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Booz Allen Hamilton
Helping you make smarter career decisions.
in part or in whole. It may not be reproduced. Inc. This publication is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. . Inc. Inc.com Booz Allen Hamilton ISBN: 1-58207-461-5 Photocopying Is Prohibited Copyright 2004 WetFeet. stored in a retrieval system.WetFeet. without the express written permission of WetFeet. or transmitted in any form or by any means. 609 Mission Street Suite 400 San Francisco. All rights reserved. No copying in any form is permitted. distributed.WetFeet. CA 94105 Phone: (415) 284-7900 or 1-800-926-4JOB Fax: (415) 284-7910 Website: www.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Organization of the Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Culture . . . . . . . 25 On the Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Table of Contents Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Workplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Overview . . . . . . . 30 Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Typical Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Competitive Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Lifestyle . . . . 10 Industry Position . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Quick History Lesson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 What’s Hot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Recent Client List. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Workplace Diversity . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . 53 Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 The Recruiting Process . . . . . . . . . .Civic Involvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Recommended Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Consulting-Speak . . . 82 Other Sources of Information . 59 Getting Hired. . . . . . . . . . . 79 For Further Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Vacation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Insider Scoop . . . . . . . . 84 Key People and Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The Interviewer’s Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Grilling Your Interviewer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Interviewing Tips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Career Path. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 For Your Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
” 1 . For Booz Allen there is not one type of case. VA 22102 Phone: 703-902-5000 Fax: 703-902-3333 www. to take different information.. put a framework around it. and information technology • Global presence with experience in 20 industries In the Recruiter’s Words “First of all.boozallen.” “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. be prepared for a case interview. significant IT capabilities • Reputation for developing workable solutions based on very thorough analysis • Serves both government and corporate clients • Strong reputation in strategy. We’re looking for your ability to think. and come up with something realistic.. organizations/leadership. Bain & Co.At a Glance Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance Headquarters 8283 Greensboro Drive McLean.com Primary Competitors Accenture.” “It tends to impress interviewers when you have detailed questions about particular areas or activities of the firm. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now. McKinsey & Co. The Boston Consulting Group. SAIC Key Differentiating Factors • Part of the management consulting old guard • Combines strategic consulting with implementation. operations. your bluff might very well be called. However do not try to puff yourself up too much.
I don’t need that recognition. you’ll also be asked one or more case questions. Think about ways you’ve demonstrated your ability to meet a unique challenge—whether through your involvement in sports. • Your interviewer will be looking for what sets you apart.” “We want someone who can think logically. or in the course of your education. I’ll get that internally when the client CEO calls the partner and says. You have to find the motivation to do it yourself. we look for not only strong generalists. during a previous work experience. So there’s little reward in anything less than a cooperative outlook. validated assumptions.” “Coming into consulting from industry. I was pleasantly surprised by how much cooperation there really is. If interviewing with the commercial side of the firm. no one is going to make sure that you show up.” 2 . interests. and other things such as creativity and business sense. no one is going to hold your hand.” “There’s nothing better than when the [client team] gets the accolades at the end of an engagement.” “When we recruit.’ My partner will know that I did that. but also the ability to make things happen.At a Glance “We look for good structure. we also look for people who have good functional expertise. These are usually based on an actual client engagement on which the interviewer has worked. no one really looks good.” “You have to be very self-motivated: No one is going to tell you what to do. I was worried that ‘up-or-out’ would drive a lot of negative behaviors. you’ll be asked to discuss in detail some aspect of your work experience. they all look good. If not. who is responsible and a self-starter. but that’s not the case at all. What Insiders Say “In contrast to our competitors. or resume. I think that’s very different from some of the other firms.” In the Interview • Typically. ‘Your team did a great job. we want to be able to bring not only the big ideas. I think a lot of it just has to do with the fact that if a team is successful in their work. You may be asked to describe a particular assignment or discuss an industry or current trend.
the commercial side of the firm hires few undergraduates.At a Glance “We tend to hire overachiever types [into the World Technology Business unit]. 2004–05 Undergraduate MBA MBA summer hires. • Booz Allen actively recruits experienced hires on both the government and commercial sides of the firm. You bring such different perspectives and points of view to a problem that you really produce a superior answer. and driven—very high-caliber players. currently.” “Everyone is very bright.” The Career Ladder • Undergraduates enter the government side of the firm as consultants. After 2 to 3 years. Revenue 2004 revenue: $2. People seem to really like their work.000+ 13. who make up the majority of commercial-sector hires.7 billion 1-year growth rate: 22. Most non-MBAs enter Booz Allen at the associate level. 2004 Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. The firm also recruits PhDs and other non-MBA advanced-degree holders. too.000+ 400 250 300 3 . they become senior associates and begin to manage projects. Booz Allen does not release hiring projections. 15. ambitious. 2004 Worldwide United States New hires. And I’ve felt that.7 percent Personnel Highlights Consulting professionals. They’re into it. But on top of that. It’s not uncommon to see cars there on the weekend. Promotion to principal is the final step before being elected an officer (informally known as “partner”) of the firm. enter as associates. everyone has a very different perspective and background. • MBAs.
Salaries for individuals working in the firm’s government-sector business tend to be lower than salaries for those in the commercial-sector business. Booz Allen does not release salary information.000–65.000 $15.At a Glance Compensation.000 n/a depends on need Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. 2003–04 Undergraduate Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus MBA Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus $100.000 (can vary) depends on need $40. 4 .
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 .
WTB’s large-scale implementation projects have made it more comparable to consulting firms like Accenture and government-consulting powerhouse SAIC. WCB traditionally caters to Fortune 1000 corporations. I believe that for the fore- 6 . As it is. 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. In recent years. which is responsible for the worldwide organization of the entire firm. so much so that it has enabled the company to expand its commercial offerings. or GO Team. CEO Ralph Shrader recently told Consulting Magazine. whereas WTB works with government and other public-sector organizations. the firm has endeavored to create a single. it’s also one of the largest. who was later joined by Jim Allen and Carl Hamilton. firmwide infrastructure. Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the most highly regarded firms in the management consulting industry. “We recognize where we are different and we know where we are the same. including the institution of the Global Operation Team. Booz Allen comprises two business units: the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB) and the considerably larger Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). but also by sticking around to help clients carry out the changes it prescribes.Overview The Firm Founded in 1914 by Ed Booz. competing with strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey. The firm stands out not only by helping devise strategy. and BCG. Bain.000-plus employees. Booz Allen’s government business—which employs nearly 12.000—is thriving. With more than 100 offices on six continents and 15. consultants work in the trenches and see their recommendations put into action. It focuses on long-term client relationships.
and project teams are staffed from across the firm’s organizational 7 . Booz Allen is organized around industry and functional “natural market” teams. Booz encourages you to follow your passion. there is always demand for health-care products and services.” Another European insider agrees. “As a specialty.” Health-care consulting is also on the rise. The opportunities are quite good. “Public-sector business on the commercial side. 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. Booz Allen seems to be entering a time of growth and optimism.” “” Everybody works in teams. On the commercial side. Our economics are fantastic right now. the WTB grew much faster. “Of the years I’ve been here. I’ve never felt stifled.” says an 8-year veteran. According to the October 2003 issue of Consultants News. The Firm Following the consulting slump that hit the industry hard in 2001. firms that cater to the health care industry are in good standing. there will always be a need for distinctiveness between certain segments of our business. better than the last couple of years. According to one insider. or home team. but your individuality is encouraged.” As a result. is picking up. which ensures some solid ground for the firm even during volatile economic times. While WCB was going down a bit. “WTB has been doing very well during the downturn. Staff members are hired into a geographical location. Booz Allen’s work with government agencies that regulate health care have placed at in the forefront of this market. which is mostly consulting to ministries in Europe. No matter how the economy is doing.seeable future. “we had one of our best years in terms of profitability last year.” 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.
structure to meet specific client needs. They are just a management device and not key to any service offerings.” The Firm 8 . and strategy experts. but everyone is busy. but frankly that’s where a lot of really good learning takes place. Booz’s commercial career model might be best described as an hourglass: As a new hire. although an associate typically ‘owns’ some kind of work stream. operations. Early on. You are almost always working on a team. according to insiders. however. “The business is currently being managed through these segments. After a few years of experience. government assignments are staffed with a variety of functional and subject matter experts. as one insider says. you’ll start by gaining broad exposure. expect a lot of oversight on your work. “most of your work is reasonably structured: The proposal drives the deliverables. is staffed with a mix of information technology.” one insider tells us. Every project team. the more leash you will be given. you’ll again apply your experience to a wider range of cases. since we use the ‘no walls’ concept.” Just as on the commercial side. In general. and the quicker you demonstrate the ability to write sensibly and quality-check your work. If you make it to the level of principal or officer. industry. most of your work will be focused on an industry or technical competency. working on at least two projects a year in a variety of industries. however. is organized along the following business segments: • Civil • Defense • National security This could soon change. No decision has been made on the future of segments. there is a fair amount of rewriting for a big review. and the job manager is in charge of developing a work plan. This sector. “As an associate.
but it has a different set of requirements. otherwise you won’t be successful. So you must have an international outlook. Wherever you go in the world. “Not only do we have a very diverse bunch of people here. “You must have an international mindset. but we embrace diversity and look for more of it. We have a wonderful government business. I’ve never felt stifled. I feel like I have a lot of autonomy. As one WCB recruiter puts it. But new hires shouldn’t expect to move fluidly between the two sides of the firm. I think that’s something people fail to understand. Says one principal. “We are an international company.” Another insider says. but your individuality is encouraged.” one European insider tells us. Booz encourages you to follow your passion in terms of industry interests. “There’s some movement but it’s on the margins.” 9 . this diversity applies to Booz Allen on a global scale. etc. you have someone in the office speaking another language. I’ve worked with other consulting firms. than does the commercial side of our business.” 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. education needs. They are really different business models.” Unlike at some other firms..No matter which side of Booz Allen you work on. insiders agree that diversity is what sets Booz Allen’s culture apart from that of other management consulting firms. The firm’s diversity of clients and expertise in both the private and public sectors have been driving factors in its stability. and this is the only one where I’ve really found this international exposure. “Everybody works in teams. skill needs.
Bain.” Booz Allen’s track record of serving both government and corporate clients is certainly its strongest differentiator. We work very hard to make sure that they understand the recommendations. we know that our clients are going to be able to execute well. and BCG. talented individuals who are very concerned about seeing other people be successful. and we work with them to make those recommendations happen.” says one insider. because we didn’t just hand them a recommendation—they created it with us. “which makes our culture different. Indeed.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. many insiders emphasize that its follow-through is one of Booz Allen’s most distinguishing characteristics. “That translates well into the client environment because we know that we work very hard to make not ourselves but our client look good.and private-sector clients. while its deep technology expertise puts it well ahead of companies like Accenture. A companywide rebranding effort was launched in 2001 to position Booz Allen as one firm serving both public. and it succeeded in alleviating to some degree that perception in the consulting marketplace. We’re willing to drop everything to go support a client. This combination of strategy and technology—which gives the firm the ability to help clients carry out its recommendations—is what Booz Allen insiders say its government and commercial clients have come to expect and rely on.” And it’s the culture within the firm that supports its ability to offer this brand of thorough support to clients. but as a result the company is sometimes viewed—by both insiders and outsiders—as two firms within a firm. along with McKinsey. “Our value proposition is different.” says another insider. “[We’re a] firm of very smart. So when we leave. 10 .
” says an insider.” a recruiter tells us. according to most insiders.” Another tells us. Booz Allen is the logical choice for companies that want to succeed in an area where the firm has earned top-dog status: working with the government. According to one insider.K. “When we crack a problem. across the firm for both commercial and government clients under what it calls “enterprise resilience. This trend is also evident abroad: “In Europe we have a growing public-sector business with some major clients in the U. The tighter linkage between our business units multiplies the firm’s power. “We’re seeing an increasing number of companies that want help developing a plan to do more work with the government. We sweat a lot of details to get a right answer. a government-side group that deals with issues surrounding homeland security for business. one of Booz Allen’s recent initiatives. In April 2004. and IT. every engagement would have people with those backgrounds.“Our government clients want the benefit of commercial best practices. operations. Beyond security.” 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. as another of Booz Allen’s competitive strengths. both quantitative and qualitative. the division remains distinct. Global Assurance.” The Firm 11 .” Still.” says one insider. while our corporate clients want the special expertise we’ve developed through our government work. “Every commercial engagement is staffed with industry experts and functional experts in strategy. Booz Allen does similar work. Every team brings the full power of Booz Allen to bear on every engagement.” Insiders see analysis. Even if it’s a corporate strategy job. became the global resilience natural team. we really crack it. “All consulting firms do the same kind of work. ”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. and German governments.
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.Industry Position The Firm In Consultants News’ June 2004 ranking of the “50 Largest Management Consulting Firms in the World. NH 03458 USA. up from number 16 in 2003.com. Peterborough. 12 . 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.ConsultingCentral. phone: 800-531-0007. Consultants News/Kennedy Information. 20 Largest Consulting Firms.” Booz Allen came in at number 12.
Booz Allen Hamilton Deloitte Boston Consulting Group Accenture Source: Based on a study by Universum. 13 . Booz Allen leapt 16 spots. 4/19/2004.Where MBAs Want to Work In 2004. Ann Harrington. from 26th to tenth. IBM Bain & Co. Consulting Firms that Ranked in the Top 50 Rank 1 4 7 10 11 13 27 Firm McKinsey & Co. who ranked the companies where they The Firm would most like to work. Fortune. The following ranking is a result of Universum’s 2004 survey of MBAs. in a ranking of employers most popular among MBAs. published in Fortune.
This lack of structure was evidently a little too much for Allen—he actually quit the firm twice over the years. Although Ed Booz gets top billing on the corporate letterhead.A Quick History Lesson The Firm Booz Allen Hamilton dates back to 1914. Booz was part entrepreneur. entered the business world. Army and businesses and conducting market surveys and statistical analyses. Booz’s approach was to begin by studying a company’s management. Thus the Booz. organization. In 1936. advising the U. when founder Ed Booz.S. During the early years. He worked almost exclusively on his own for 15 years. Allen was lured back to Booz for a second time in 1943 (this time as chairman). With this process. Fry. Booz Surveys was largely a firm of independent consultants who worked on their own under the Booz umbrella. he helped define the new industry of management consulting. together with newly hired Carl Hamilton. it seems that Mr. The firm’s early years were pretty tumultuous. After hiring George Fry in 1925. persuaded Jim that they were ready to develop a formal management structure and operate the firm as an ongoing business. 14 . a psychology and economics graduate from Northwestern University. and today’s Booz Allen Hamilton was born. and personnel. Allen & Hamilton partnership came into being. and part lone wolf. Edwin G. From the start. and by the early ’40s both Jim Allen and George Fry had bolted for greener pastures. Ed Booz and George Fry. part business advisor. Jim Allen is widely credited with building the firm into a consulting powerhouse by spearheading its growth and diversification. Ed Booz expanded his empire to a third employee in 1929: fellow Northwestern economics graduate Jim Allen.
and he assumed the chairmanship in October of that year.S. In April 1999. Booz Allen worked alongside the U.) One firm insider says. now the firm’s corporate headquarters as well as headquarters for its government business. Virginia. The tumultuous times continued well into the 1980s. Although many others vie for multimillion-dollar government consulting gigs. in which technology and the Internet were quickly changing the landscape of the industry. William Stasior took charge in 1991. a third of the partners had jumped ship.” The Firm 15 . WTB has continued to be one of the most successful businesses in the field. A poor showing in the stock market led to the repurchase of the company. The Booz Allen commercial-sector business is headquartered in New York City. The next year. the company moved to McLean. the new Booz Allen took on a significant amount of consulting work for the federal government during World War II. Department of Defense. The wave of change just overtook the company. and Booz Allen has been a privately held corporation ever since. Charlie Bowen. but he incorporated that well into the plan. To cope with the changing times. “Ralph Shrader has surfed well in chaotic times. By 1988. Awaiting him was a chaotic new consulting market.Besides working for commercial businesses. Ralph Shrader became the CEO of the company. which laid the groundwork for Booz Allen’s modern-day Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). The 1990s were much more prosperous for Booz Allen. when Michael McCullough put the already unstable firm through a vast restructuring of everything from industry focus to geographic areas. Booz Allen began to emphasize its technical savvy. 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. He wasn’t elected for that. splitting its business into separate government (WTB) and commercial (WCB) units. (During the early stages of government testing of the Internet.
The Firm 16 .In 2001. Today. Booz Allen has grown to more than 15.000 employees worldwide and is among the best-known strategy and technology consulting firms in the world. Booz Allen fared better than most firms thanks to the relative strength of its government business. and engagements with participants from both units are increasingly common. Booz Allen is successfully leveraging the strengths of its WTB and WCB units. However. Booz Allen was affected (like everyone else) by the bursting of the Internet bubble and a generally slumping economy.
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.and private-sector clients.” says a recruiter. The firm’s staffing model brings industry. “I think we lost some people [in the past] because we weren’t as flexible as we could be. and the larger. or framework. 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 has remained independent and privately held. The organization consists of two business units: the corporate consulting group.Organization of the Firm The Firm View from the Top In a world of mega-mergers. perspective. operations. Historically. and information technology specialists together to form cross- 17 . new commercial-sector hires had to align with a practice group (industry focus) right away. Though people within the firm are typically aligned with one side of the firm or the other. government-focused Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). 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. Booz Allen positions itself as one firm serving both government. strategy. That means the firm’s officers still call all the shots (and pull in the big bucks).
but we encourage folks to work across multiple types of industries and jobs. and 98 percent of the time. which for the most part “attracts graduates of the University of Chicago and Kellogg. across all areas of expertise within the firm. we ask candidates for their geographic preference. Early in your Booz Allen career.” The location you join becomes your home team. too. Commercial-sector recruiters tell us. “That way our clients get the best thinking from across the firm.” says one insider.” 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. recruits are encouraged to join the organization in the geographic location they desire.functional project teams. People 18 . see more competition for available positions than does Chicago. which attract people from across the United States. recruiters say that San Francisco and New York. but not Columbia. rather than just a narrower approach. “You can express interests and preferences. and we need to know what they’re thinking. For instance. you’ll work across industries and natural market teams. But we know we need X amount of people for the New York office. According to a principal at the firm. “Virtual teams are formed and disbanded as needed. “In every step of the recruiting process.” Some offices are more difficult to get hired into than others. The people who won’t get their choice are the people who change their minds six times in the process. they get it.
Booz Allen prefers to serve a smaller group of core clients. A typical commercial team may consist of the following: • One or two consultants • Four or five associates • Two or three senior associates • One or two principals • One partner But teams on some projects. It isn’t uncommon for the firm to simultaneously staff several teams working on different projects for a single client. and a return to your home-team location on Friday. I actually had a team of 13 clients 19 . “The structure is normally a principal running a project. clients themselves must be an integral part of the consulting process.” says an insider. The Firm wherever that might be. Early on. Those who prefer to travel less might want to join Booz Allen’s government consulting practice. Insiders report that people in some offices have less intense travel demands. and I only want to be a media guy’ —we look for people to be more rounded than that. Senior associates have teams of four to five that they run. Rather than spread its staff among hundreds of different clients. particularly those on the government side. D. and most of its clients are situated in and around nearby Washington. to deliver enduring results. It’s headquartered in McLean. may be substantially larger.come in the door and say. ‘I’m a media guy. And teams are often joint engagements that include consultants from both the government and commercial sectors.” The typical workweek means Monday through Thursday at the client’s location. In addition. “We most often work in teams. Virginia. which include Booz Allen associates mixed with client personnel.C. virtually all project teams include members of the client organization—in accordance with Booz Allen’s belief that. we encourage folks to get out and kind of kick around a bit.
they gave me resources and trusted me to do my job and gave lots of coaching and mentoring. as I would hope an associate or consultant would feel walking into my office. “Every path is customcrafted.” says a recruiter. and recruiters confirm that there is interest in promoting people more quickly. it might be a little more structured and hierarchical. “When I came here.” And a senior associate says. As a matter of fact.” 20 .” Another tells us.” Insiders say that promotions occur faster than they used to. and I’ll contact them out of the blue. At another. I would feel absolutely comfortable walking into a senior partner’s office here. I often get a quick e-mail back with a thorough explanation of their situation and some reference material. “I was promoted to senior associate last fall and all three of the people at my level were supportive. but still. “It’s a real meritocracy. and you cannot help but have contact and interaction.at one engagement. Very helpful. One Booz principal says. “I have never once felt like I am being taken less seriously or prohibited from doing my job because of my level. In reality. This isn’t the kind of place where people try to get credit for things they didn’t do. There was never any feeling of being second-class because I was junior to them. We each used the other as a sounding board. On the client site. I had two subteams. You get to show what you’re good at. there’s a lot of cooperation.” There are seven job titles at Booz Allen. each with a Booz Allen associate and two clients. and you get rewarded for it. I expected much more of a hierarchy. “There is no official time it takes to make partner. but job titles don’t seem to get in the way of a team effort to do quality work. Once I had proven my credibility with [upper management].” A WTB insider says. ranging from consultant (the entry point for undergrads) to senior vice president (known inside the firm as senior The Firm partner). you find yourself in a team room with all levels of people on either side of you. I often get referrals to others who may have had a similar business problem to the one on my project.
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. 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 .com American Express Blue Cross Blue Shield BMW Boeing Borden.
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 . Food and Drug Administration U. D. National Guard Washington. Inc..S.S.C. Standard & Poor’s TAG Heuer Turner Broadcasting United Airlines U.Lucent Technologies Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
Transportation Command More than half the soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm were taken to wrong locations and ill-facilitated hospitals. during war and peace times. Federal Transportation Authority After 9/11.S. and counterterrorism experts.S. Booz Allen helped the U. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assess the security of public-transit systems nationwide. the Booz Allen team “identified important concerns at even the most well prepared agencies. 23 . After the conflict. 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.S. TRANSCOM officials subsequently report that TRAC2ES has saved lives during recent encounters in Afghanistan and Iraq. the U. With a team that included security. catchily titled the Regulating and Command and Control (C2) Evacuation System (TRAC2ES). transportation. it was still not in operation.S.” U. Transportation Command realized that it needed to drastically overhaul its patienttracking procedures. Booz Allen developed and implemented a novel threat-andvulnerability-assessment tool in just 30 days—in time to secure Utah’s public transit for the Winter Olympics. According to the FTA. Five years after beginning work on a system. to address these issues.Typical Studies The Firm U.
the bank’s stock rose 23.5 percent. and land-use planning to help turn long-neglected buildings in Denver.S. To make the project work. secured funding. senior military commanders now rank Blue Force Tracking among the three most important new capabilities available to allied forces in Afghanistan. and according to Booz Allen. a prestigious award that acknowledges innovative projects that return unused or abandoned industrial and commercial sites to productive uses.” the system. but modernized its business model. 24 . one of the largest financial institutions in Southeast Asia. which is attached to existing satellite payloads. Booz Allen devised a way to use global positioning system technology to track battlefield movement in real time.Bangkok Bank In the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late ’90s. Booz Allen instituted a rapid “fix and build” program that not only restored The Firm and increased the bank’s profitability. into a thriving.5 percent compared to its main competitor’s 7. livable community space. Colorado. Among other strides: Between 2001 and early 2003. and convinced various military constituencies to accept the new system. is used to streamline vast operations and locate wounded soldiers. Booz Allen not only engineered the technology. Named “Space-Based Blue Force Tracking. Bangkok Bank. was on the brink of collapse. Innovative Approach to “Brownfield” Project Booz Allen used its expertise in outreach. This project won the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Phoenix Award. Space Command. Three months before its pilottest date. but also implemented organizational changes. Space-Based Blue Force Tracking Together with the U. Blue Force was put to use in Afghanistan. regulatory analysis. overhauling 500 branches and ultimately positioning it ahead of the competition.
but they also means there’s a good chance that you’ll see plenty of variety. you could find a better work/life balance on the government side of the firm.” And a government-side insider warned that recent “rapid growth is causing a significant amount of work. “I’ve worked on several strategy and operations projects in a number of industries. the multimonth mega-projects still exist. which 25 . They used to be 6 months to 1 year.” says one associate. and financial services.” Another insider says. multiyear contracts.What’s Hot The Firm Short and Sometimes Sweet Though the economy is still unreliable. Virginia. now we work 2. health care. “The assignments in the market are now a little shorter than before. But clients are looking to get more bang for their consulting buck.to 3-month assignments. WTB tends to work on longer. especially from the lows of 2001 and early 2002. 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. but well-defined 6. If you’re not sure you can hack the demanding lifestyle of a commercial consultant. in McLean. including energy. “In the 2 years I’ve been here. business is picking up in the consulting industry. So. we have to be faster and more flexible in staffing people. and many government-sector consultants are based in the federal government’s backyard. Of course. insiders report that engagements are generally shorter than they used to be.to 8-week engagements seem to be becoming increasingly common. and at least on the commercial side.
Even though my team has the same technical theme. the firm recognized a need for similar services in the commercial sector. We’ve also done war-gaming exercises. Cue “Enterprise Resilience. “I’ve gotten to work for a multitude of clients. If you come in hoping for that. on national security issues. 26 .” says one insider. and the security needs shared by both.” Booz Allen’s cross-firm initiative encompassing homeland security for the government sector.” However. We’ll help you handle the overflow. another insider adds. the Centers for Disease Control. my team’s skills.” The Firm Security Blanket Booz Allen has long worked for government agencies. It’s not just applying the same thing over and over. We did a bioterrorism war game involving the FDA. I’m not on the road every Monday through Thursday. One insider describes the type of work Enterprise Resilience teams have done: “If your computers all went through the World Trade Center. business resilience for its corporate clients. such as the CIA and NSA. then you will be quickly overcome. “because other teams come to us.” Says another. “Some of my WCB colleagues travel 80 percent of the time. “It’s not a place where you can hang out and be a slacker. Another adds.accounts for the key quality-of-life difference between WTB and WCB. “My clients are 10 miles away. and my service offerings fit different client needs. “I’ve done well at the firm by being able to adapt and figure out how my skills.” says one WTB insider. there’s a great diversity of work. which is a big deal for information-intensive industries such as banking and insurance. I travel maybe 40 percent of the time. we could help you figure out if you should build a redundant call center.” And there’s no indication that government-sector work isn’t every bit as interesting and challenging as that of its commercial-sector cousin. But after September 11.
Former President Bill Clinton is another high-profile participant in the project. My office takes that seriously. It’s a great opportunity. “One of our primary reasons for doing this. and Amigos de las Americas. a Booz Allen vice president who used to run the CIA.” James Woolsey.000 fans annually. and I think that’s kind of nice. In the first 23 years 27 . the United Negro College Fund. It was a 3-day game to model what would happen if smallpox broke out in a city like Detroit or Virginia Beach. and I’m not sure I’d be able to do it at any other firm. “This is my second pro bono project at Booz Allen. area. is one of The Firm the most prominent members of the firm working in this area. We’re trying to help people understand the scary world we live in. The event—formerly the Kemper Open. One insider working on a project for the Children’s Defense Fund says. It makes me feel good about my consulting work. “was to be able to give back to the Washington metro community.C. Christmas in April. and HMOs.” Another hot pro bono project is the Harlem Small Business Initiative. now the Booz Allen Classic—attracts more than 180. Feel-Good Consulting Booz Allen makes an effort to offer its consultants plenty of opportunities to do good deeds. In 2004.insurance companies. We have committed to donate at least $1 million every year to nonprofits in the D. “It’s a project that has been generating a lot of internal buzz.” an insider says. It’s worth noting that Booz Allen doesn’t limit itself to charitable involvement and pro bono projects with star power.” says one insider. D. which Booz Allen works on in collaboration with Columbia Business School and the National Black MBA Association. and we treat them just like any other client.C. its roster includes the Special Olympics. Booz Allen signed a 3-year agreement to take over title sponsorship of the PGA Tour event in Washington.
it raised only $8 million for charity.of the tournament.” says one insider. “Our brand has never been better. but we’re being more aggressive about getting our message out now. “We’re investing in our brand in ways that we never did before.” The Firm 28 . [Historically] we’ve been a little bit more discreet.” The PGA sponsorship also reflects the company’s current initiative to raise the profile of the Booz Allen brand. So this is a huge deal. most of which was not earmarked for charities in the local area.
On the Job • Consultants • Associates On the Job 29 .
but it’s unfortunate because it piles more work onto associates. We also look for people with business backgrounds who can do analysis. “The profile of the type of undergraduate we recruit for WTB varies. and the work they do is similar to that of associates. computer scientists—people who have information systems and telecommunications backgrounds. Undergraduates from leading colleges and universities are more likely to find opportunities on the government side of the firm. According to one recruiter.Consultants In 2004. especially those with electrical engineering and computer science degrees.” The move away from hiring consultants into the commercial side of the firm reflects corporate clients’ preference for having more senior people on projects. the general lack of consultants on projects has not gone unnoticed by associates (MBAs and other advanced-degree holders). That said. including the following: • Conduct industry research • Develop analytical approaches to solving business problems • Run computer models • Interview clients On the Job 30 . as one WTB insider explains. We look for technical people. “It’s a reflection of the market. a few consultants are still doing work within WCB. Booz Allen will be recruiting MBAs and others with advanced degrees into its commercial business almost exclusively. Undergraduates enter the firm with the title of consultant. because the person is very logical. there are always exceptions. However.” Though not common. “We tend to look for engineers.” says one. But I have somebody on my team who has a bachelor’s and a master’s in philosophy.
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 office. Leave voice mail for several communications. 11:15 Dial into Knowledge Online (KOL) system to uncover internal company resources on TV programming profitability. 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. and technology associates who reportedly have worked on similar studies.• Analyze data • Participate in group brainstorming sessions “” The environment here is more A Day in the Life of a Consultant collaborative than 8:30 Grab coffee and a scone on the way into the competitive. 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. Head out for dinner with rest of the team. More time on the spreadsheet. On the Job 31 . media. Start developing television show profitability model. how much profit a television show generates for the network: What costs will we include? What are the direct costs vs. term ‘teamwork’ is 8:45 Discuss how to structure our analysis of really lived here. Run down to accounting to pick up cost/revenue report before the accountants all head home. Tonight’s topic: Which slide will the partner want to change first? Home. Whoa! Plenty of new data to crunch! Day’s over.
It’s a very different business model. “As an associate.” Even relatively recent associate hires enjoy a great deal of responsibility on On the Job project teams. Then I tend to use the different levels of the firm as an apprenticeship program to help train them. We developed growth forecasts and looked at new markets. and ask the right questions in order to put it together and come up with sound results. it’s my job to gather data. follow up with clients to make sure I completely understand the data.” Associates are responsible for a number of different tasks. I train them how to be a management consultant. which vary depending on the type of engagement. There were four associates. 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 . Most of their time is spent working as a part of a project team. two senior associates. While working on a project. one associate reports that she “led a client team of about eight VPs and general managers. test that data and check the accuracy of it. 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. 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. but each associate was basically running his or her own work team.
offer recommendations to the officer in charge. Meet with the officer from operations for a project update and status report. Time to wrap it up for the day. “What about acquisition opportunities?” 11:30 Work with consultant to generate data on petroleum franchises in Australia. 10:30 Arrive at client site just in time for a meeting with client’s director of strategic planning.• Prepare presentations and write reports. He says the company once considered opening a retail franchise in Australia but decided against it—too pricey. 1:00 Back to the data collection project. On the Job 2:30 3:00 4:00 4:40 7:00 33 . He says I’m doing a fantastic job and perhaps there’s a project management opportunity in my future. My laptop just crashed—I hate the new version of Excel! Think I’ll cool off by taking a quick walk around the building. Yes! Consultant has gathered great data on the target franchise. Discover one franchise that looks interesting—several outlets. 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. My job: Focus on opportunities in Australia and Asia. Outline objectives for tomorrow’s meetings. Our job: Evaluate international retail-expansion opportunities. 12:30 Quick lunch break: sandwiches in the cafeteria with the rest of the team. I’m thinking. What’s behind this? Put a consultant on the case. present portions of presentations to senior management • Help manage client teams A Day in the Life of an Associate 7:30 Catch flight to Dallas for another week at everyone’s favorite oil-company client. or is it a dog? I can’t believe it. Work with consultant to reconstruct that beautiful model I lost in virtual spreadsheet land. but lower profitability than other chains.
Get onto the Stairmaster before the health club closes. Grab dinner at the hotel restaurant. call my boyfriend.8:00 8:30 9:30 Check in at the Four Seasons. and settle in for an early evening. On the Job 34 .
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
“but there’s the reality of consulting. “We say work/life balance is important.” The Workplace 39 . Says one. “Now that I’m more through Thursday. For example. [The firm] really values employees. I’m home Wednesdays and Fridays with the baby. in the next few days. I haven’t been at a 100 percent [work time] in the 3 years since my son was born. “The number-one thing I like about Booz Allen is the flexible work/life balance. but I won’t be able to get and then you’re looking at 12.to 14the other stuff done. and this is what I plan to achieve early flight.” She notes.” A senior associate on the government side says. “There are some legitimate reasons why that is not uniform across WTB. I’m overwhelmed. senior. that she works in an area that allows employees to manage the work/life balance. ‘This is what I can because you’re on an achieve tonight. maybe a night anymore. and I’ve built up a decent reputation. you’ve got to do classified work in the office. realize when they’re overloading you. It will provide company cars if you leave after dark and dinner allowances when you work late. ‘I will do this tonight. It becomes more manageable when little less on Monday you have the courage to say. But let me tell you. Not every team can do that. Booz Allen provides support. there are some teams that are not up to speed with that [work/life balance].[for work]. however. Can you you’re looking at a help me prioritize?’ The managers don’t always 10-hour day. given certain contract and classified requirements. I can say.” says an insider.” 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.’ because I won’t stay up all hour days.” Still. Friday. when the hours get intense.
who are very different.” In fact. in interviews with firm insiders.Culture Consultants throughout the firm stress that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single “Booz Allen type. It’s the first thing the senior managers look at when determining how to progress someone. Booz Allen instills a prevailing ethic that resonates clearly across the firm.” says one insider. closely followed by the firm—not the other way around. a government-side insider says. but have in common that they believe in the same values. it appears that at Booz Allen the only lack of diversity is in insiders’ opinions of their colleagues.” Yet another says. Another says. “The culture of WTB is centered around a set of core values that are explicitly stated on the first page of the [employee] manual. “The people are pretty diverse as far as interests and educational backgrounds are concerned.” 40 . and perspectives. It’s very much a values-based culture. you’re constantly amazed by where people are coming from and what they’ve done. but once you get to know the individuals. no matter what level. one could say that we have a culture where the individual comes first. “It’s very diverse and a little eclectic in the sense that we may all appear to be professionals and consultants upon first meeting. It’s not a platitude. “Booz Allen is a company made up of many individuals. People have dreams outside of consulting. Booz Allen Family Values The Workplace Within its diverse workforce. walks of life. Every single employee. is assessed on them every year.” says one insider. the word diversity is used with eerie frequency: “We have a very diverse bunch of people here—all kinds of backgrounds. “Based on that.” Similarly.” In fact.
Booz Allen exists as a relatively laid-back alternative to the BCGs and McKinseys of the consulting world. .” The Workplace In general. but you can’t be thin-skinned. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. It is competitive but not in a negative sense—more collegial.” says one insider. [instead. “I think Booz Allen’s culture is more down to earth and supportive than some firms. “I do not find any competition between my peers within the firm. “The atmosphere at Booz “” You have to be confident enough to dispassionately sit back and pick through something you’ve just said.” Says another. Allen is very challenging but also very friendly. so you have to be ready to contribute. People are always sharing knowledge and helping each other out. “The atmosphere is definitely a combination of intellectual competition and camaraderie. Another insider says that “You have to be comfortable with your ideas and confident enough to dispassionately sit back and pick through something you’ve just said. however knowledge is shared and there is a very familial atmosphere. People try to tear your idea apart. People try to tear your idea apart. “I feel that the people in my office really care about each other. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. The people are great to work with and all have very interesting and diverse backgrounds to share.” says one insider. .Competition and personality clashes might be expected at a firm staffed by so many individualists. . so you can’t be thin-skinned. 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. but insiders say that conflicts are rare.” 41 .” But laid-back and supportive doesn’t always mean warm and fuzzy. not the individual. You work with an intellectual set of people. The team needs to crack the case.
associates can conduct conversation that’s both professional and social. “There are people who are squatters and have their own offices. “Some partners and job managers are very outgoing.” Some offices. There’s a laptop on every desk and team rooms in every hallway. office structure varies depending on where you’re stationed. and I’ve made some lifelong friends here.” says an insider The Workplace assigned to the McLean. whereas others consist of virtual offices. First you share an office. “There is a fair amount of variation in the subcultures of different project teams. In some offices. have a combination of both types. There are five or six associates in large rooms so they can talk. sometimes called hoteling.” A New York insider says.” says an insider. “The people here are very funloving. Of course. Because of the cubicle setup. then the office has a window. with lots of team dinners and other fun interactions. and then you get a private office. “There’s a ranking system. I was just in with my team—a working session over lunch. “There are sets of cubicles for the associates [in the New York office]. your mileage may vary depending on the team you work on. Romans. Most of the doors are open. Virginia.” an insider says. like the London office. if you’re just stopping in. staffers have assigned spaces. headquarters. Everyone here is really smart.Friends. And there’s the bullpen. Coworkers? Most insiders with whom we talked emphasized the balance struck between fun and professionalism at their individual offices. But it’s a decent balance.” Likewise. and it’s nice being around people I can learn a lot from and who challenge me. The senior associates have their own offices.” 42 . “Then there’s a virtual office in a hub where you come in and get assigned a place to sit. Some are more in the ‘eat your spinach’ mode and head back to the hotel to do e-mail and room service. But I also like the fact that everyone here is extremely professional.
saying. but would I participate in it a lot more? That’s difficult to say. And more than one insider mentions marriages that were made not only in heaven. it’s a decent place to come in as an associate. Is there a super-robust after-hours environment? Probably less than I would like to see. but also on Booz Allen project teams. there’s a real inclination to go visit your other life and your friends outside of work. I think people are a little gun-shy and tend to invest a little less in work relationships. there’s definitely some of that.Another insider counters.” The Workplace 43 . which I think stems from the fact that we share offices and too much talking could be distracting. Do we do things socially as a work group? Absolutely.” According to one insider. As you get more senior. most folks have some strong personal relationships with a couple other folks in the office. “There isn’t a lot of chit-chat between employees. many insiders mention seasonal outings. Says one insider. though. so on a Friday or Saturday. but it’s difficult. and that’s a lot of the appeal. Cutbacks after 2001 and the recent hiring boom have both had some effect on employees’ relationships. but it’s a concern. “On the client site. In general. and other informal social opportunities. but coming out of the downturn. we have all these new people across the firm who don’t know Booz Allen. So this culture thing is hard. “We are growing so fast on the TB side.” Even so. “Social interaction outside of work really varies by level. happy hours.” A WTB insider says the recent increases in hiring on that side are being felt among staff. People are on the road. In terms of the office culture. I think it used to be considerably better a few years ago. there’s a lot of social interaction. Some offices schedule activities—like ice cream socials and citywide scavenger hunts—to get employees together. usually in their cohort. It’s not something I don’t like.
Booz Allen’s commitment to diversity was a significant factor in his decision to join the firm: “Since I’m African-American.” The firm actively recruits at minority conferences such as the National Black MBA and National Hispanic MBA conferences. and benefits. not as much Latino and AfricanAmerican. but we’re better than most of our clients.” 44 . staff development. though some insiders The Workplace report that the government side of the firm is more diverse than the commercial side. Once people get to the more senior point. We have a good mix of minorities and women up to the point of the senior associate position. firmwide diversity initiative in 1993 and appointed a director of diversity to oversee diversity recruiting. “It’s still largely Asian and Caucasian.” Still another insider says. We don’t have as many female partners as some of our competitors do. we haven’t been able to maintain that [level of diversity]. We’re certainly not representative of the general population at higher levels. and that was a big selling point. It meant they took diversity seriously. In 2001. “There probably aren’t enough minority and women in upper management. For at least one insider. [but] I don’t think it’s anything cultural. Minority hiring trends tend to differ from office to office. training. policies.” says an insider.Workplace Diversity Booz Allen began a formal. it meant a lot to me that Booz Allen had quite a few black partners. A WCB insider says. the firm rolled out a new paid internship program for college juniors and seniors who attend any of the United Negro College Fund’s 39 member colleges and universities. “I think minorities seems to do better [here] in general. retention.
the company has many employee groups that support diversity in the workplace. offering “encouragement and mentoring. Insiders report that women at Booz Allen generally support one another. including the African-American Forum. Nonexempt Employee Forum.” computer-based courses designed to strengthen employees’ diversity skills. German Diversity Task Force. Booz Allen also provides sexual harassment awareness training for employees.” Booz Allen’s Professional Development Diversity Series. “Our former CEO was a huge proponent of diversity. Disabilities Task Force. bisexual.Internally. The firm’s Women of Greater Washington along with other site-specific women’s forums addresses gender issues at the firm. and Sexual Orientation in the Workplace courses. African-American Professional Development. lesbian.” The firm is making diversity training mandatory for its officers and principals. our current CEO. is an employee-driven. 45 . and GLOBE Forum (for gay.” Diversity Training According to a Booz Allen recruiter. and brown-bag lunch sessions on topics such as “Interacting with People with Disabilities. open to all employees. Hispanic Forum. For all staff. and it really gives it a lot of weight. Latin American Professional Development. ESL Pilot Group. Booz Allen Hamilton Parents Network. as is Ralph Shrader. and transgendered employees). Hispanic Interest Group. firm-sponsored series of professional development workshops that includes the Women’s Professional Development. Blacks at Booz Allen. coming from the top like that. the firm offers courses in diversity such as “Working Effectively in a Diverse Organization” and “Managing in a Diverse Organization. and it offers a half-day course to teach The Workplace managers how to conduct interviews that are both probing and sensitive to diversity. Asia-Pacific–American Forum. Disability Forum. Junior Exempt Employee Forum. Asian American Professional Development.
D.C. which includes information about diversity at the firm and links to forums’ websites. the firm was among the top ten and ranked number one among consulting firms. Secretary of Labor Elaine L.) The Workplace • Employer of Choice (Minority Corporate Counsel Association. and resources for staff with disabilities and the people they work with. 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. 2003) In addition. and the National Disability and Business Council. Booz Allen has an annual awards ceremony to recognize employees who’ve made a significant professional contribution to enhancing the firm’s diversity. Chao. work for. provides training. Recognition Booz Allen’s commitment to attracting. or supervise. 2004) • New Freedom Initiative Award (U. hiring. information. Opportunities for Women In addition to being recognized for its commitment to diversity. five AfricanAmerican Booz Allen officers were profiled.S.The firm has a diversity intranet site. “We’re 46 . In the July 2002 issue of Consulting Magazine. Washington. Moreover. Its “Disability One-Stop” site. and retaining a diverse workforce has garnered the firm awards and acclaim from a number of corners. Booz Allen has been named to Working Mother’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for each of the last 5 years. in 2002 and 2003. Black Collegian magazine. Booz Allen has been recognized for its diversity initiatives by such organizations as the Human Rights Campaign.
at lot of diverse men. There are very few women partners. The firm should maybe give women more options. The lack of female partners to me is very discouraging. have been elected to the partnership level while working part-time. “” They’ve got the diversity thing down. another female insider says. company headquarters in McLean. Every year the firm also recognizes six of its female colleagues with the Women of Distinction Award. and employees nationwide. the firm opened the Booz Allen Family Center. and consulting is hard if you’re trying to start a family. women very discouraging. the firm extended its child-care benefits to There are very few women partners. but it happens to be a lot of diverse men. Virginia. sensitivity. In a few instances. “At my level [associate] and lower. The lack time and offers parental leave to both male and of female partners is female employees. One female insider says. selflessness. The firm sponsors a number of networking lunches and forums for female employees and a new Women’s Professional Development Course. I don’t think it’s bad at all for women. Some insiders think the firm could do a better job when it comes to promoting women. In September 2000. and balance.” However. but we have a long way to go.exceptionally proud of that. This is a colleaguenominated award that honors women who exemplify strong character and spirit. there The Workplace 47 . The firm should give women Booz Allen has allowed officers to work partmore options. In 2002. “They’ve got the diversity thing down. A ton more could be done on that point. including an all-day but it happens to be a kindergarten and extended-hours care. to provide child care.” says a recruiter. by partnering with two consulting is hard if child-care companies. Once you get to principal and partner. family. each with more than 620 you’re trying to start a locations across the United States.
” Indeed one senior associate says.” In summary: “There are probably never enough women represented in the firm. It’s not just Booz Allen. . “Women have a hard time staying around long enough to make it. That kind of arrangement is still rare for women.” The Workplace 48 . but I think having a trailing spouse may be necessary to make it and have kids in this kind of environment. Some part-time programs have been tried.” says one insider. and the women who are at the higher levels got to where they are without maintaining lifestyle balance—but you could say that about the men as well. but from what I have seen. This is harsh to say.aren’t that many role models. but they don’t seem to fare particularly well. and it crosses right though the primary child-bearing years for professional women. It’s a long slog of travel in the future of anyone aspiring to be a partner. For those that don’t elect to have children. . I think they do fine. we do a much better job in this area than our competitors. men. This is really getting down to society’s expectations for women vs. “Minorities are also never represented well enough. .
” says an insider.” says one. The price we pay for stability is lower salaries and not as boutique-y a kind of image. “WTB is a more classic corporate structure with long careers—people stay for 20 to 25 years. the FBI on a national holiday and they’re closed. they don’t work. though in our market in the federal sector. I cannot go in and work. “With the war for The Workplace 49 .. we are very much a top-drawer firm. etc. so starting salaries don’t vary a great deal from one firm to the next. On holidays. you’re going to be paid less. weekends.Compensation Consulting firms are in direct competition for top talent. There are differences. Sometimes we can’t access the clients after 5:00. If I am sent to. “It’s a trade-off. insiders report that the lifestyle differences are the very reason they find the salary gap acceptable. “If you want a job where you’re not working until midnight and traveling all the time.” Although the firm says its salary structures are based on market rates rather than on less quantifiable elements such as lifestyle.” WTB insiders. but as an insider tells us. between salaries on Booz Allen’s government and commercial business sides.” We expect salaries to rise across the industry for 2004–05. however. say. “There’s a lot of stability because there’s no forced up-or-out model. you’re compensated accordingly. 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. Those on the government side reportedly earn less because of differences in fee structure and the partner-to-staff team ratios. In some cases I cannot even work [off premises] and charge it to the project. however. If you want a fast pace. Booz Allen does not release specific salary information.
and signing bonuses vary widely if offered at all. and you’ll be eligible for paid parental leave. In addition to base pay.000. many employees are eligible for a year-end bonus based on the employee’s performance as well as the firm’s. paid personal leave to meet specified personal commitments. Compensation packages for undergrads start at around $60. we expect salaries to rise more quickly than they have since the dotcom bust. Relocation bonuses are based on need. ECAP has two parts: a 401(k) plan. in which staff can put up to 10 percent of salary. 50 . Booz Allen has a profit-sharing and savings plan called the employee capital accumulation plan (ECAP). In addition. and Booz Allen frequently offers tuition support to those who choose to get an MBA if they return to the firm after graduation. and profit sharing.” The government-sector positions pay less.talent heating up. Commercial consultants are also eligible for year-end bonuses. which pay on the high side. 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. and several other resources to help you achieve work/life The Workplace balance. you’ll get to choose from a selection of health plans. Summer internships at the MBA level pay a prorated amount based on the MBA starting salary. In the United States. compared to private-sector positions.7 percent of eligible compensation over the Social Security wage base (if applicable). Summer associates who return to the commercial sector after graduation from business school may be reimbursed for their second year of tuition.
’” Some of the company’s pro bono and charitable activities include work with the Special Olympics.” Booz Allen’s approach to pro bono and community work reflects the company culture. and there is recognition for it. The Workplace “There are constant opportunities to get involved. “It’s one of the things I like best about Booz Allen. “We get a lot of support from the partnership. doing pro bono work. I can help you be successful but I’m not going got get involved unless you ask me.” says one insider. This is saying. shelters. I’ll bend over backward for you. According to one insider who has helped renovate homes in Chicago. Booz Allen’s intranet site includes an area called Community Relations Online. more likely than not. “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. If you see a cause you want to get involved in. Staff members volunteer their time by working in various community service projects at schools. Booz Allen will back up an employee’s civic commitment with dollars or equipment and time allowances.Civic Involvement Booz Allen’s Community Relations program helps employees participate in a variety of activities and organizations. along with announcing contract awards and job openings. and nonprofit arts organizations. Toys for Tots. encourages participation in various community events. and I don’t want you to waste that. The Neediest Kids. 51 . Amigos de las Americas. ‘Look I see an opportunity for you be successful.” says an insider. which helps staff find volunteer opportunities and guides them through the process of securing the firm’s support for charities and organizations in which they are already involved. the firm is going to support it. If you ask me to help.” Insiders also tell us that Booz Allen has a weekly e-mail bulletin that. and participating in charity races.
incorporate professional expertise. or corporate citizenship demonstrate the firm’s core values. The firm sponsors its own Involvement and Impact Awards to honor Booz Allen individuals. Northern Virginia Family Services. titled “Finding a New Balance in a New World: Combining Ambition and Altruism. produce clear and measurable results. and generate substantial impact. and teams whose volunteer service.000 annually for the Children’s National Medical Center.” Booz Allen’s charitable efforts run the gamut from the type of strategizing the firm does for Fortune 500 companies to hands-on work such as rebuilding homes and clearing park trails. employee groups. to name just a few. Christmas in April. hundreds of Booz Allen volunteers help renovate houses for those in need. CEO Ralph Shrader spoke out on the importance of civic involvement in a speech at Yale.America’s Charities. This year’s awards came in six categories: • Individual volunteer service The Workplace • Individual leadership • Office or business unit volunteer service • Group collaboration volunteer service • Pro bono initiatives • Forum or affinity group volunteer service 52 . Each year. The firm also raises more than $50. and the Smithsonian Institution. In November 2001. leadership.
That means that once your vacation request is set up. no one has ever said that I couldn’t go.” New employees receive 2 to 5 weeks of vacation plus holidays (depending on the country). it often stunned them into silence. That’s also because I communicate my plans far in advance. Employees in European offices can expect more vacation time than those joining in the United States. In fact. it isn’t moved. but once I’ve made plans.” says an insider. I’ve never had to cancel a vacation. not even a 1-day delay. “The thought never occurred to me. 3 paid personal days.Vacation Booz Allen employees are encouraged to use vacation time. The Workplace 53 . “I usually try to plan my vacation for a time when my project workload is light. and 2 floating holidays that can be used at their discretion. 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 the 9 years I’ve been here.” Another insider says.
Booz Allen increased its investment in learning and development by nearly 12 percent.to 10-day orientations—taking place in training centers around the world—where they learn about Booz Allen’s heritage. Those from nontraditional backgrounds who join Booz Allen on the commercial side also go through a mini-MBA program.” 54 . fine-tune their leadership abilities. it puts all new hires through 7.Training Training magazine ranked Booz Allen fourth in its “Training Top 100 List” for 2004. You’re expected to carry your own weight. that “most of the training comes from just being on the project and working with the other team members. And with each promotion. Summer associates attend a 5-day orientation. employees go through a cohort class that’s designed The Workplace to help them develop their craft and analytical skills. so a lot of the learning comes from your day-to-day work. and enhance interpersonal communication. and approach to consulting. Many insiders agree. culture. individualized training in specialized areas. also giving it the “Best in Class” honor in the Professional Services Company category. While many companies cut their training budgets last year. Not only does the firm offer tuition assistance and pay for self-led. 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. and doors to offices are generally open. all WTB insiders sing praise for the support they receive.” One way or another. ‘Can I talk to you?’” says a senior associate. and employees are able to nominate themselves for upcoming projects. Staffing opportunities are posted on an intranet site. One way is through its mentorship program. Booz Allen helps employees find challenging assignments and avenues to develop their careers. but several insiders at Booz Allen spoke unusually highly of theirs. insiders say. though she also says that good guidance abounds: “We do it informally—through our assessments and through personal recommendations. “I personally have about ten people who come into my office and ask. 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. a WTB insider says that a formal mentoring program instituted in her office several years ago fizzled out. Booz Allen employees—from consultant through senior vice president—tend to be on a first-name basis. A recruiter confirms that the firm is interested in moving people up faster and points out that every path to partner is custom- The Workplace 55 .Career Path Booz Allen seeks to develop professionals who have knowledge and expertise that is broad as well as deep. However. Consultants. Senior associates select a market-facing team and build professional depth through specialization in an industry or function. are occurring more quickly than in the past. Promotions at Booz Allen are based on merit and. associates. Most consulting firms have some sort of mentoring program.
you’ll have the opportunity to play a role either in content leadership (which means you’ll sell projects and work closely with clients. There’s a sense of reality that at a certain time you either get promoted or move on. You can’t be a super communicator and a poor deliverer. but people who play to one area or another are recognized. So when you finally break down and ask for help.” As you rise through the Booz Allen ranks.” 56 . At early stages. I can only do that because I take enjoyment in seeing someone else be successful. you get help from all over the place: from partners down to the most junior people. “How quickly you progress is up to you.” This kind of support underscores the firm’s culture in general. “It’s different things at different levels. it’s about delivering the work. Booz Allen’s commercial side has an up-or-out policy. you must be promoted or asked to leave the The Workplace company.crafted. and that takes some of the uneasiness out of it. but everyone on your project—your mentors and your job managers—want you to succeed. an insider says. According to a senior associate. As for what gets you promoted. As you get more senior. then about managing the client and delivering the business. which means that at certain points in your career. There’s a minimum hurdle you have to surpass.” The typical path to partnership takes 6 to 8 years. 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). “I think there’s always going to be pressure around that. “This goes back to this whole idea of helping other people succeed. That also means that you have the same high-caliber people internally who want to help you be successful.” says a recruiter. it’s about managing the team. But I don’t think it’s anything that I can’t get around. An insider says. “Now you can drive as hard and as fast as you want. This flexibility allows people with different skill sets to find a place within the firm.
and computer science. the firm does hire from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. Most undergraduates join the firm in the government sector.com. 57 . and business administration. math. there is no up-or-out policy. Resumes for internship opportunities are accepted throughout the year and can be submitted online at www. In this program.boozallen. 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. Booz Allen helps a consultant find a position in a client company. and people can either move up or stay at the same level for years without any pressure to leave.On the government side. metropolitan area. This program seeks students with backgrounds in computer science. The Workplace If you like consulting. engineering. When the year is over. information systems. but want the experience of working on the client side without leaving Booz Allen. including engineering. where the consultant spends a year broadening his or her exposure to the client’s industry before business school. science. humanities. Booz Allen sponsors the consultant in business school (provided that he or she agrees to come back to work at Booz Allen). business.C. D. A good way to get a foot in the door before you graduate is via a Booz Allen internship. Opportunities for Undergraduates Although most of Booz Allen’s hires on the commercial side are MBAs.. Booz Allen’s government side has a technology and public management internship program with positions located throughout the Washington. but it also has opportunities for students pursuing degrees in the liberal arts and the hard sciences. economics. the firm offers the Third Year in Industry program.
Opportunities for MBAs New MBA hires start as associates on the commercial side of the firm. At the top of the pyramid lie the lofty positions of principal. Booz Allen recruiters return to campus in the fall to court second-year students. After 2 to 3 years. but employees who want one have a good chance of landing an international assignment. Once on board. vice president. 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. and senior vice president. New hires are typically staffed into offices within their home countries. 58 . they move up the ranks to senior associate. with representatives in more than 60 countries and offices on every continent except Antarctica. Insiders report that there’s a real upward pull for people who are ready and able to take on more responsibility. Typically. they’re eligible for the same promotions and other opportunities as Booz Allen staff hired directly out of school. first-year MBA candidates are recruited on campus beginning in January for the Booz Allen summer program. To fill out the balance of its full-time MBA class. where they manage projects. Many of those who participate in the summer program receive offers of full-time employment that they have 6 to 9 months to accept. Of course. this depends on your language skills and the market. Experienced industry professionals enter at different levels depending on their qualifications. International Opportunities Booz Allen has an impressive worldwide footprint.
you’ve pretty much got to be multilingual to build yourself a career. you’ll have a chance to lead the thinking. “There’s a lot of autonomy and responsibility on projects. “Everybody is very bright and the environment really pushes you.” Insider Scoop What Employees Really Like The Workplace Show Your Stuff “Meritocracy” seems to be a favorite word among insiders describing Booz Allen. and employees are impressed by its thoroughness.” Says yet another. According to one European recruiter.” The firm’s European hiring trends are shifting. “The Japanese market is totally different from Singapore. where everything’s pretty much done in English.” reports another insider. “You’re expected to put your ideas and perspectives in there. and we want to hear from new associates as much as from the partner.” The company’s 360-degree appraisal process is designed to reward excellence.One insider says. “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. Says one insider. In Europe. If you can do it. You have a lot of self-determination and a lot of responsibility. “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 . We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now.
“The people are a lot more diverse than I thought they would be. People do have MBAs. organization and change 60 . “The camaraderie is great.” says one. “The people are down-toearth. You need to be on top of things. “The people are really what keep me here. Unlike firms that offer only strategy consulting or others that specialize in operations or information technology. you can design your own career.’” A European insider says.at any level—you get empowered very early in the process. It’s fun. Once you demonstrate that you are on top of things.” 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. team-oriented. One insider says. after the first 6 months. but they have different life experiences before that. This is my fourth consulting firm and it’s the best place I’ve been. Booz Allen offers a full range of consulting services in six main areas: strategy. pragmatic. and smart—but no ‘brains on sticks.” Another insider says. You need to take responsibility for what you are doing.” 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. Many employees see this as a real plus.” It’s All About the People All of our insiders say that the people at Booz Allen are a major draw.” The Workplace Square Foundation Booz Allen employees point to the company’s broad consulting base as another big positive. A principal says. My concern was that everybody would have the standard engineering degree and then an MBA. “The people are talented and work well together. “I’ve had clients pull me aside and tell me they appreciate how diverse we are. that it relates more to their organization.
leadership. but you’ll remember that 20 percent well. That’s something people need to be honest about: Do you want to be traveling? Do you want to be working long hours? may be predictable over the course of a long project.” says one insider. like any firm. is subject to personalities. Not a lot. “I think that some people come into consulting and really aren’t ready for the commitment that it takes. According to one insider.” 61 . the travel demands are much less onerous. Booz Allen. “We really kick the tires on any strategy we propose. 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. pushpush-push. “Some partners bring a style that can be tiresome: micromanage. or arrogance. The Workplace Relations While most Booz Allen insiders celebrate the support and mentoring they receive. you can expect to spend a lot of time on the road. “In the areas where we’re strong. technology management. and global assurance. maybe 20 percent.” “” Watch Out! On the Road Again If you join the commercial side of Booz Allen. operations. especially if you have kids or someday want to!” On the government side of the business. information technology. 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. we build strong relationships with clients. many Booz Allen consultants spend lots of time away from home. According to one insider.
This is coming from someone whose personal weakness is quantitative analysis. Booz Allen may not be the place for you. If you’re not comfortable being selfmotivated and assertive about getting ahead. Another insider says. “If you have all the answers. you’re pretty much on your own.” If you’d rather spend your time dealing primarily with people issues.” Another insider tells us. but you can’t relay that message in a convincing manner. But keep in mind that Booz Allen isn’t looking for employees who are brilliant with data but bad with people. it’s useless to us and to the client. Playing on stereotypes. but there’s also a lot of self-direction. If you think you’re getting into consulting to get away from networking. but it is something I’d tell people to be aware of. well. you might be happier somewhere else. that’s definitely not the case. especially among partners.” Not to worry. “People have to be aggressive in managing their own careers. You can’t be a passive player and walk in the door and expect everything to work out perfectly for you.” Data-Heavy Though Booz Allen does its share of work on organizational and people issues. “A lot of one’s success at Booz Allen depends on the network and alliance that you can build for yourself. 62 . According to one insider.” says an insider.Looking Out for Number 1 Insiders say that once you finish your training (which one describes as “really quick”). and I’ve done just fine. one insider notes that the firm might be a better fit for those coming out of MIT’s business school than Harvard’s. adds this insider: “It doesn’t feel as yucky as it sounds. insiders acknowledge that the firm places a relatively heavy emphasis on The Workplace quantitative analysis. There is a whole mentoring program and a staffing group that take people in and ramp them up. “You should become really proficient with financial analysis and doing spreadsheets and modeling in order to get respect at this firm.
Getting Hired • The Recruiting Process • The Interviewer’s Checklist • Interviewing Tips • Grilling Your Interviewer Getting Hired 63 .
In some cases. Insiders we spoke to think this is an important opportunity to likewise help candidates decide whether Booz Allen is a good match for them. hiring is now up all around. Secondary to that is responding to the posting in the website. and recommendations for prospective hires.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 likes students to have as much contact as possible with the firm before the interview. associates will even call students and then meet with them to discuss their goals for the future.” which offers useful analytical frameworks.” 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 . case examples. An insider from global operations says. it helps to know someone.” says one commercial-side insider. As in most companies. things are looking up. The “Careers” section of Booz Allen’s website includes a document entitled “Interviewing Tips and Case Primer for Commercial Consulting Candidates. “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. “We’re increasing our MBA recruiting over last year. and according to several insiders on both sides of the firm. Booz Allen has been on campus recruiting every year since 2001. The firm has lately been quoted in various media as saying that its hiring projections are way up.
According to one recruiter. but you’re not likely to have done that in as stressful an environment as a case interview. I didn’t feel like they were trying to trick me. One insider says. and so on.) Getting Hired 65 . 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. Booz Allen relies on case interviews to test a candidate’s analytical abilities. Our cases are based on prior client work of the people doing the interview.” says one recent hire. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer. “Practice the case interview. “Where most people fail is that they do not prepare for the ‘fit’ part of the interview. Second and third rounds usually involve multiple. back-to-back interviews.” Remember. “It’s a critical part of the evaluation process. accepts responsibility. There was a logical flow.” (For a rigorous review of case questions. achievement in a career before attending business school and an intellectual track record in school. and then be able to talk about those in an interview and relate them to your resume.com.WetFeet. And if you don’t think ahead of time about the key things in your life that have helped make you successful. everyone Booz Allen is likely to interview is going to be smart and accomplished. Cultural fit also weighs heavily in candidate assessment. The company seeks people with a demonstrated record of “” We are looking for more than brains on a stick. We are also looking for leadership skills. We are also looking for leadership skills. “We are looking for more than brains on a stick.is being considered. check out WetFeet’s Ace Your Case series at www. You think that it should be easy to answer questions about yourself. During my case interview.” More than one recent hire we spoke to emphasized that the case interview is the best opportunity to stand out from the crowd. you’re not going to be able to answer the fit questions very well. deals with conflict.
business. I like to tell people to come prepared with three things that they’ve built and white papers. and we support that. Interpersonal skills and analytical thinking are probably the top two criteria.” Once you’re in. I want to make sure these people can write. Where the WTB side used to encourage only technical degrees.” says a recruiter. but we look for the best talent. Be sure to highlight any government. We like to have writing samples. and public policy degrees are likely to attract the most interest. Booz Allen will help you move ahead. A lot of them go back to school as part of their work with us. but we have to communicate that to our client. or defense industry internships on your resume as well. then obviously relevant experience.” Expect several rounds of interviews. “University recruiting is not a large percentage of the recruiting we do for the government business.” Insiders also emphasize that communication and writing skills are important.” 66 . We’re doing analytical work. the problems you encountered.Undergraduates Currently. Booz Allen is not actively recruiting undergraduates into its commercial-sector unit. national security.000 per year toward tuition. Undergraduates with engineering. but we still hire a large number of undergraduates. A typical interview question I’d ask of a college hire: Give me an example of a project you had. “We don’t look for a position per se. “We try to encourage folks to go to more of a state school. “The firm gives $5.” says one WTB recruiter. where they can take more classes [for that money].” an insider reports. Says one recruiter. “We do hire a lot of Getting Hired junior staff coming right out of school. “We look for a candidate. But according to one recruiting insider. computer science. and how you solved them. it now promotes the pursuit of MBAs for some of its employees. “We’re looking for someone who can communicate their thought processes. In an interview I try to probe their analytical thinking process.
” says one insider hired out of B-school. “People with high-level security clearances are extremely precious and few and far between. It can take up to 18 months to get a security clearance. “I was asked many case questions in my interviews. WTB seeks candidates with government experience. step by step. to arrive at a logical solution.MBAs The best way to get your foot in the door is to sign up for the on-campus interviewing program at your school. midcareer candidates must survive several rounds of interviews that include case questions. Like college hires. 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 know that interviewers derive many questions from cases they’ve been staffed on.” Says another.” Getting Hired 67 . 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. Contact the Booz Allen location of your choice.” Midcareer Candidates Booz Allen hires midcareer people from other consulting firms and from industry.
it wasn’t bad at all. I’ve done it. 68 . would I go crazy?” An insider elaborates: “You hear about that airport test. “If I were stuck at an airport with this candidate. His or her checklist will contain most of the following: • Drive (people who aren’t passionate about consulting usually fail) • Analytical skills (ability to analyze and assess data) • Teamwork (everything is done in teams) • Intellectual curiosity (Does this person get excited about solving problems?) • Communication skills (Can this person convey his or her ideas?) • Leadership (ability to get the most out of others) • Client skills (Can this person build effective client relationships?) • Poise (ability to remain cool under pressure) • Credibility (Does this person seem full of hot air?) • Interpersonal skills (see the “The Airport Test” below) The Airport Test What’s the airport test? The interviewer wonders.The Interviewer’s Checklist To give candidates a more consistent interviewing experience. Aside from it taking 12 hours to get from Detroit Getting Hired to New York.” This is to say that whoever hired this insider’s traveling companion found somebody who was enjoyable company for those 12 hours. Booz Allen designates a specific person to coordinate each campus recruiting effort.
Booz Allen won’t necessarily be looking for the right answer as much as for evidence of how you think. and analyze. 2. Consultants really get turned on by coming up with excellent solutions to difficult business problems. can’t explain why they want to work for Booz Allen.g. It’s not a list of how you actually did those things. (Then again. Know your resume. “If you can quantify things. 100. slouch in their chairs. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the intellectual side of consulting. Booz Allen recruiters tell us that candidates often earn dings long before the case arrives. Practice case questions if you’re applying to Booz Allen’s commercial business. 1. I see people giving their gut answers right away. you may just convince them that you’re nuts!) 4. break it apart.” says one insider. 3. If you can talk convincingly about how that will turn you on. You should take a problem. One tip from our experts: If you get a question that requires discussing numbers.Interviewing Tips 1. you may convince your interviewers that you’re Booz Allen material.. 10.000. Your interviewer will also want to see that you’re comfortable with numbers.” 5. Take the time to structure your response. Many don’t know what’s on their resumes. be sure to pick those that are easy to handle (e. So if you sit down for an hour with your resume Getting Hired 69 . that’s great. “But it’s all a list of actions and results. 250 million). “Your resume is supposed to be a list of the most important things you’ve done on one page. “A lot of the time.” a commercial-side recruiter tells us. and otherwise project a low-energy demeanor.
Know the difference between WCB and WTB. Insiders tell us that the firm’s name is often shortened to omit Hamilton but that Booz by itself is too informal and should be avoided in an interview.” 7. How did I actually get this stuff done? How did I handle people and pitfalls that came along the way. Getting Hired 70 .” 6. etc. cowboy. the Worldwide Commercial Business serves commercial clients. Basically. It’s also a bad idea to refer to the firm as “BAH.. you’ll be much better prepared to answer any question that anyone asks you about yourself.and think. That’s Booz Allen to you. whereas the Worldwide Technology Business serves government and institutional clients.
The “Rare” questions are meant to be boring and innocuous. In the meantime. 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 . while the “Well Done” ones will help you put the fire to your interviewer’s feet.Grilling Your Interviewer This is your chance to turn the tables and find out what you want to know about Booz Allen. the samples below should get you started. • What’s the turnover rate at Booz Allen? • How easy or difficult is it to transfer between offices? Getting Hired • If assigned to the government sector. 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. We strongly encourage you to spend time preparing questions of your own.
how does Booz Allen maintain a consistent culture and sense of community? • As a collection of individuals. do you think there is any downside to that approach? Getting Hired 72 . Do you find that to be true? If so. how well do Booz Allen professionals function on teams? • How many female and minority VPs does Booz Allen have? • What is Booz Allen doing to move ahead of its top-tier consulting competitors. 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.• 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. and what wrinkles remain to be ironed out? • Booz Allen has a reputation for developing numbers-driven solutions.
For Your Reference For Your Reference • Consulting-Speak • Recommended Reading • For Further Study • Other Sources of Information • Key People and Places 73 .
creating four different sectors. BHAG. Porras.” this is a favorite consulting tool used to analyze a number of items along two dimensions. Beware: Unauthorized use of these terms has been known to seriously offend every known species of consultant. we’ve asked our insiders to give us the most up-to-date consulting jargon. 74 . Built to Last. More loosely. Here’s another standard-issue item from the consulting toolbox. This buzzword comes from the book Built to Last (see next entry). Benchmark. not just a few years. For example. in which they destroy the myth that the core product is more important than the vision the company espouses. Collins and Jerry I. A book written by James C. Benchmarks are levels of performance or output against which you can evaluate the performance of something else.For Your Reference Consulting-Speak To help prepare you for both your interviews and a possible career in the field. a software firm might hire a consulting firm to do a benchmark study on how much other firms are spending on customer service. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to produce one of these during your interview. it refers to those firms that want to be around for many decades or centuries. The term now enjoys widespread usage as describing a company with a strong culture based on a core ideology or identity. A benchmark study is an analysis of the performance of a number of companies along specified dimensions. Pronounced “two by two. It’s basically a graph with X and Y axes that cross in the middle. Big Hairy Audacious Goal. 2x2.
Here’s a $5 buzzword that sounds like it’s making things clear. Communication technology that helps companies manage customer information.) “Business design is about what you do. your interviewer will give you a set of facts and ask you a question to analyze how you structure a problem. 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 PDA. how you gear up the troops. wireless.For Your Reference Business design. Convergence. Customer relationship management (CRM).” Case interview. your product. the telephone. it’s not about growing your top line. computers. wireline. The top line is sales. Consulting services in telecommunications (cable. as in. It’s your channel. such as. “How many dimes are currently in circulation?. how you execute your offering. and Colombo yogurts came to life. and ultimately come up with a solution. “If Dannon. and media—or “converging” industries. it’s about growing your bottom line. Core competencies. Case questions can be numerical.” They could also just be wacky.” or business-related.” (The bottom line is profit. and Internet). what kind of people would they be?” Change management. as in. The thinking is that the Internet. Here’s a consultant’s definition: “For a company. In a case interview. the TV. think it through. and the PC will someday all become one. when really it’s just muddying up an already fuzzy concept. “Suppose a client asked you to figure out why his business is experiencing an unusual decline in sales and a severe cash flow problem. Yoplait. It has everything to do with whom you hire and what they do. 75 .
” Or it can be something more MBA-ish. Engagement/project/study/case/job. Basically. Consultants love frameworks. for instance. 25 or 30 employees to more than 500 and going public. say. Growth involved taking a small private start-up from. the more analytical you’ll sound. Interviewers often note which term you use— just to see whether you’ve read the company literature. and the more you use them (up to a point). that’s your deliverable. a framework is any kind of structure you can use to look at a problem. Growth. A popular consulting project during the ’90s. The product or solution you give (deliver) to the client. most firms shifted their focus from reengineering—which often meant downsizing—to growth. As a result. An IT solution to streamline operations by connecting all parts of a business electronically—including HR. all of the firms talk about how they work with clients to make sure that their expensive analyses and recommendations are actually implemented. These days. Deliverables typically come with dates (when you will deliver). It can be as simple as. Enterprise resource planning (ERP). nobody admits to doing just pure strategy work. If you promise an analysis of shipping costs. These are all different ways in which the firms refer to a specific project. From 1997–98 to around 2000. and inventory.For Your Reference Deliverable. Framework. Using the wrong word is not an automatic ding. like Porter’s Five Forces. 76 . “The company’s problems stem from both internal and external factors. billing. ERP spurred doubledigit annual growth for firms. but you’ll impress your interviewer if you get it right. Implementation. 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.
The client’s top management team would assemble in a boardroom. it’s still a popular drill at most firms. which their investors like. Although the standard overhead slideshow is now considered a bit sterile. and data processing. payroll management. To reduce overhead expenses. Operations. this refers to any period of time during which you aren’t staffed to a project. Outsourcing. public firms are turning to these services because they create stable revenue flows. the presentation was the means by which a consulting firm shared all of its insights and recommendations with a client company. marketing communications. Although you won’t necessarily see any sunshine here. Presentation. Billing based on performance. and a partner or case team manager would spin through dozens of overhead slides displaying all of the analysis his or her firm had completed. pay your bills. 77 . this just means that they help clients run their businesses better. so there’s a chance you’ll be able to leave the office early. Pay-for-performance. In consulting. In a manufacturing company.For Your Reference On the beach. do your laundry. At the simplest level. rather than strictly on hours. Popular candidates for outsourcing include accounting services. you also won’t have to be any place in particular. and maybe even see your honey. this includes the buying and processing of raw materials as well as the sale and distribution of the final products. In the traditional consulting project. lots of companies are turning to outsiders to provide many of the functions and services traditionally done inhouse. Many consulting firms do a big business providing operations advice. Operations refers to all of the day-to-day tasks associated with the running of a company. Increasingly.
At best. A money-making opportunity in an area you aren’t set up to make money in. proprietary and not. White-space opportunity. Value chain analysis. from the gathering of raw materials needed to make the product to the delivery of the final product to the customer. An analysis of all of the processes that go into a product. you’re moving in the right direction. If you’re heading true north. a reengineering project was supposed to involve a complete rethinking of a company’s operations from ground zero. Means you could be hanging out with the clerks at Kinko’s. and they engage lots of consulting firms to help them do it. Think of it as an unbridged gap between what you do and what others do. True north. Sexy terms for an office setup in which nobody has a personal desk or office. The place you want to get to. or an untapped source of growth. Virtual office/hoteling.For Your Reference Reengineering. In its purest sense. There are all manner of ways. to analyze shareholder value. Shareholder value analysis. each stage adds value to the product. The goal of many companies is to enhance their value to shareholders. Reengineering lost its cachet in the mid-’90s. 78 .
and public-sector business capabilities thereby making it stronger and more successful overall. Food and Drug Administration 79 .C.C.” Source: Neil Irwin.S. Part of the summary includes the news that Booz Allen hired 1. Shrader as saying. “This year.-area job market.For Your Reference Recommended Reading “D. Region Job Market Has Look of a Boom” Last year.350 more people than it had originally planned last year. 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. Washington Post. illustrating how Booz Allen’s work with the U. 5/16/04.” 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. which he calls “a major player” for Booz Allen today. Interview with Ralph Shrader In this interview. It also describes Booz Allen as being “on a hiring binge.600 jobs were added to the D. in support of the firm’s effort to apply private-sector technological solutions to government issues. we’re back in the hiring business big time. according to this article. as an example.” He also describes how the firm is able to cross-pollinate its private.” and quotes CEO Ralph W. which credits that boom in part to government spending. saying. Booz Allen CEO Ralph Shrader discusses the recent upswing in hiring on both the government and commercial sides of the firm. 60.” and “We hired close to 3. It focuses on Booz Allen. “This year everyone is starting to feel good again. but the short-term prognosis is generally upbeat. He uses the health-care industry.
“Why an MBA May Not Be Worth It” The article subhead reads “One reader says he used his MBA to line his African gray parrot’s birdcage. the article contends. according to extensive research by the firms themselves. She goes on to outline a scholarly paper. between this and last year’s similar findings. Source: Consulting Magazine. As an advice columnist for Fortune. “Half of Consultants Aren’t Happy With Their Jobs” This article discusses the results of a 2003 Consulting Magazine poll. which found that “of 5. on average.” and includes the current glut of MBA degrees in a stagnant market as one of the reasons MBAs aren’t getting jobs. July/August 2004. Those folks (most of whom had only undergraduate liberal arts degrees) got. Fortune. “There is little evidence that mastery of the knowledge acquired in business schools enhances people’s careers. Source: Anne Fisher.For Your Reference makes it better able to assist pharmaceutical companies seeking to bring new products to market. The paper says. that highlights the inefficacy of the modern MBA. 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.457 consultants from 50 of the profession’s 75 largest firms. Anne Fisher says she’s been hearing a lot lately from disgruntled MBA-holders who can’t get work. 6/14/04. is that as the 80 . recently written by two business school professors.” The implication follows from there.” The difference. they did their jobs just as well as or even better than their MBA peers. 3 weeks of on-thejob training—after which. 47% consider their firms’ morale to be no better than neutral.” 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.
3/29/04. who says. 81 . and compare the responses among individuals. et al. figure decision making at the company is a tortuous process.” 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. Source: Consultants News.” Aside from offering good advice for jobseekers. “Culture Club” “I got my best information by arriving early and speaking to the receptionist. Does the company bring in people from eclectic backgrounds? That says a lot about what you’re likely to find at the firm.” and “Ask the interviewer or the company representative about her own background. the Booz Allen source lends insight into what is particularly valued at his firm.. “If you have 10 interviews [for the same job] in three months. November 2003.” underscoring that Booz Allen and its employees fared the tough times relatively well with work/life standards mostly intact.For Your Reference economy recovers and industry begins hiring again. many consultants who are dissatsified with long hours and diminishing returns are now leaving the profession. The article includes tips from a Booz Allen representative. The accompanying Consulting Magazine survey ranks Booz Allen at number six (down from the previous year’s number three but still firmly in the top ten) among the “Best Consultancies to Work For. Source: Karen Hube. Wall Street Journal.
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.
boozallen. chairman and CEO Dennis Doughty. 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.com.S.For Your Reference Key People and Places Key People Ralph Shrader. president. president. 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 . Worldwide Technology Business Dan Lewis. Worldwide Commercial Business Horacio Rozanski. U.
go to www.com. 86 . D.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.C. International Offices For a complete listing of Booz Allen locations around the world.
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 .
Careers in Information Technology Careers in Investment Banking Careers in Management Consulting Careers in Manufacturing Careers in Marketing & Market Research Careers in Nonprofits & Government Careers in Real Estate Careers in Supply Chain Management Careers in Venture Capital Consulting for PhDs.P. Morgan Chase & Company Lehman Brothers McKinsey & Company Merrill Lynch Morgan Stanley 25 Top Consulting Firms Top 20 Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Firms Top 25 Financial Services Firm . Doctors & Lawyers Industries & Careers for MBAs Industries & Careers for Undergrads COMPANY GUIDES Accenture Bain & Company Boston Consulting Group Booz Allen Hamilton Citigroup’s Corporate & Investment Bank Credit Suisse First Boston Deloitte Consulting Goldman Sachs Group J.
the successful mail-order company. we needed products like the WetFeet Insider Guides to help us through the research and interviewing game. share a passion about the job-search process and a commitment to delivering the highest quality products and customer service. WetFeet’s services include two award-winning websites (WetFeet. such as the annual WetFeet Student Recruitment Survey. avoid illfated career decisions. but entrepreneurs make boots. who come from diverse backgrounds. So we started writing. and our exclusive research studies.L. consulting services. one day. WetFeet serves more than a million job candidates each month by helping them nail their interviews. Today. Web-based recruiting technologies. we do the work for you and present our results in an informative. and very literally. and add thousands of dollars to their compensation packages. In addition. WetFeet was founded in 1994 by Stanford MBAs Gary Alpert and Steve Pollock. credible. At WetFeet. Bean. he decided to make a better hunting shoe. Bean. And L. “So. Leon Leonwood Bean got his start because he quite simply. . And he did. The lesson we took from the Bean case? Lots of people get wet feet. his shoes leaked. and manage their careers. and entertaining way. Our team members. While exploring our next career moves.com and InternshipPrograms. and he returned with soaked feet.com). Think of us as your own private research company whose primary mission is to assist you in making more informed career decisions. WetFeet Insider Guides provide you with inside information for a successful job search. . And he told his friends. and they lined up to buy their own pairs of Bean boots.Who We Are WetFeet is the trusted destination for job seekers to research companies and industries. The quality of our work and knowledge of the job-seeking world have also allowed us to develop an extensive corporate and university membership. all because a man who had wet feet decided to make boots. . 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. was born .L. Every time he went hunting in the Maine woods. But they didn’t exist. the company. About Our Name One of the most frequent questions we receive is. And that’s exactly what we’re doing at WetFeet. So. had a case of wet feet.
Careers/Job Search Prestigious. innovative. hours. • About typical responsibilities and day-to-day life for analysts and consultants. but also fulfilling. and diverse.com . combining management strategy with technological expertise.WetFeet. 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. • What employees love most and like least about working at Booz Allen. compensation. including the lifestyle. www. If you think you’re ready to take on challenging assignments. from top to bottom. and training. • What the recruiting process entails. culture. The firm’s long-term commitment to its clients keeps the work not only interesting. and tips from Booz Allen insiders for acing the interview. Turn to this WetFeet Insider Guide to learn • How Booz Allen has fared in the challenging economy of recent years. Booz Allen may be the place to be. • About the workplace at Booz Allen. Booz Allen is among the most respected consulting firms in the industry and a top choice for recent graduates and MBAs. • How the firm is organized. what recruiters are looking for. WetFeet has earned a strong reputation among college graduates and career professionals for its series of highly credible. as well as their colleagues’ distinct backgrounds and personalities. no-holds-barred Insider Guides. travel. Insiders consistently laud the firm’s open. supportive culture and commitment to employee development.