. a reengineering project was supposed to involve a complete rethinking of a company’s operations from ground zero. If you’re heading true north. True north. Virtual office/hoteling. to analyze shareholder value. each stage adds value to the product. A money-making opportunity in an area you aren’t set up to make money in. Sexy terms for an office setup in which nobody has a personal desk or office. and they engage lots of consulting firms to help them do it. Shareholder value analysis. Value chain analysis. you’re moving in the right direction. White-space opportunity. Reengineering lost its cachet in the mid-’90s. 78 . from the gathering of raw materials needed to make the product to the delivery of the final product to the customer. Think of it as an unbridged gap between what you do and what others do. At best. The place you want to get to. There are all manner of ways.For Your Reference Reengineering. proprietary and not. or an untapped source of growth. An analysis of all of the processes that go into a product. In its purest sense. The goal of many companies is to enhance their value to shareholders.
saying.S. we’re back in the hiring business big time.For Your Reference Recommended Reading “D. according to this article. which credits that boom in part to government spending. which he calls “a major player” for Booz Allen today. as an example. Shrader as saying.” and “We hired close to 3. 5/16/04. Food and Drug Administration 79 .” and quotes CEO Ralph W.and public-sector business capabilities thereby making it stronger and more successful overall.-area job market. Booz Allen CEO Ralph Shrader discusses the recent upswing in hiring on both the government and commercial sides of the firm.” Source: Neil Irwin.350 more people than it had originally planned last year. in support of the firm’s effort to apply private-sector technological solutions to government issues. Region Job Market Has Look of a Boom” Last year.C. 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.600 jobs were added to the D. Part of the summary includes the news that Booz Allen hired 1. It also describes Booz Allen as being “on a hiring binge.C. illustrating how Booz Allen’s work with the U. “This year everyone is starting to feel good again.” He also describes how the firm is able to cross-pollinate its private. It focuses on Booz Allen. 60. He uses the health-care industry. Washington Post. “This year. but the short-term prognosis is generally upbeat.” It cautions that over-reliance on government tax and spending policies to boost an economy can be risky.600 people last year in the public-sector space—there aren’t enough MBA students in the major schools to fill all those spots. Interview with Ralph Shrader In this interview.
Fortune. Source: Consulting Magazine. Source: Anne Fisher.457 consultants from 50 of the profession’s 75 largest firms. Those folks (most of whom had only undergraduate liberal arts degrees) got. which found that “of 5. according to extensive research by the firms themselves. “Half of Consultants Aren’t Happy With Their Jobs” This article discusses the results of a 2003 Consulting Magazine poll. 47% consider their firms’ morale to be no better than neutral. 6/14/04. recently written by two business school professors. July/August 2004. they did their jobs just as well as or even better than their MBA peers. the article contends.” The implication follows from there. is that as the 80 . She goes on to outline a scholarly paper. As an advice columnist for Fortune. 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.” The difference. on average.” and includes the current glut of MBA degrees in a stagnant market as one of the reasons MBAs aren’t getting jobs.For Your Reference makes it better able to assist pharmaceutical companies seeking to bring new products to market. that highlights the inefficacy of the modern MBA. Anne Fisher says she’s been hearing a lot lately from disgruntled MBA-holders who can’t get work. between this and last year’s similar findings.” 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. 3 weeks of on-thejob training—after which. “There is little evidence that mastery of the knowledge acquired in business schools enhances people’s careers. “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 paper says.
et al..” Aside from offering good advice for jobseekers. and compare the responses among individuals. the Booz Allen source lends insight into what is particularly valued at his firm. figure decision making at the company is a tortuous process.” and “Ask the interviewer or the company representative about her own background. 81 . The accompanying Consulting Magazine survey ranks Booz Allen at number six (down from the previous year’s number three but still firmly in the top ten) among the “Best Consultancies to Work For.” underscoring that Booz Allen and its employees fared the tough times relatively well with work/life standards mostly intact. Source: Karen Hube. November 2003. Does the company bring in people from eclectic backgrounds? That says a lot about what you’re likely to find at the firm. Source: Consultants News. The article includes tips from a Booz Allen representative. “If you have 10 interviews [for the same job] in three months. Wall Street Journal. many consultants who are dissatsified with long hours and diminishing returns are now leaving the profession. “Culture Club” “I got my best information by arriving early and speaking to the receptionist. who says.For Your Reference economy recovers and industry begins hiring again.” 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. 3/29/04.
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.
Worldwide Commercial Business Horacio Rozanski. Worldwide Technology Business Dan Lewis.S. president.For Your Reference Key People and Places Key People Ralph Shrader. president.com. chief human resources officer Recruiting Contacts Interested candidates can post their profiles or apply for a specific job through the careers section of the Booz Allen website at www. The company will not accept e-mail or paper resumes. 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 .boozallen. chairman and CEO Dennis Doughty. U.
boozallen. Virginia (corporate headquarters) Miami New Orleans New York (commercial headquarters) Philadelphia San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Tampa Washington.For Your Reference Major Offices North American Offices (Commercial Sector) Atlanta Boston Chicago Cleveland Colorado Springs Dallas Houston Los Angeles McLean. International Offices For a complete listing of Booz Allen locations around the world. D. go to www.C. 86 .com.
WETFEET’S INSIDER GUIDE SERIES JOB SEARCH GUIDES Getting Your Ideal Internship Job Hunting A to Z: Landing the Job You Want Killer Consulting Resumes Killer Investment Banking Resumes Killer Resumes & Cover Letters Negotiating Your Salary & Perks Networking Works! INTERVIEW GUIDES Ace Your Case: Consulting Interviews Ace Your Case II: 15 More Consulting Cases Ace Your Case III: Practice Makes Perfect Ace Your Case IV: The Latest & Greatest Ace Your Case V: Return to the Case Interview Ace Your Interview! Beat the Street: Investment Banking Interviews Beat the Street II: Investment Banking Interview Practice Guide CAREER & INDUSTRY GUIDES Careers in Accounting Careers in Advertising & Public Relations Careers in Asset Management & Retail Brokerage Careers in Biotech & Pharmaceuticals Careers in Brand Management Careers in Consumer Products Careers in Entertainment & Sports Careers in Human Resources .
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WetFeet’s services include two award-winning websites (WetFeet. And he did. But they didn’t exist. . was born . avoid illfated career decisions. WetFeet was founded in 1994 by Stanford MBAs Gary Alpert and Steve Pollock. the company. and entertaining way. he decided to make a better hunting shoe. The quality of our work and knowledge of the job-seeking world have also allowed us to develop an extensive corporate and university membership. Bean. Web-based recruiting technologies. Bean. and they lined up to buy their own pairs of Bean boots. and our exclusive research studies. we do the work for you and present our results in an informative. Our team members. WetFeet Insider Guides provide you with inside information for a successful job search. WetFeet serves more than a million job candidates each month by helping them nail their interviews. who come from diverse backgrounds. And that’s exactly what we’re doing at WetFeet. such as the annual WetFeet Student Recruitment Survey. and he returned with soaked feet. his shoes leaked. . While exploring our next career moves. And he told his friends. . Think of us as your own private research company whose primary mission is to assist you in making more informed career decisions. And L. About Our Name One of the most frequent questions we receive is. the successful mail-order company. So we started writing. and add thousands of dollars to their compensation packages.L. So. and manage their careers.com and InternshipPrograms.com). In addition. 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. and very literally. had a case of wet feet. one day. share a passion about the job-search process and a commitment to delivering the highest quality products and customer service. “So. The lesson we took from the Bean case? Lots of people get wet feet. but entrepreneurs make boots. we needed products like the WetFeet Insider Guides to help us through the research and interviewing game. consulting services. credible.Who We Are WetFeet is the trusted destination for job seekers to research companies and industries. At WetFeet. Every time he went hunting in the Maine woods. all because a man who had wet feet decided to make boots.L. Leon Leonwood Bean got his start because he quite simply. Today.
supportive culture and commitment to employee development. culture. as well as their colleagues’ distinct backgrounds and personalities. If you think you’re ready to take on challenging assignments. innovative. travel. • What the recruiting process entails. • About the workplace at Booz Allen. Insiders consistently laud the firm’s open. • About typical responsibilities and day-to-day life for analysts and consultants. Booz Allen may be the place to be. hours. and training. The firm’s long-term commitment to its clients keeps the work not only interesting. WetFeet has earned a strong reputation among college graduates and career professionals for its series of highly credible. 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. but also fulfilling. • How the firm is organized. and tips from Booz Allen insiders for acing the interview.com . from top to bottom. and diverse. Turn to this WetFeet Insider Guide to learn • How Booz Allen has fared in the challenging economy of recent years.WetFeet. including the lifestyle. no-holds-barred Insider Guides. combining management strategy with technological expertise. what recruiters are looking for.Careers/Job Search Prestigious. Booz Allen is among the most respected consulting firms in the industry and a top choice for recent graduates and MBAs. compensation. www. • What employees love most and like least about working at Booz Allen.
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