This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
WetFeet Insider Guide
The WetFeet Research Methodology
You hold in your hands a copy of the best-quality research available for job seekers. We have designed this Insider Guide to save you time doing your job research and to provide highly accurate information written precisely for the needs of the job-seeking public. (We also hope that you’ll enjoy reading it, because, believe it or not, the job search doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck.) Each WetFeet Insider Guide represents hundreds of hours of careful research and writing. We start with a review of the public information available. (Our writers are also experts in reading between the lines.) We augment this information with dozens of in-depth interviews of people who actually work for each company or industry we cover. And, although we keep the identity of the rank-and-file employees anonymous to encourage candor, we also interview the company’s recruiting staff extensively, to make sure that we give you, the reader, accurate information about recruiting, process, compensation, hiring targets, and so on. (WetFeet retains all editorial control of the product.) We also regularly survey our members and customers to learn about their experiences in the recruiting process. Finally, each Insider Guide goes through an editorial review and fact-checking process to make sure that the information and writing live up to our exacting standards before it goes out the door. Are we perfect? No—but we do believe that you’ll find our content to be the highest-quality content of its type available on the Web or in print. (Please see our guarantee below.) We also are eager to hear about your experiences on the recruiting front and your feedback (both positive and negative) about our products and our process. Thank you for your interest.
The WetFeet Guarantee
You’ve got enough to worry about with your job search. So, if you don’t like this Insider Guide, send it back within 30 days of purchase and we’ll refund your money. Contact us at 1-800-926-4JOB or www.wetfeet.com/about/contactus.asp.
Booz Allen Hamilton
Helping you make smarter career decisions.
It may not be reproduced. .WetFeet. distributed. No copying in any form is permitted. stored in a retrieval system.com Booz Allen Hamilton ISBN: 1-58207-461-5 Photocopying Is Prohibited Copyright 2004 WetFeet. in part or in whole. This publication is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. Inc. Inc. or transmitted in any form or by any means. CA 94105 Phone: (415) 284-7900 or 1-800-926-4JOB Fax: (415) 284-7910 Website: www. 609 Mission Street Suite 400 San Francisco. without the express written permission of WetFeet. Inc.WetFeet. All rights reserved.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Industry Position . . . 14 Organization of the Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Table of Contents Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Workplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Typical Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Recent Client List. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Lifestyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 What’s Hot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Competitive Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Workplace Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Quick History Lesson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 On the Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . 54 Career Path. . . . . . . . . 79 For Further Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 The Recruiting Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Interviewing Tips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Insider Scoop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Training . . 73 Consulting-Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Vacation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Grilling Your Interviewer. . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Key People and Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Other Sources of Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 For Your Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Civic Involvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 . . . 59 Getting Hired. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The Interviewer’s Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Recommended Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
organizations/leadership.At a Glance Booz Allen Hamilton at a Glance Headquarters 8283 Greensboro Drive McLean. put a framework around it.. and come up with something realistic.boozallen.. significant IT capabilities • Reputation for developing workable solutions based on very thorough analysis • Serves both government and corporate clients • Strong reputation in strategy. For Booz Allen there is not one type of case. McKinsey & Co. The Boston Consulting Group.com Primary Competitors Accenture. operations. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now. be prepared for a case interview.” “It tends to impress interviewers when you have detailed questions about particular areas or activities of the firm. SAIC Key Differentiating Factors • Part of the management consulting old guard • Combines strategic consulting with implementation. However do not try to puff yourself up too much. Bain & Co. and information technology • Global presence with experience in 20 industries In the Recruiter’s Words “First of all.” 1 . We’re looking for your ability to think. your bluff might very well be called. VA 22102 Phone: 703-902-5000 Fax: 703-902-3333 www. to take different information.” “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe.
but that’s not the case at all. If not. I’ll get that internally when the client CEO calls the partner and says. I was pleasantly surprised by how much cooperation there really is. and other things such as creativity and business sense. interests.” “There’s nothing better than when the [client team] gets the accolades at the end of an engagement. I think a lot of it just has to do with the fact that if a team is successful in their work. If interviewing with the commercial side of the firm. we also look for people who have good functional expertise.’ My partner will know that I did that. So there’s little reward in anything less than a cooperative outlook. during a previous work experience. they all look good. These are usually based on an actual client engagement on which the interviewer has worked. you’ll be asked to discuss in detail some aspect of your work experience. You have to find the motivation to do it yourself. we want to be able to bring not only the big ideas. What Insiders Say “In contrast to our competitors. or in the course of your education.” “We want someone who can think logically. we look for not only strong generalists.” “Coming into consulting from industry. I think that’s very different from some of the other firms. who is responsible and a self-starter. I don’t need that recognition. validated assumptions. • Your interviewer will be looking for what sets you apart. You may be asked to describe a particular assignment or discuss an industry or current trend.” 2 . no one is going to make sure that you show up.” In the Interview • Typically. but also the ability to make things happen. I was worried that ‘up-or-out’ would drive a lot of negative behaviors. no one really looks good. or resume. you’ll also be asked one or more case questions.” “You have to be very self-motivated: No one is going to tell you what to do.” “When we recruit.At a Glance “We look for good structure. no one is going to hold your hand. ‘Your team did a great job. Think about ways you’ve demonstrated your ability to meet a unique challenge—whether through your involvement in sports.
At a Glance “We tend to hire overachiever types [into the World Technology Business unit]. they become senior associates and begin to manage projects.000+ 13. They’re into it. everyone has a very different perspective and background. Revenue 2004 revenue: $2.7 percent Personnel Highlights Consulting professionals. ambitious. enter as associates.7 billion 1-year growth rate: 22. who make up the majority of commercial-sector hires. But on top of that.000+ 400 250 300 3 .” The Career Ladder • Undergraduates enter the government side of the firm as consultants. • MBAs. the commercial side of the firm hires few undergraduates. After 2 to 3 years. Booz Allen does not release hiring projections. The firm also recruits PhDs and other non-MBA advanced-degree holders. You bring such different perspectives and points of view to a problem that you really produce a superior answer. Promotion to principal is the final step before being elected an officer (informally known as “partner”) of the firm. 2004 Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates.” “Everyone is very bright. currently. 2004 Worldwide United States New hires. It’s not uncommon to see cars there on the weekend. 2004–05 Undergraduate MBA MBA summer hires. Most non-MBAs enter Booz Allen at the associate level. and driven—very high-caliber players. People seem to really like their work. too. 15. And I’ve felt that. • Booz Allen actively recruits experienced hires on both the government and commercial sides of the firm.
000 (can vary) depends on need $40.At a Glance Compensation. 2003–04 Undergraduate Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus MBA Hires Starting salary Signing bonus Relocation bonus $100. Booz Allen does not release salary information. Salaries for individuals working in the firm’s government-sector business tend to be lower than salaries for those in the commercial-sector business.000 $15.000 n/a depends on need Note: All figures are WetFeet estimates. 4 .000–65.
The Firm • Overview • Competitive Strategy • Industry Position • A Quick History Lesson • Organization of the Firm • Recent Client List • Typical Studies • What’s Hot The Firm 5 .
but also by sticking around to help clients carry out the changes it prescribes. I believe that for the fore- 6 . The firm stands out not only by helping devise strategy. so much so that it has enabled the company to expand its commercial offerings. “We recognize where we are different and we know where we are the same. As it is. or GO Team. CEO Ralph Shrader recently told Consulting Magazine. Booz Allen comprises two business units: the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB) and the considerably larger Worldwide Technology Business (WTB).Overview The Firm Founded in 1914 by Ed Booz. and BCG. 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. With more than 100 offices on six continents and 15. who was later joined by Jim Allen and Carl Hamilton. WCB traditionally caters to Fortune 1000 corporations. firmwide infrastructure. Bain. whereas WTB works with government and other public-sector organizations. the firm has endeavored to create a single. consultants work in the trenches and see their recommendations put into action. which is responsible for the worldwide organization of the entire firm. In recent years.000—is thriving. competing with strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey. Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the most highly regarded firms in the management consulting industry. It focuses on long-term client relationships. including the institution of the Global Operation Team.000-plus employees. WTB’s large-scale implementation projects have made it more comparable to consulting firms like Accenture and government-consulting powerhouse SAIC. it’s also one of the largest. Booz Allen’s government business—which employs nearly 12.
is picking up. but there is a lot more in common than we ever gave ourselves credit for. Our economics are fantastic right now. the WTB grew much faster. On the commercial side. While WCB was going down a bit. Booz encourages you to follow your passion. “Public-sector business on the commercial side. there will always be a need for distinctiveness between certain segments of our business. “As a specialty. Booz Allen seems to be entering a time of growth and optimism. The opportunities are quite good.seeable future.” Another European insider agrees.” Health-care consulting is also on the rise. According to the October 2003 issue of Consultants News. firms that cater to the health care industry are in good standing. health-care consulting has plenty of job security and growth potential.” says an 8-year veteran. According to one insider. which ensures some solid ground for the firm even during volatile economic times. No matter how the economy is doing. “WTB has been doing very well during the downturn. The Firm Following the consulting slump that hit the industry hard in 2001. and project teams are staffed from across the firm’s organizational 7 .” “” Everybody works in teams. which is mostly consulting to ministries in Europe. or home team. “Of the years I’ve been here. I’ve never felt stifled. better than the last couple of years. but your individuality is encouraged. Booz Allen’s work with government agencies that regulate health care have placed at in the forefront of this market.” 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. there is always demand for health-care products and services. “we had one of our best years in terms of profitability last year.” As a result. Booz Allen is organized around industry and functional “natural market” teams. Staff members are hired into a geographical location.
This sector. the more leash you will be given. since we use the ‘no walls’ concept. and the job manager is in charge of developing a work plan. according to insiders. operations. After a few years of experience. however. You are almost always working on a team. industry. working on at least two projects a year in a variety of industries. Every project team. is staffed with a mix of information technology. is organized along the following business segments: • Civil • Defense • National security This could soon change. In general. you’ll start by gaining broad exposure. No decision has been made on the future of segments. They are just a management device and not key to any service offerings. although an associate typically ‘owns’ some kind of work stream. “The business is currently being managed through these segments. but everyone is busy. as one insider says. and strategy experts. but frankly that’s where a lot of really good learning takes place. however. Booz’s commercial career model might be best described as an hourglass: As a new hire. If you make it to the level of principal or officer. and the quicker you demonstrate the ability to write sensibly and quality-check your work.” Just as on the commercial side.” one insider tells us. government assignments are staffed with a variety of functional and subject matter experts. “most of your work is reasonably structured: The proposal drives the deliverables. most of your work will be focused on an industry or technical competency. there is a fair amount of rewriting for a big review. Early on. you’ll again apply your experience to a wider range of cases. expect a lot of oversight on your work. “As an associate.” The Firm 8 .structure to meet specific client needs.
So you must have an international outlook..” Unlike at some other firms. 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. Wherever you go in the world. you have someone in the office speaking another language. “Not only do we have a very diverse bunch of people here. “You must have an international mindset.” 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.No matter which side of Booz Allen you work on. this diversity applies to Booz Allen on a global scale. insiders agree that diversity is what sets Booz Allen’s culture apart from that of other management consulting firms. etc. I’ve never felt stifled. I feel like I have a lot of autonomy. otherwise you won’t be successful. but your individuality is encouraged. They are really different business models. “There’s some movement but it’s on the margins. Booz encourages you to follow your passion in terms of industry interests. skill needs. but it has a different set of requirements.” one European insider tells us. Says one principal.” Another insider says. “Everybody works in teams. and this is the only one where I’ve really found this international exposure. The firm’s diversity of clients and expertise in both the private and public sectors have been driving factors in its stability. I’ve worked with other consulting firms. education needs. As one WCB recruiter puts it. “We are an international company. We have a wonderful government business.” 9 . but we embrace diversity and look for more of it. than does the commercial side of our business.
So when we leave. A companywide rebranding effort was launched in 2001 to position Booz Allen as one firm serving both public. 10 . along with McKinsey. Indeed. “Our value proposition is different. We’re willing to drop everything to go support a client. talented individuals who are very concerned about seeing other people be successful. “which makes our culture different.” says another insider. Bain. while its deep technology expertise puts it well ahead of companies like Accenture.and private-sector clients.” says one insider. and BCG. “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 it’s the culture within the firm that supports its ability to offer this brand of thorough support to clients.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.” Booz Allen’s track record of serving both government and corporate clients is certainly its strongest differentiator. we know that our clients are going to be able to execute well. and we work with them to make those recommendations happen. “[We’re a] firm of very smart. but as a result the company is sometimes viewed—by both insiders and outsiders—as two firms within a firm. many insiders emphasize that its follow-through is one of Booz Allen’s most distinguishing characteristics. because we didn’t just hand them a recommendation—they created it with us. and it succeeded in alleviating to some degree that perception in the consulting marketplace. This combination of strategy and technology—which gives the firm the ability to help clients carry out its recommendations—is what Booz Allen insiders say its government and commercial clients have come to expect and rely on. We work very hard to make sure that they understand the recommendations.
and IT. “When we crack a problem.” Still. a government-side group that deals with issues surrounding homeland security for business. Global Assurance. Booz Allen does similar work. while our corporate clients want the special expertise we’ve developed through our government work.” integrating security into strategic corporate planning. became the global resilience natural team. This trend is also evident abroad: “In Europe we have a growing public-sector business with some major clients in the U. “All consulting firms do the same kind of work. as another of Booz Allen’s competitive strengths. according to most insiders. across the firm for both commercial and government clients under what it calls “enterprise resilience.“Our government clients want the benefit of commercial best practices. we really crack it.” The Firm 11 . Beyond security. though perhaps we put more emphasis on analysis and the research behind our recommendations as opposed to just pulling them out of the sky. ”This is exciting because we are doing the same type of work for them that we do for commercial clients—and we are ahead of the game in the consulting field in this. “Every commercial engagement is staffed with industry experts and functional experts in strategy.” says an insider. The tighter linkage between our business units multiplies the firm’s power. Even if it’s a corporate strategy job. one of Booz Allen’s recent initiatives. 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. both quantitative and qualitative.” says one insider.” a recruiter tells us. In April 2004. According to one insider.K. every engagement would have people with those backgrounds.” Another tells us. Every team brings the full power of Booz Allen to bear on every engagement. “We’re seeing an increasing number of companies that want help developing a plan to do more work with the government. and German governments. the division remains distinct. operations. We sweat a lot of details to get a right answer.” Insiders see analysis.
www. NH 03458 USA.com.Industry Position The Firm In Consultants News’ June 2004 ranking of the “50 Largest Management Consulting Firms in the World. 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. 20 Largest Consulting Firms.ConsultingCentral. by 2003 Consulting Revenue Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Firm IBM Accenture Deloitte Capgemini CSC BearingPoint Hewlett-Packard McKinsey & Co. Peterborough. Consultants News/Kennedy Information. 12 . phone: 800-531-0007. up from number 16 in 2003.” Booz Allen came in at number 12.
Where MBAs Want to Work In 2004. Ann Harrington. IBM Bain & Co. 13 . Fortune. who ranked the companies where they The Firm would most like to work. 4/19/2004. Booz Allen Hamilton Deloitte Boston Consulting Group Accenture Source: Based on a study by Universum. Consulting Firms that Ranked in the Top 50 Rank 1 4 7 10 11 13 27 Firm McKinsey & Co. Booz Allen leapt 16 spots. published in Fortune. The following ranking is a result of Universum’s 2004 survey of MBAs. in a ranking of employers most popular among MBAs. from 26th to tenth.
Army and businesses and conducting market surveys and statistical analyses. The firm’s early years were pretty tumultuous. advising the U. he helped define the new industry of management consulting. Fry. it seems that Mr. With this process. entered the business world. 14 . In 1936. and personnel. Edwin G. He worked almost exclusively on his own for 15 years. Thus the Booz.A Quick History Lesson The Firm Booz Allen Hamilton dates back to 1914. and by the early ’40s both Jim Allen and George Fry had bolted for greener pastures.S. organization. when founder Ed Booz. From the start. and today’s Booz Allen Hamilton was born. Booz Surveys was largely a firm of independent consultants who worked on their own under the Booz umbrella. a psychology and economics graduate from Northwestern University. Ed Booz expanded his empire to a third employee in 1929: fellow Northwestern economics graduate Jim Allen. During the early years. Allen was lured back to Booz for a second time in 1943 (this time as chairman). part business advisor. persuaded Jim that they were ready to develop a formal management structure and operate the firm as an ongoing business. Ed Booz and George Fry. After hiring George Fry in 1925. Allen & Hamilton partnership came into being. Booz’s approach was to begin by studying a company’s management. and part lone wolf. together with newly hired Carl Hamilton. This lack of structure was evidently a little too much for Allen—he actually quit the firm twice over the years. Booz was part entrepreneur. Although Ed Booz gets top billing on the corporate letterhead. Jim Allen is widely credited with building the firm into a consulting powerhouse by spearheading its growth and diversification.
S. William Stasior took charge in 1991. but he incorporated that well into the plan. The 1990s were much more prosperous for Booz Allen. A poor showing in the stock market led to the repurchase of the company. Although many others vie for multimillion-dollar government consulting gigs.” The Firm 15 . Department of Defense. Booz Allen began to emphasize its technical savvy. when Michael McCullough put the already unstable firm through a vast restructuring of everything from industry focus to geographic areas. The tumultuous times continued well into the 1980s. By 1988. The Booz Allen commercial-sector business is headquartered in New York City.) One firm insider says. The wave of change just overtook the company. To cope with the changing times. He wasn’t elected for that. Awaiting him was a chaotic new consulting market.Besides working for commercial businesses. (During the early stages of government testing of the Internet. and he assumed the chairmanship in October of that year. The next year. In April 1999. Ralph Shrader became the CEO of the company. the new Booz Allen took on a significant amount of consulting work for the federal government during World War II. now the firm’s corporate headquarters as well as headquarters for its government business. Virginia. which laid the groundwork for Booz Allen’s modern-day Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). Booz Allen worked alongside the U. Booz Allen continued to prosper over the years—so much so that its partners decided to take the firm public in 1970 under the guidance of a new chairman. “Ralph Shrader has surfed well in chaotic times. Charlie Bowen. the company moved to McLean. in which technology and the Internet were quickly changing the landscape of the industry. WTB has continued to be one of the most successful businesses in the field. and Booz Allen has been a privately held corporation ever since. splitting its business into separate government (WTB) and commercial (WCB) units. a third of the partners had jumped ship.
Booz Allen has grown to more than 15. The Firm 16 .000 employees worldwide and is among the best-known strategy and technology consulting firms in the world. Booz Allen was affected (like everyone else) by the bursting of the Internet bubble and a generally slumping economy. However. and engagements with participants from both units are increasingly common. Booz Allen fared better than most firms thanks to the relative strength of its government business.In 2001. Booz Allen is successfully leveraging the strengths of its WTB and WCB units. Today.
The organization consists of two business units: the corporate consulting group. and the larger. new commercial-sector hires had to align with a practice group (industry focus) right away. Booz Allen positions itself as one firm serving both government. government-focused Worldwide Technology Business (WTB). The firm’s staffing model brings industry. or framework.” says a recruiter. operations.and private-sector clients. Though people within the firm are typically aligned with one side of the firm or the other. strategy.Organization of the Firm The Firm View from the Top In a world of mega-mergers. called the Worldwide Commercial Business (WCB). 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. “I think we lost some people [in the past] because we weren’t as flexible as we could be. Historically. 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. View from the Middle Booz Allen has taken a different approach to the standard management consulting setup. and information technology specialists together to form cross- 17 . perspective. That means the firm’s officers still call all the shots (and pull in the big bucks). Booz Allen has remained independent and privately held.
too. Early in your Booz Allen career. Commercial-sector recruiters tell us. According to a principal at the firm. recruiters say that San Francisco and New York. but not Columbia. recruits are encouraged to join the organization in the geographic location they desire. “That way our clients get the best thinking from across the firm.” 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. rather than just a narrower approach. “You can express interests and preferences. they get it.” says one insider.functional project teams. we ask candidates for their geographic preference. For instance. “Virtual teams are formed and disbanded as needed. but we encourage folks to work across multiple types of industries and jobs.” Some offices are more difficult to get hired into than others. and we need to know what they’re thinking. The people who won’t get their choice are the people who change their minds six times in the process. see more competition for available positions than does Chicago. which attract people from across the United States.” The location you join becomes your home team. People 18 . “In every step of the recruiting process. But we know we need X amount of people for the New York office. across all areas of expertise within the firm. which for the most part “attracts graduates of the University of Chicago and Kellogg. and 98 percent of the time. you’ll work across industries and natural market teams.
may be substantially larger. Those who prefer to travel less might want to join Booz Allen’s government consulting practice. Rather than spread its staff among hundreds of different 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.come in the door and say. The Firm wherever that might be. D. to deliver enduring results. and I only want to be a media guy’ —we look for people to be more rounded than that. It isn’t uncommon for the firm to simultaneously staff several teams working on different projects for a single client. Early on. we encourage folks to get out and kind of kick around a bit. virtually all project teams include members of the client organization—in accordance with Booz Allen’s belief that.” The typical workweek means Monday through Thursday at the client’s location. “We most often work in teams. Insiders report that people in some offices have less intense travel demands. clients themselves must be an integral part of the consulting process.” says an insider. I actually had a team of 13 clients 19 . and most of its clients are situated in and around nearby Washington. In addition. Virginia. And teams are often joint engagements that include consultants from both the government and commercial sectors. which include Booz Allen associates mixed with client personnel. It’s headquartered in McLean. and a return to your home-team location on Friday.C. “The structure is normally a principal running a project. Senior associates have teams of four to five that they run. particularly those on the government side. ‘I’m a media guy. Booz Allen prefers to serve a smaller group of core clients.
” says a recruiter. At another. and you cannot help but have contact and interaction.” Another tells us. 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.” 20 . We each used the other as a sounding board. This isn’t the kind of place where people try to get credit for things they didn’t do. On the client site. “Every path is customcrafted. and I’ll contact them out of the blue. I would feel absolutely comfortable walking into a senior partner’s office here.” A WTB insider says. “When I came here.at one engagement. There was never any feeling of being second-class because I was junior to them. and recruiters confirm that there is interest in promoting people more quickly. I often get a quick e-mail back with a thorough explanation of their situation and some reference material. I expected much more of a hierarchy. “I was promoted to senior associate last fall and all three of the people at my level were supportive. You get to show what you’re good at. Very helpful. One Booz principal says. it might be a little more structured and hierarchical.” There are seven job titles at Booz Allen. “It’s a real meritocracy. there’s a lot of cooperation. but job titles don’t seem to get in the way of a team effort to do quality work.” Insiders say that promotions occur faster than they used to. each with a Booz Allen associate and two clients. “I have never once felt like I am being taken less seriously or prohibited from doing my job because of my level. Once I had proven my credibility with [upper management]. and you get rewarded for it. In reality. “There is no official time it takes to make partner. they gave me resources and trusted me to do my job and gave lots of coaching and mentoring. but still. ranging from consultant (the entry point for undergrads) to senior vice president (known inside the firm as senior The Firm partner). as I would hope an associate or consultant would feel walking into my office.” And a senior associate says. As a matter of fact. I had two subteams.
Recent Client List Despite consulting firms’ notorious secrecy about their clients. we’ve turned up a few that Booz Allen has worked with: Abbott Laboratories Amazon.com American Express Blue Cross Blue Shield BMW Boeing Borden. 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 .
Police Department The World Bank The Firm 22 .S. D. National Guard Washington.S. 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.Lucent Technologies Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.. Inc. Food and Drug Administration U. Standard & Poor’s TAG Heuer Turner Broadcasting United Airlines U.C.
during war and peace times. With a team that included security.S.S. Five years after beginning work on a system. Booz Allen helped the U. the U. TRANSCOM officials subsequently report that TRAC2ES has saved lives during recent encounters in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the FTA. catchily titled the Regulating and Command and Control (C2) Evacuation System (TRAC2ES). Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assess the security of public-transit systems nationwide. 23 . 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. After the conflict. and counterterrorism experts. the Booz Allen team “identified important concerns at even the most well prepared agencies.” U. Transportation Command realized that it needed to drastically overhaul its patienttracking procedures. it was still not in operation. Booz Allen developed and implemented a novel threat-andvulnerability-assessment tool in just 30 days—in time to secure Utah’s public transit for the Winter Olympics. Federal Transportation Authority After 9/11. Transportation Command More than half the soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm were taken to wrong locations and ill-facilitated hospitals.Typical Studies The Firm U. transportation. to address these issues.S.S.
Bangkok Bank. and convinced various military constituencies to accept the new system. was on the brink of collapse. 24 .5 percent compared to its main competitor’s 7. Among other strides: Between 2001 and early 2003.S. overhauling 500 branches and ultimately positioning it ahead of the competition. senior military commanders now rank Blue Force Tracking among the three most important new capabilities available to allied forces in Afghanistan. and land-use planning to help turn long-neglected buildings in Denver. Named “Space-Based Blue Force Tracking. Space Command. which is attached to existing satellite payloads.5 percent. into a thriving. Booz Allen devised a way to use global positioning system technology to track battlefield movement in real time. Booz Allen not only engineered the technology. and according to Booz Allen. Booz Allen instituted a rapid “fix and build” program that not only restored The Firm and increased the bank’s profitability.” the system. but also implemented organizational changes. secured funding. Colorado. the bank’s stock rose 23. Innovative Approach to “Brownfield” Project Booz Allen used its expertise in outreach. is used to streamline vast operations and locate wounded soldiers. Three months before its pilottest date. one of the largest financial institutions in Southeast Asia. Blue Force was put to use in Afghanistan. To make the project work. regulatory analysis.Bangkok Bank In the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late ’90s. Space-Based Blue Force Tracking Together with the U. livable community space. a prestigious award that acknowledges innovative projects that return unused or abandoned industrial and commercial sites to productive uses. but modernized its business model. This project won the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Phoenix Award.
in McLean. “The assignments in the market are now a little shorter than before. “In the 2 years I’ve been here. but well-defined 6. Of course. insiders report that engagements are generally shorter than they used to be. you could find a better work/life balance on the government side of the firm.What’s Hot The Firm Short and Sometimes Sweet Though the economy is still unreliable. and at least on the commercial side. but they also means there’s a good chance that you’ll see plenty of variety. especially from the lows of 2001 and early 2002.” And a government-side insider warned that recent “rapid growth is causing a significant amount of work.to 8-week engagements seem to be becoming increasingly common. the multimonth mega-projects still exist. health care. including energy. business is picking up in the consulting industry. They used to be 6 months to 1 year.” 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. If you’re not sure you can hack the demanding lifestyle of a commercial consultant. and many government-sector consultants are based in the federal government’s backyard. But clients are looking to get more bang for their consulting buck.to 3-month assignments. now we work 2. which 25 . “I’ve worked on several strategy and operations projects in a number of industries. Virginia. One insider tells us that shorter projects can mean longer hours. and financial services.” Another insider says. we have to be faster and more flexible in staffing people. WTB tends to work on longer. So.” says one associate. multiyear contracts.
accounts for the key quality-of-life difference between WTB and WCB. 26 . on national security issues. “It’s not a place where you can hang out and be a slacker. and the security needs shared by both.” And there’s no indication that government-sector work isn’t every bit as interesting and challenging as that of its commercial-sector cousin. We did a bioterrorism war game involving the FDA. another insider adds.” The Firm Security Blanket Booz Allen has long worked for government agencies. We’ll help you handle the overflow.” says one WTB insider.” However. the Centers for Disease Control. I travel maybe 40 percent of the time. “because other teams come to us. the firm recognized a need for similar services in the commercial sector. business resilience for its corporate clients. then you will be quickly overcome. Another adds. “Some of my WCB colleagues travel 80 percent of the time. my team’s skills. “I’ve done well at the firm by being able to adapt and figure out how my skills. I’m not on the road every Monday through Thursday. “My clients are 10 miles away.” Says another. Even though my team has the same technical theme. It’s not just applying the same thing over and over. and my service offerings fit different client needs. We’ve also done war-gaming exercises. “I’ve gotten to work for a multitude of clients. But after September 11.” says one insider. Cue “Enterprise Resilience. If you come in hoping for that. such as the CIA and NSA. which is a big deal for information-intensive industries such as banking and insurance.” Booz Allen’s cross-firm initiative encompassing homeland security for the government sector. One insider describes the type of work Enterprise Resilience teams have done: “If your computers all went through the World Trade Center. we could help you figure out if you should build a redundant call center. there’s a great diversity of work.
000 fans annually.C.” an insider says.insurance companies. Former President Bill Clinton is another high-profile participant in the project. “It’s a project that has been generating a lot of internal buzz. “This is my second pro bono project at Booz Allen. which Booz Allen works on in collaboration with Columbia Business School and the National Black MBA Association. One insider working on a project for the Children’s Defense Fund says. Feel-Good Consulting Booz Allen makes an effort to offer its consultants plenty of opportunities to do good deeds. In 2004. It makes me feel good about my consulting work. now the Booz Allen Classic—attracts more than 180. its roster includes the Special Olympics. and we treat them just like any other client. “was to be able to give back to the Washington metro community. It’s worth noting that Booz Allen doesn’t limit itself to charitable involvement and pro bono projects with star power.” Another hot pro bono project is the Harlem Small Business Initiative. D. Christmas in April.C. We’re trying to help people understand the scary world we live in. area. and I’m not sure I’d be able to do it at any other firm. the United Negro College Fund. “One of our primary reasons for doing this. My office takes that seriously. In the first 23 years 27 . Booz Allen signed a 3-year agreement to take over title sponsorship of the PGA Tour event in Washington. We have committed to donate at least $1 million every year to nonprofits in the D. It was a 3-day game to model what would happen if smallpox broke out in a city like Detroit or Virginia Beach.” James Woolsey. The event—formerly the Kemper Open. and I think that’s kind of nice. and HMOs. a Booz Allen vice president who used to run the CIA. It’s a great opportunity.” says one insider. is one of The Firm the most prominent members of the firm working in this area. and Amigos de las Americas.
” 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. it raised only $8 million for charity. but we’re being more aggressive about getting our message out now.of the tournament. “We’re investing in our brand in ways that we never did before. “Our brand has never been better.” The Firm 28 .” says one insider. most of which was not earmarked for charities in the local area. [Historically] we’ve been a little bit more discreet.
On the Job • Consultants • Associates On the Job 29 .
Booz Allen will be recruiting MBAs and others with advanced degrees into its commercial business almost exclusively. However. We also look for people with business backgrounds who can do analysis. Undergraduates enter the firm with the title of consultant. But I have somebody on my team who has a bachelor’s and a master’s in philosophy.” Though not common. a few consultants are still doing work within WCB.” says one. Undergraduates from leading colleges and universities are more likely to find opportunities on the government side of the firm. as one WTB insider explains. computer scientists—people who have information systems and telecommunications backgrounds. especially those with electrical engineering and computer science degrees. because the person is very logical. “It’s a reflection of the market. That said. but it’s unfortunate because it piles more work onto associates. the general lack of consultants on projects has not gone unnoticed by associates (MBAs and other advanced-degree holders).Consultants In 2004. “The profile of the type of undergraduate we recruit for WTB varies. and the work they do is similar to that of associates. According to one recruiter.” The move away from hiring consultants into the commercial side of the firm reflects corporate clients’ preference for having more senior people on projects. there are always exceptions. including the following: • Conduct industry research • Develop analytical approaches to solving business problems • Run computer models • Interview clients On the Job 30 . We look for technical people. “We tend to look for engineers.
Leave voice mail for several communications. 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. term ‘teamwork’ is 8:45 Discuss how to structure our analysis of really lived here. 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. 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. how much profit a television show generates for the network: What costs will we include? What are the direct costs vs. media. Quick meeting with associate to discuss modeling technique. sweet home. the indirect and shared costs that will be allocated across all of the shows? 10:30 Call accounting office to request report with show-by-show production costs and advertising revenues. Whoa! Plenty of new data to crunch! Day’s over. 11:15 Dial into Knowledge Online (KOL) system to uncover internal company resources on TV programming profitability. 12:30 Ask team member to pick up a sandwich and Coke so I can keep surfing KOL. Start developing television show profitability model. The office. On the Job 31 . More time on the spreadsheet. Head out for dinner with rest of the team.
two senior associates. and I build a tool kit that’s going to help them get to the next level. While working on a project. There were four associates. It’s a very different business model. “As an associate. it’s my job to gather data. but each associate was basically running his or her own work team. We developed growth forecasts and looked at new markets. test that data and check the accuracy of it.Associates New MBAs at Booz Allen are hired as associates. I put them on a series of jobs that are anywhere from 8 weeks to 5 months. Then I tend to use the different levels of the firm as an apprenticeship program to help train them.” Even relatively recent associate hires enjoy a great deal of responsibility on On the Job project teams. follow up with clients to make sure I completely understand the data. and a partner on the case.” Associates are responsible for a number of different tasks. and ask the right questions in order to put it together and come up with sound results. 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 .” A recruiter explains the process: “We hire a kind of ‘athlete’ out of business school: someone who’s really smart and dedicated. one associate reports that she “led a client team of about eight VPs and general managers. which vary depending on the type of engagement. Most of their time is spent working as a part of a project team. I train them how to be a management consultant.
offer recommendations to the officer in charge.• Prepare presentations and write reports. What’s behind this? Put a consultant on the case. 10:30 Arrive at client site just in time for a meeting with client’s director of strategic planning. He says I’m doing a fantastic job and perhaps there’s a project management opportunity in my future. 12:30 Quick lunch break: sandwiches in the cafeteria with the rest of the team. Our job: Evaluate international retail-expansion opportunities. present portions of presentations to senior management • Help manage client teams A Day in the Life of an Associate 7:30 Catch flight to Dallas for another week at everyone’s favorite oil-company client. My laptop just crashed—I hate the new version of Excel! Think I’ll cool off by taking a quick walk around the building. He says the company once considered opening a retail franchise in Australia but decided against it—too pricey. Outline objectives for tomorrow’s meetings. Yes! Consultant has gathered great data on the target franchise. “What about acquisition opportunities?” 11:30 Work with consultant to generate data on petroleum franchises in Australia. but lower profitability than other chains. Work with consultant to reconstruct that beautiful model I lost in virtual spreadsheet land. or is it a dog? I can’t believe it. My job: Focus on opportunities in Australia and Asia. Time to wrap it up for the day. Now my job is to put this into a financial model that tells a story: Is this a potential acquisition target? Is there an opportunity to add value to this franchise. 1:00 Back to the data collection project. On the Job 2:30 3:00 4:00 4:40 7:00 33 . Meet with the officer from operations for a project update and status report. I’m thinking. Discover one franchise that looks interesting—several outlets.
On the Job 34 . Get onto the Stairmaster before the health club closes. call my boyfriend.8:00 8:30 9:30 Check in at the Four Seasons. and settle in for an early evening. Grab dinner at the hotel restaurant.
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
” The Workplace 39 .[for work]. there are some teams that are not up to speed with that [work/life balance]. Can you you’re looking at a help me prioritize?’ The managers don’t always 10-hour day.to 14the other stuff done. It becomes more manageable when little less on Monday you have the courage to say. realize when they’re overloading you.” She notes. [The firm] really values employees. Friday. Says one. “There are some legitimate reasons why that is not uniform across WTB. Booz Allen provides support. “but there’s the reality of consulting. ‘This is what I can because you’re on an achieve tonight. I’m overwhelmed.’ because I won’t stay up all hour days. I’m home Wednesdays and Fridays with the baby. But let me tell you. and this is what I plan to achieve early flight. Not every team can do that. For example.” Several insiders emphasize that at Booz Allen you have the ability to adjust the pressure and that managers are receptive to “” You’re generally at the client site Monday requests for help. you’ve got to do classified work in the office. and I’ve built up a decent reputation. “We say work/life balance is important. maybe a night anymore. ‘I will do this tonight.” A senior associate on the government side says. I can say. “Now that I’m more through Thursday. however. but I won’t be able to get and then you’re looking at 12. when the hours get intense. I haven’t been at a 100 percent [work time] in the 3 years since my son was born. senior. “The number-one thing I like about Booz Allen is the flexible work/life balance.” Still. It will provide company cars if you leave after dark and dinner allowances when you work late. in the next few days.” says an insider. given certain contract and classified requirements. that she works in an area that allows employees to manage the work/life balance.
you’re constantly amazed by where people are coming from and what they’ve done. walks of life. “Booz Allen is a company made up of many individuals.Culture Consultants throughout the firm stress that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single “Booz Allen type. Every single employee. but have in common that they believe in the same values. one could say that we have a culture where the individual comes first.” 40 . a government-side insider says.” Similarly. Booz Allen Family Values The Workplace Within its diverse workforce. It’s the first thing the senior managers look at when determining how to progress someone. Another says.” Yet 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. It’s very much a values-based culture. the word diversity is used with eerie frequency: “We have a very diverse bunch of people here—all kinds of backgrounds. It’s not a platitude. Booz Allen instills a prevailing ethic that resonates clearly across the firm. it appears that at Booz Allen the only lack of diversity is in insiders’ opinions of their colleagues. People have dreams outside of consulting. who are very different.” In fact. in interviews with firm insiders. “The people are pretty diverse as far as interests and educational backgrounds are concerned. “Based on that. no matter what level. and perspectives. closely followed by the firm—not the other way around.” says one insider.” In fact. but once you get to know the individuals. is assessed on them every year.” says one insider. “It’s very diverse and a little eclectic in the sense that we may all appear to be professionals and consultants upon first meeting.
. The team needs to crack the case.” says one insider. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. You work with an intellectual set of people. . however knowledge is shared and there is a very familial atmosphere.” Says another. Booz Allen exists as a relatively laid-back alternative to the BCGs and McKinseys of the consulting world. not the individual. “I do not find any competition between my peers within the firm. “I feel that the people in my office really care about each other. People are always sharing knowledge and helping each other out. People try to tear your idea apart.” But laid-back and supportive doesn’t always mean warm and fuzzy. so you have to be ready to contribute. .” 41 .” The Workplace In general. [instead. People try to tear your idea apart. The people are great to work with and all have very interesting and diverse backgrounds to share.” says one insider. “I think Booz Allen’s culture is more down to earth and supportive than some firms. Allen is very challenging but also very friendly.Competition and personality clashes might be expected at a firm staffed by so many individualists. It is competitive but not in a negative sense—more collegial. but you can’t be thin-skinned. but insiders say that conflicts are rare. 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. It’s a compliment when people take your idea and pull it apart. 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. “The atmosphere at Booz “” You have to be confident enough to dispassionately sit back and pick through something you’ve just said. so you can’t be thin-skinned. “The atmosphere is definitely a combination of intellectual competition and camaraderie.
” an insider says.” A New York insider says. “Some partners and job managers are very outgoing.Friends. “There’s a ranking system. Everyone here is really smart.” 42 . then the office has a window. “The people here are very funloving. Most of the doors are open. Some are more in the ‘eat your spinach’ mode and head back to the hotel to do e-mail and room service. Romans.” Some offices. But it’s a decent balance.” says an insider The Workplace assigned to the McLean. But I also like the fact that everyone here is extremely professional. Virginia. and then you get a private office. your mileage may vary depending on the team you work on. Of course.” says an insider. like the London office. with lots of team dinners and other fun interactions. There’s a laptop on every desk and team rooms in every hallway. associates can conduct conversation that’s both professional and social. if you’re just stopping in. office structure varies depending on where you’re stationed. In some offices. And there’s the bullpen. “There are people who are squatters and have their own offices. staffers have assigned spaces. and it’s nice being around people I can learn a lot from and who challenge me. sometimes called hoteling. “Then there’s a virtual office in a hub where you come in and get assigned a place to sit.” Likewise. There are five or six associates in large rooms so they can talk. headquarters. Because of the cubicle setup. I was just in with my team—a working session over lunch. and I’ve made some lifelong friends here. The senior associates have their own offices. have a combination of both types. First you share an office. “There are sets of cubicles for the associates [in the New York office]. “There is a fair amount of variation in the subcultures of different project teams. whereas others consist of virtual offices. Coworkers? Most insiders with whom we talked emphasized the balance struck between fun and professionalism at their individual offices.
“Social interaction outside of work really varies by level. though. In general.Another insider counters. As you get more senior. Says one insider. there’s a lot of social interaction. it’s a decent place to come in as an associate. So this culture thing is hard. In terms of the office culture. but it’s difficult. happy hours. so on a Friday or Saturday. many insiders mention seasonal outings. People are on the road. but would I participate in it a lot more? That’s difficult to say. but also on Booz Allen project teams.” The Workplace 43 . most folks have some strong personal relationships with a couple other folks in the office. but it’s a concern. Some offices schedule activities—like ice cream socials and citywide scavenger hunts—to get employees together. which I think stems from the fact that we share offices and too much talking could be distracting. And more than one insider mentions marriages that were made not only in heaven. I think people are a little gun-shy and tend to invest a little less in work relationships. there’s a real inclination to go visit your other life and your friends outside of work. It’s not something I don’t like. and other informal social opportunities. Cutbacks after 2001 and the recent hiring boom have both had some effect on employees’ relationships. and that’s a lot of the appeal. “There isn’t a lot of chit-chat between employees. Do we do things socially as a work group? Absolutely. “We are growing so fast on the TB side. I think it used to be considerably better a few years ago. we have all these new people across the firm who don’t know Booz Allen. usually in their cohort. Is there a super-robust after-hours environment? Probably less than I would like to see.” Even so.” A WTB insider says the recent increases in hiring on that side are being felt among staff. but coming out of the downturn. saying. there’s definitely some of that. “On the client site.” According to one insider.
“There probably aren’t enough minority and women in upper management. staff development.” The firm actively recruits at minority conferences such as the National Black MBA and National Hispanic MBA conferences. Minority hiring trends tend to differ from office to office. [but] I don’t think it’s anything cultural. 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.” says an insider. not as much Latino and AfricanAmerican. we haven’t been able to maintain that [level of diversity]. but we’re better than most of our clients. though some insiders The Workplace report that the government side of the firm is more diverse than the commercial side. We’re certainly not representative of the general population at higher levels. and benefits. “I think minorities seems to do better [here] in general. Once people get to the more senior point. It meant they took diversity seriously. retention. it meant a lot to me that Booz Allen had quite a few black partners. and that was a big selling point. We have a good mix of minorities and women up to the point of the senior associate position. We don’t have as many female partners as some of our competitors do. Booz Allen’s commitment to diversity was a significant factor in his decision to join the firm: “Since I’m African-American. firmwide diversity initiative in 1993 and appointed a director of diversity to oversee diversity recruiting.” 44 . “It’s still largely Asian and Caucasian. training. In 2001. A WCB insider says.Workplace Diversity Booz Allen began a formal. For at least one insider.” Still another insider says. policies.
45 . German Diversity Task Force. open to all employees. and brown-bag lunch sessions on topics such as “Interacting with People with Disabilities. and transgendered employees).” Booz Allen’s Professional Development Diversity Series. the firm offers courses in diversity such as “Working Effectively in a Diverse Organization” and “Managing in a Diverse Organization. coming from the top like that. Hispanic Forum.Internally. The firm’s Women of Greater Washington along with other site-specific women’s forums addresses gender issues at the firm. the company has many employee groups that support diversity in the workplace. Blacks at Booz Allen. African-American Professional Development. Nonexempt Employee Forum. is an employee-driven. “Our former CEO was a huge proponent of diversity. Booz Allen Hamilton Parents Network. lesbian. For all staff. and GLOBE Forum (for gay. Hispanic Interest Group.” Diversity Training According to a Booz Allen recruiter. Disabilities Task Force. Insiders report that women at Booz Allen generally support one another. including the African-American Forum.” The firm is making diversity training mandatory for its officers and principals. Junior Exempt Employee Forum. and it offers a half-day course to teach The Workplace managers how to conduct interviews that are both probing and sensitive to diversity. Latin American Professional Development.” computer-based courses designed to strengthen employees’ diversity skills. offering “encouragement and mentoring. Disability Forum. our current CEO. and it really gives it a lot of weight. and Sexual Orientation in the Workplace courses. Asian American Professional Development. bisexual. firm-sponsored series of professional development workshops that includes the Women’s Professional Development. Asia-Pacific–American Forum. ESL Pilot Group. as is Ralph Shrader. Booz Allen also provides sexual harassment awareness training for employees.
Opportunities for Women In addition to being recognized for its commitment to diversity. “We’re 46 . sponsored by the firm’s Disability Forum. Booz Allen has an annual awards ceremony to recognize employees who’ve made a significant professional contribution to enhancing the firm’s diversity.C. 2003) In addition. Its “Disability One-Stop” site. Washington. information. Recognition Booz Allen’s commitment to attracting. hiring. Booz Allen has been recognized for its diversity initiatives by such organizations as the Human Rights Campaign. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. and resources for staff with disabilities and the people they work with. the firm was among the top ten and ranked number one among consulting firms. provides training. and the National Disability and Business Council.) The Workplace • Employer of Choice (Minority Corporate Counsel Association. which includes information about diversity at the firm and links to forums’ websites. work for. in 2002 and 2003.The firm has a diversity intranet site. Chao. and retaining a diverse workforce has garnered the firm awards and acclaim from a number of corners. 2004) • New Freedom Initiative Award (U. or supervise. Booz Allen has been named to Working Mother’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for each of the last 5 years. In the July 2002 issue of Consulting Magazine. 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. Black Collegian magazine. D. Moreover.S. five AfricanAmerican Booz Allen officers were profiled.
selflessness. This is a colleaguenominated award that honors women who exemplify strong character and spirit. women very discouraging. Virginia. The lack of female partners to me is very discouraging. by partnering with two consulting is hard if child-care companies. sensitivity. The firm sponsors a number of networking lunches and forums for female employees and a new Women’s Professional Development Course. another female insider says. In 2002. One female insider says. family.exceptionally proud of that. the firm extended its child-care benefits to There are very few women partners. I don’t think it’s bad at all for women. The firm should maybe give women more options. There are very few women partners. The lack time and offers parental leave to both male and of female partners is female employees. there The Workplace 47 . Once you get to principal and partner. the firm opened the Booz Allen Family Center. each with more than 620 you’re trying to start a locations across the United States.” However. A ton more could be done on that point. and employees nationwide. “” They’ve got the diversity thing down.” says a recruiter. In September 2000. company headquarters in McLean. and balance. Every year the firm also recognizes six of its female colleagues with the Women of Distinction Award. and consulting is hard if you’re trying to start a family. “At my level [associate] and lower. “They’ve got the diversity thing down. Some insiders think the firm could do a better job when it comes to promoting women. but we have a long way to go. to provide child care. In a few instances. including an all-day but it happens to be a kindergarten and extended-hours care. The firm should give women Booz Allen has allowed officers to work partmore options. have been elected to the partnership level while working part-time. but it happens to be a lot of diverse men. at lot of diverse men.
we do a much better job in this area than our competitors. It’s a long slog of travel in the future of anyone aspiring to be a partner.aren’t that many role models.” Indeed one senior associate says. but they don’t seem to fare particularly well. That kind of arrangement is still rare for women. “Minorities are also never represented well enough. 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. men. . but from what I have seen. and it crosses right though the primary child-bearing years for professional women. I think they do fine. but I think having a trailing spouse may be necessary to make it and have kids in this kind of environment. It’s not just Booz Allen.” says one insider. . This is really getting down to society’s expectations for women vs.” In summary: “There are probably never enough women represented in the firm. Some part-time programs have been tried. “Women have a hard time staying around long enough to make it. This is harsh to say. For those that don’t elect to have children.” The Workplace 48 . .
” says an insider. however. weekends.” Although the firm says its salary structures are based on market rates rather than on less quantifiable elements such as lifestyle. but as an insider tells us. the FBI on a national holiday and they’re closed. they don’t work. however. On holidays.Compensation Consulting firms are in direct competition for top talent.. etc.” We expect salaries to rise across the industry for 2004–05. “It’s a trade-off. so starting salaries don’t vary a great deal from one firm to the next. between salaries on Booz Allen’s government and commercial business sides. “WTB is a more classic corporate structure with long careers—people stay for 20 to 25 years. “If you want a job where you’re not working until midnight and traveling all the time. 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. “There’s a lot of stability because there’s no forced up-or-out model. insiders report that the lifestyle differences are the very reason they find the salary gap acceptable. though in our market in the federal sector. In some cases I cannot even work [off premises] and charge it to the project. Booz Allen does not release specific salary information. say. you’re going to be paid less. There are differences.” WTB insiders. If I am sent to. The price we pay for stability is lower salaries and not as boutique-y a kind of image. If you want a fast pace.” says one. Those on the government side reportedly earn less because of differences in fee structure and the partner-to-staff team ratios. we are very much a top-drawer firm. Sometimes we can’t access the clients after 5:00. you’re compensated accordingly. I cannot go in and work. “With the war for The Workplace 49 .
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. Summer internships at the MBA level pay a prorated amount based on the MBA starting salary. In the United States. Commercial consultants are also eligible for year-end bonuses. Relocation bonuses are based on need. and several other resources to help you achieve work/life The Workplace balance.000. Booz Allen has a profit-sharing and savings plan called the employee capital accumulation plan (ECAP). and profit sharing. 50 . which pay on the high side. we expect salaries to rise more quickly than they have since the dotcom bust. and you’ll be eligible for paid parental leave. and signing bonuses vary widely if offered at all. paid personal leave to meet specified personal commitments.7 percent of eligible compensation over the Social Security wage base (if applicable).” The government-sector positions pay less.talent heating up. and Booz Allen frequently offers tuition support to those who choose to get an MBA if they return to the firm after graduation. you’ll get to choose from a selection of health plans. ECAP has two parts: a 401(k) plan. many employees are eligible for a year-end bonus based on the employee’s performance as well as the firm’s. Compensation packages for undergrads start at around $60. In addition to base pay. Summer associates who return to the commercial sector after graduation from business school may be reimbursed for their second year of tuition. In addition. in which staff can put up to 10 percent of salary. compared to private-sector positions.
This is saying. The Workplace “There are constant opportunities to get involved. According to one insider who has helped renovate homes in Chicago.” says one insider. doing pro bono work. “It’s one of the things I like best about Booz Allen. I’ll bend over backward for you. Booz Allen will back up an employee’s civic commitment with dollars or equipment and time allowances. encourages participation in various community events.Civic Involvement Booz Allen’s Community Relations program helps employees participate in a variety of activities and organizations. more likely than not.” says an insider.” Booz Allen’s approach to pro bono and community work reflects the company culture. “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. Toys for Tots. “We get a lot of support from the partnership. 51 . Staff members volunteer their time by working in various community service projects at schools. and I don’t want you to waste that. and there is recognition for it. ‘Look I see an opportunity for you be successful. shelters. and participating in charity races. and nonprofit arts organizations. 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.” Insiders also tell us that Booz Allen has a weekly e-mail bulletin that. I can help you be successful but I’m not going got get involved unless you ask me. Amigos de las Americas.’” Some of the company’s pro bono and charitable activities include work with the Special Olympics. If you ask me to help. The Neediest Kids. If you see a cause you want to get involved in. Booz Allen’s intranet site includes an area called Community Relations Online. along with announcing contract awards and job openings. the firm is going to support it.
produce clear and measurable results. CEO Ralph Shrader spoke out on the importance of civic involvement in a speech at Yale. hundreds of Booz Allen volunteers help renovate houses for those in need. incorporate professional expertise. Christmas in April. to name just a few. The firm also raises more than $50. The firm sponsors its own Involvement and Impact Awards to honor Booz Allen individuals. Each year. or corporate citizenship demonstrate the firm’s core values. and the Smithsonian Institution. In November 2001. Northern Virginia Family Services.000 annually for the Children’s National Medical Center. and generate substantial impact. and teams whose volunteer service. titled “Finding a New Balance in a New World: Combining Ambition and Altruism. leadership.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 .” 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.
” New employees receive 2 to 5 weeks of vacation plus holidays (depending on the country). The Workplace 53 . “I usually try to plan my vacation for a time when my project workload is light. but once I’ve made plans. “In the 9 years I’ve been here.” says an insider. 3 paid personal days.” Another insider says. it isn’t moved. That’s also because I communicate my plans far in advance. 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. not even a 1-day delay. I’ve never had to cancel a vacation. it often stunned them into silence. Employees in European offices can expect more vacation time than those joining in the United States. In fact. no one has ever said that I couldn’t go. That means that once your vacation request is set up.Vacation Booz Allen employees are encouraged to use vacation time. and 2 floating holidays that can be used at their discretion. “The thought never occurred to me.
and approach to consulting.to 10-day orientations—taking place in training centers around the world—where they learn about Booz Allen’s heritage. Booz Allen increased its investment in learning and development by nearly 12 percent. 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. fine-tune their leadership abilities. Those from nontraditional backgrounds who join Booz Allen on the commercial side also go through a mini-MBA program. and enhance interpersonal communication. so a lot of the learning comes from your day-to-day work.” 54 . You’re expected to carry your own weight. culture. it puts all new hires through 7. also giving it the “Best in Class” honor in the Professional Services Company category.Training Training magazine ranked Booz Allen fourth in its “Training Top 100 List” for 2004. While many companies cut their training budgets last year. however. Many insiders agree. Not only does the firm offer tuition assistance and pay for self-led. individualized training in specialized areas. that “most of the training comes from just being on the project and working with the other team members.
Consultants. ‘Can I talk to you?’” says a senior associate.” One way or another. One way is through its mentorship program. all WTB insiders sing praise for the support they receive.Career Path Booz Allen seeks to develop professionals who have knowledge and expertise that is broad as well as deep. 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. “I personally have about ten people who come into my office and ask. Booz Allen helps employees find challenging assignments and avenues to develop their careers. associates. 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 . but several insiders at Booz Allen spoke unusually highly of theirs. Promotions at Booz Allen are based on merit and. Senior associates select a market-facing team and build professional depth through specialization in an industry or function. insiders say. Staffing opportunities are posted on an intranet site. are occurring more quickly than in the past. and employees are able to nominate themselves for upcoming projects. though she also says that good guidance abounds: “We do it informally—through our assessments and through personal recommendations. However. Booz Allen employees—from consultant through senior vice president—tend to be on a first-name basis. Most consulting firms have some sort of mentoring program. a WTB insider says that a formal mentoring program instituted in her office several years ago fizzled out. 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.
“I think there’s always going to be pressure around that. As you get more senior. According to a senior associate.” 56 . This flexibility allows people with different skill sets to find a place within the firm. An insider says. it’s about managing the team. You can’t be a super communicator and a poor deliverer. “How quickly you progress is up to you. and that takes some of the uneasiness out of it. So when you finally break down and ask for help.crafted. That also means that you have the same high-caliber people internally who want to help you be successful. But I don’t think it’s anything that I can’t get around. There’s a minimum hurdle you have to surpass.” As you rise through the Booz Allen ranks. but everyone on your project—your mentors and your job managers—want you to succeed. Booz Allen’s commercial side has an up-or-out policy. it’s about delivering the work. but people who play to one area or another are recognized.” This kind of support underscores the firm’s culture in general. There’s a sense of reality that at a certain time you either get promoted or move on.” The typical path to partnership takes 6 to 8 years.” says a recruiter. “Now you can drive as hard and as fast as you want. you get help from all over the place: from partners down to the most junior people. “This goes back to this whole idea of helping other people succeed. you’ll have the opportunity to play a role either in content leadership (which means you’ll sell projects and work closely with clients. which means that at certain points in your career. “It’s different things at different levels. 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). As for what gets you promoted. I can only do that because I take enjoyment in seeing someone else be successful. At early stages. then about managing the client and delivering the business. you must be promoted or asked to leave the The Workplace company. an insider says.
science. A good way to get a foot in the door before you graduate is via a Booz Allen internship. but want the experience of working on the client side without leaving Booz Allen. 57 .. but it also has opportunities for students pursuing degrees in the liberal arts and the hard sciences. humanities. including engineering. Opportunities for Undergraduates Although most of Booz Allen’s hires on the commercial side are MBAs.C. When the year is over. Resumes for internship opportunities are accepted throughout the year and can be submitted online at www. The Workplace If you like consulting. The year in industry gives consultants relevant industry experience that can help them both in business school and later on if they decide to return to consulting or industry. information systems. engineering. economics. D.On the government side. This program seeks students with backgrounds in computer science. and people can either move up or stay at the same level for years without any pressure to leave. business.com. Booz Allen’s government side has a technology and public management internship program with positions located throughout the Washington.boozallen. Booz Allen sponsors the consultant in business school (provided that he or she agrees to come back to work at Booz Allen). the firm offers the Third Year in Industry program. Most undergraduates join the firm in the government sector. metropolitan area. Booz Allen helps a consultant find a position in a client company. and computer science. and business administration. there is no up-or-out policy. math. In this program. the firm does hire from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. where the consultant spends a year broadening his or her exposure to the client’s industry before business school.
Once on board. New hires are typically staffed into offices within their home countries. At the top of the pyramid lie the lofty positions of principal. 58 . with representatives in more than 60 countries and offices on every continent except Antarctica. and senior vice president. Many of those who participate in the summer program receive offers of full-time employment that they have 6 to 9 months to accept. Booz Allen recruiters return to campus in the fall to court second-year students. 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. Insiders report that there’s a real upward pull for people who are ready and able to take on more responsibility. Typically. but employees who want one have a good chance of landing an international assignment. this depends on your language skills and the market. Experienced industry professionals enter at different levels depending on their qualifications. Of course. they move up the ranks to senior associate. International Opportunities Booz Allen has an impressive worldwide footprint. After 2 to 3 years. Opportunities for Midcareer Candidates Booz Allen actively recruits PhDs and other non-MBA advanced-degree candidates as well as experienced professionals from other consulting firms and The Workplace related industries. where they manage projects.Opportunities for MBAs New MBA hires start as associates on the commercial side of the firm. they’re eligible for the same promotions and other opportunities as Booz Allen staff hired directly out of school. vice president.
and employees are impressed by its thoroughness.” Insider Scoop What Employees Really Like The Workplace Show Your Stuff “Meritocracy” seems to be a favorite word among insiders describing Booz Allen. You have a lot of self-determination and a lot of responsibility. Says one insider. and we want to hear from new associates as much as from the partner. According to one European recruiter. In Europe. “The Japanese market is totally different from Singapore. you’ll have a chance to lead the thinking. “There’s a lot of autonomy and responsibility on projects.” The firm’s European hiring trends are shifting.” Says yet another.” reports another insider. “We intend to look for Europeans studying at American business schools who would like to return to Europe. you’ve pretty much got to be multilingual to build yourself a career. where everything’s pretty much done in English. If you can do it.” The company’s 360-degree appraisal process is designed to reward excellence. “You’re expected to put your ideas and perspectives in there. We used to do this opportunistically but it’s becoming more systematic now.One insider says. “Everybody is very bright and the environment really pushes you. “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 .
You need to take responsibility for what you are doing. “The people are a lot more diverse than I thought they would be. One insider says. “The camaraderie is great.” Another insider says. after the first 6 months. You need to be on top of things. People do have MBAs. but they have different life experiences before that. organization and change 60 .” says one. pragmatic. A principal says.” The Workplace Square Foundation Booz Allen employees point to the company’s broad consulting base as another big positive. “The people are talented and work well together. that it relates more to their organization.” 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. Unlike firms that offer only strategy consulting or others that specialize in operations or information technology. Once you demonstrate that you are on top of things.” 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.at any level—you get empowered very early in the process. “The people are down-toearth. 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. It’s fun. “The people are really what keep me here.” It’s All About the People All of our insiders say that the people at Booz Allen are a major draw. you can design your own career. Many employees see this as a real plus. “I’ve had clients pull me aside and tell me they appreciate how diverse we are.’” A European insider says. My concern was that everybody would have the standard engineering degree and then an MBA. team-oriented. and smart—but no ‘brains on sticks.
or arrogance.” says one insider. many Booz Allen consultants spend lots of time away from home. According to one insider. 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.” 61 . like any firm. The Workplace Relations While most Booz Allen insiders celebrate the support and mentoring they receive. maybe 20 percent. but you’ll remember that 20 percent well. we build strong relationships with clients. information technology. pushpush-push. 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. “I think that some people come into consulting and really aren’t ready for the commitment that it takes. 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. you can expect to spend a lot of time on the road. According to one insider. “In the areas where we’re strong. Not a lot.” “” Watch Out! On the Road Again If you join the commercial side of Booz Allen. especially if you have kids or someday want to!” On the government side of the business. Booz Allen. operations. and global assurance. “We really kick the tires on any strategy we propose. technology management. the travel demands are much less onerous.leadership. is subject to personalities. “Some partners bring a style that can be tiresome: micromanage.
“If you have all the answers. that’s definitely not the case. You can’t be a passive player and walk in the door and expect everything to work out perfectly for you. but it is something I’d tell people to be aware of. There is a whole mentoring program and a staffing group that take people in and ramp them up. “A lot of one’s success at Booz Allen depends on the network and alliance that you can build for yourself. “People have to be aggressive in managing their own careers. 62 . you might be happier somewhere else. Booz Allen may not be the place for you. one insider notes that the firm might be a better fit for those coming out of MIT’s business school than Harvard’s. If you’re not comfortable being selfmotivated and assertive about getting ahead. Playing on stereotypes.” Another insider tells us. especially among partners. If you think you’re getting into consulting to get away from networking. But keep in mind that Booz Allen isn’t looking for employees who are brilliant with data but bad with people. and I’ve done just fine.” Data-Heavy Though Booz Allen does its share of work on organizational and people issues. “You should become really proficient with financial analysis and doing spreadsheets and modeling in order to get respect at this firm. you’re pretty much on your own. adds this insider: “It doesn’t feel as yucky as it sounds.” If you’d rather spend your time dealing primarily with people issues. This is coming from someone whose personal weakness is quantitative analysis. but there’s also a lot of self-direction. but you can’t relay that message in a convincing manner.Looking Out for Number 1 Insiders say that once you finish your training (which one describes as “really quick”). According to one insider.” says an insider. Another insider says. it’s useless to us and to the client. insiders acknowledge that the firm places a relatively heavy emphasis on The Workplace quantitative analysis.” Not to worry. well.
Getting Hired • The Recruiting Process • The Interviewer’s Checklist • Interviewing Tips • Grilling Your Interviewer Getting Hired 63 .
and recommendations for prospective hires. Booz Allen likes students to have as much contact as possible with the firm before the interview. Secondary to that is responding to the posting in the website. things are looking up.” Booz Allen puts candidates for its commercial business through a standard hiring process that begins with first-round interviews on campus and continues with second and (sometimes) third rounds at the office for which the candidate 64 .” says one commercial-side insider. associates will even call students and then meet with them to discuss their goals for the future.The Recruiting Process After a few very bad years for MBAs and undergraduates hoping to work in consulting. Booz Allen has been on campus recruiting every year since 2001. “The best way to get a job is to know someone who already Getting Hired works at Booz Allen because more than 50 percent of all new hires come from employee referrals. An insider from global operations says. it helps to know someone. hiring is now up all around. case examples. The firm has lately been quoted in various media as saying that its hiring projections are way up. Insiders we spoke to think this is an important opportunity to likewise help candidates decide whether Booz Allen is a good match for them. In some cases. The “Careers” section of Booz Allen’s website includes a document entitled “Interviewing Tips and Case Primer for Commercial Consulting Candidates. “We’re increasing our MBA recruiting over last year.” which offers useful analytical frameworks. As in most companies. and according to several insiders on both sides of the firm. This helps determine whether the student will fit in well at Booz Allen.
deals with conflict.” More than one recent hire we spoke to emphasized that the case interview is the best opportunity to stand out from the crowd. back-to-back interviews. everyone Booz Allen is likely to interview is going to be smart and accomplished. “Where most people fail is that they do not prepare for the ‘fit’ part of the interview. and so on.com. You think that it should be easy to answer questions about yourself. but you’re not likely to have done that in as stressful an environment as a case interview.” (For a rigorous review of case questions. “Practice the case interview. and then be able to talk about those in an interview and relate them to your resume. Booz Allen relies on case interviews to test a candidate’s analytical abilities. Second and third rounds usually involve multiple. According to one recruiter.WetFeet. Our cases are based on prior client work of the people doing the interview. Cultural fit also weighs heavily in candidate assessment. We are also looking for leadership skills. One insider says. check out WetFeet’s Ace Your Case series at www. The company seeks people with a demonstrated record of “” We are looking for more than brains on a stick. During my case interview. I didn’t feel like they were trying to trick me.” Remember. but is now emphasizing the general resume review as well as conversation to determine how the candidate manages his or her work.is being considered. “We are looking for more than brains on a stick. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer. There was a logical flow. “It’s a critical part of the evaluation process.” says one recent hire. We are also looking for leadership skills. achievement in a career before attending business school and an intellectual track record in school. We are looking for more than a good analyst or a good writer. you’re not going to be able to answer the fit questions very well.) Getting Hired 65 . accepts responsibility. And if you don’t think ahead of time about the key things in your life that have helped make you successful.
We’re doing analytical work. where they can take more classes [for that money].Undergraduates Currently. I want to make sure these people can write. or defense industry internships on your resume as well.” an insider reports. “We look for a candidate. national security. Booz Allen is not actively recruiting undergraduates into its commercial-sector unit. “We don’t look for a position per se. We like to have writing samples. but we still hire a large number of undergraduates. the problems you encountered. A lot of them go back to school as part of their work with us. and public policy degrees are likely to attract the most interest. “We’re looking for someone who can communicate their thought processes. But according to one recruiting insider. “We do hire a lot of Getting Hired junior staff coming right out of school.” says a recruiter.000 per year toward tuition.” says one WTB recruiter. “The firm gives $5. “University recruiting is not a large percentage of the recruiting we do for the government business. “We try to encourage folks to go to more of a state school. Booz Allen will help you move ahead. it now promotes the pursuit of MBAs for some of its employees.” Once you’re in. and how you solved them. Where the WTB side used to encourage only technical degrees.” 66 .” Insiders also emphasize that communication and writing skills are important. then obviously relevant experience. Be sure to highlight any government. but we look for the best talent. In an interview I try to probe their analytical thinking process. business. Undergraduates with engineering. I like to tell people to come prepared with three things that they’ve built and white papers. Interpersonal skills and analytical thinking are probably the top two criteria. computer science. and we support that. but we have to communicate that to our client. Says one recruiter. A typical interview question I’d ask of a college hire: Give me an example of a project you had.” Expect several rounds of interviews.
The governmentsector side of the firm in particular brings in large numbers of experienced hires. They want to see how you can establish a framework. Contact the Booz Allen location of your choice. step by step. midcareer candidates must survive several rounds of interviews that include case questions.” Getting Hired 67 . It can take up to 18 months to get a security clearance. candidates with security clearances are especially attractive to the firm right now. Like college hires. to arrive at a logical solution. “I was asked many case questions in my interviews. WTB seeks candidates with government experience.” Midcareer Candidates Booz Allen hires midcareer people from other consulting firms and from industry.” says one insider hired out of B-school. “I know that interviewers derive many questions from cases they’ve been staffed on. “People with high-level security clearances are extremely precious and few and far between.” Says another. One WTB insider says it looks for “individuals leaving government or military service with consulting experience and especially those with security clearances.MBAs The best way to get your foot in the door is to sign up for the on-campus interviewing program at your school.
“If I were stuck at an airport with this candidate. it wasn’t bad at all.” This is to say that whoever hired this insider’s traveling companion found somebody who was enjoyable company for those 12 hours. His or her checklist will contain most of the following: • Drive (people who aren’t passionate about consulting usually fail) • Analytical skills (ability to analyze and assess data) • Teamwork (everything is done in teams) • Intellectual curiosity (Does this person get excited about solving problems?) • Communication skills (Can this person convey his or her ideas?) • Leadership (ability to get the most out of others) • Client skills (Can this person build effective client relationships?) • Poise (ability to remain cool under pressure) • Credibility (Does this person seem full of hot air?) • Interpersonal skills (see the “The Airport Test” below) The Airport Test What’s the airport test? The interviewer wonders. would I go crazy?” An insider elaborates: “You hear about that airport test. 68 . I’ve done it. Aside from it taking 12 hours to get from Detroit Getting Hired to New York.The Interviewer’s Checklist To give candidates a more consistent interviewing experience. Booz Allen designates a specific person to coordinate each campus recruiting effort.
can’t explain why they want to work for Booz Allen. you may just convince them that you’re nuts!) 4. “If you can quantify things. Practice case questions if you’re applying to Booz Allen’s commercial business. Your interviewer will also want to see that you’re comfortable with numbers. You should take a problem. It’s not a list of how you actually did those things. So if you sit down for an hour with your resume Getting Hired 69 . Many don’t know what’s on their resumes. Booz Allen won’t necessarily be looking for the right answer as much as for evidence of how you think. Take the time to structure your response. “But it’s all a list of actions and results. “Your resume is supposed to be a list of the most important things you’ve done on one page. 2. Consultants really get turned on by coming up with excellent solutions to difficult business problems. (Then again. One tip from our experts: If you get a question that requires discussing numbers. you may convince your interviewers that you’re Booz Allen material. 1.000. 250 million). that’s great. If you can talk convincingly about how that will turn you on.g. be sure to pick those that are easy to handle (e. and otherwise project a low-energy demeanor. and analyze.” 5.” says one insider. Know your resume.” a commercial-side recruiter tells us. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the intellectual side of consulting.. slouch in their chairs.Interviewing Tips 1. “A lot of the time. 10. 3. Booz Allen recruiters tell us that candidates often earn dings long before the case arrives. break it apart. I see people giving their gut answers right away. 100.
Basically. It’s also a bad idea to refer to the firm as “BAH. Insiders tell us that the firm’s name is often shortened to omit Hamilton but that Booz by itself is too informal and should be avoided in an interview.and think. That’s Booz Allen to you.. Getting Hired 70 . How did I actually get this stuff done? How did I handle people and pitfalls that came along the way. the Worldwide Commercial Business serves commercial clients. whereas the Worldwide Technology Business serves government and institutional clients. you’ll be much better prepared to answer any question that anyone asks you about yourself.” 6.” 7. Know the difference between WCB and WTB. etc. cowboy.
In the meantime. while the “Well Done” ones will help you put the fire to your interviewer’s feet. • 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.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. The “Rare” questions are meant to be boring and innocuous. • Why did your last client hire Booz Allen instead of one of your competitors? • What are the business benefits and disadvantages of Booz Allen’s long-termrelationship approach with clients? • How do the commercial and government sides of the business work together? • Where do you see Booz Allen’s growth opportunities coming from in the near future? Medium • Describe your efforts to diversify your staff. what opportunities exist to work with clients in the commercial sector? And vice versa? • What mechanisms does Booz Allen have in place to support personal and professional development? 71 . We strongly encourage you to spend time preparing questions of your own. Rare • Give me examples of recent projects undertaken by the firm.
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. do you think there is any downside to that approach? Getting Hired 72 . how does Booz Allen maintain a consistent culture and sense of community? • As a collection of individuals. and how effective do you think it will be? • How well have the changes you’ve made in your career development and in the organization been received by people in the organization. and what wrinkles remain to be ironed out? • Booz Allen has a reputation for developing numbers-driven solutions. Do you find that to be true? If so.• Has the lack of undergraduate hires into WCB led to a heavier workload for associates? • How is Booz Allen addressing changes in the consulting industry? Well Done • Given its large organization and distinct industry groups.
For Your Reference For Your Reference • Consulting-Speak • Recommended Reading • For Further Study • Other Sources of Information • Key People and Places 73 .
Here’s another standard-issue item from the consulting toolbox. A benchmark study is an analysis of the performance of a number of companies along specified dimensions. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to produce one of these during your interview. Pronounced “two by two. 74 . creating four different sectors. Big Hairy Audacious Goal. a software firm might hire a consulting firm to do a benchmark study on how much other firms are spending on customer service. Benchmark. not just a few years. Built to Last.” this is a favorite consulting tool used to analyze a number of items along two dimensions. More loosely. BHAG. in which they destroy the myth that the core product is more important than the vision the company espouses. 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. Collins and Jerry I. 2x2. Benchmarks are levels of performance or output against which you can evaluate the performance of something else. we’ve asked our insiders to give us the most up-to-date consulting jargon.For Your Reference Consulting-Speak To help prepare you for both your interviews and a possible career in the field. Porras. Beware: Unauthorized use of these terms has been known to seriously offend every known species of consultant. This buzzword comes from the book Built to Last (see next entry). A book written by James C. It’s basically a graph with X and Y axes that cross in the middle. For example.
how you execute your offering. It’s your channel. Case questions can be numerical. and Colombo yogurts came to life. your interviewer will give you a set of facts and ask you a question to analyze how you structure a problem.) “Business design is about what you do. Customer relationship management (CRM). Core competencies. the PDA. it’s about growing your bottom line. and the PC will someday all become one.For Your Reference Business design.” Case interview. and Internet). Things a company does best. the TV. and media—or “converging” industries. Consulting services in telecommunications (cable. Communication technology that helps companies manage customer information. The thinking is that the Internet. In a case interview. when really it’s just muddying up an already fuzzy concept. Most firms use this term to refer to a specific type of consulting work dedicated to such things as helping a company restructure its organization and cope with the human problems that accompany such an effort. wireless. as in.” or business-related. 75 . Here’s a $5 buzzword that sounds like it’s making things clear. It has everything to do with whom you hire and what they do. Here’s a consultant’s definition: “For a company. think it through.” They could also just be wacky. what kind of people would they be?” Change management. how you gear up the troops. your product. Yoplait. computers. such as. the telephone. “If Dannon. Convergence. The top line is sales. wireline.” (The bottom line is profit. and ultimately come up with a solution. as in. “How many dimes are currently in circulation?. it’s not about growing your top line. “Suppose a client asked you to figure out why his business is experiencing an unusual decline in sales and a severe cash flow problem.
most firms shifted their focus from reengineering—which often meant downsizing—to growth. Using the wrong word is not an automatic ding. but you’ll impress your interviewer if you get it right. Engagement/project/study/case/job. that’s your deliverable. Deliverables typically come with dates (when you will deliver). a framework is any kind of structure you can use to look at a problem. for instance. 25 or 30 employees to more than 500 and going public. It can be as simple as. say.For Your Reference Deliverable. 76 . The reason? Too many consulting firms were criticized for leaving behind a big stack of slides that never resulted in any action by the client. Consultants love frameworks. Growth involved taking a small private start-up from.” Or it can be something more MBA-ish. The product or solution you give (deliver) to the client. the more analytical you’ll sound. Framework. Growth. and inventory. These are all different ways in which the firms refer to a specific project. and the more you use them (up to a point). As a result. If you promise an analysis of shipping costs. billing. Implementation. From 1997–98 to around 2000. all of the firms talk about how they work with clients to make sure that their expensive analyses and recommendations are actually implemented. A popular consulting project during the ’90s. Enterprise resource planning (ERP). like Porter’s Five Forces. Basically. These days. An IT solution to streamline operations by connecting all parts of a business electronically—including HR. nobody admits to doing just pure strategy work. ERP spurred doubledigit annual growth for firms. Interviewers often note which term you use— just to see whether you’ve read the company literature. “The company’s problems stem from both internal and external factors.
marketing communications. Billing based on performance. Pay-for-performance. Although the standard overhead slideshow is now considered a bit sterile. pay your bills. rather than strictly on hours. Operations. Outsourcing. public firms are turning to these services because they create stable revenue flows. Although you won’t necessarily see any sunshine here. this just means that they help clients run their businesses better. the presentation was the means by which a consulting firm shared all of its insights and recommendations with a client company. 77 . and data processing. and maybe even see your honey. which their investors like. 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. In the traditional consulting project. so there’s a chance you’ll be able to leave the office early. payroll management. Popular candidates for outsourcing include accounting services. To reduce overhead expenses. do your laundry. In consulting. you also won’t have to be any place in particular. The client’s top management team would assemble in a boardroom. Increasingly. this includes the buying and processing of raw materials as well as the sale and distribution of the final products. this refers to any period of time during which you aren’t staffed to a project. In a manufacturing company. Many consulting firms do a big business providing operations advice. it’s still a popular drill at most firms. Presentation.For Your Reference On the beach. Operations refers to all of the day-to-day tasks associated with the running of a company. lots of companies are turning to outsiders to provide many of the functions and services traditionally done inhouse. At the simplest level.
There are all manner of ways. The place you want to get to. and they engage lots of consulting firms to help them do it. to analyze shareholder value. Means you could be hanging out with the clerks at Kinko’s. Think of it as an unbridged gap between what you do and what others do. An analysis of all of the processes that go into a product.For Your Reference Reengineering. In its purest sense. 78 . proprietary and not. Value chain analysis. Shareholder value analysis. At best. The goal of many companies is to enhance their value to shareholders. A money-making opportunity in an area you aren’t set up to make money in. White-space opportunity. from the gathering of raw materials needed to make the product to the delivery of the final product to the customer. a reengineering project was supposed to involve a complete rethinking of a company’s operations from ground zero. Sexy terms for an office setup in which nobody has a personal desk or office. or an untapped source of growth. Virtual office/hoteling. you’re moving in the right direction. True north. If you’re heading true north. Reengineering lost its cachet in the mid-’90s. each stage adds value to the product.
illustrating how Booz Allen’s work with the U.” He also describes how the firm is able to cross-pollinate its private. 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. He uses the health-care industry.350 more people than it had originally planned last year.600 jobs were added to the D.-area job market.600 people last year in the public-sector space—there aren’t enough MBA students in the major schools to fill all those spots.” and “We hired close to 3. Washington Post. but the short-term prognosis is generally upbeat. which credits that boom in part to government spending. Part of the summary includes the news that Booz Allen hired 1. Region Job Market Has Look of a Boom” Last year. in support of the firm’s effort to apply private-sector technological solutions to government issues. Food and Drug Administration 79 . according to this article. “This year everyone is starting to feel good again. Booz Allen CEO Ralph Shrader discusses the recent upswing in hiring on both the government and commercial sides of the firm. which he calls “a major player” for Booz Allen today.C. It also describes Booz Allen as being “on a hiring binge.For Your Reference Recommended Reading “D. 5/16/04. saying. 60.and public-sector business capabilities thereby making it stronger and more successful overall. Interview with Ralph Shrader In this interview. “This year.” Source: Neil Irwin. we’re back in the hiring business big time. as an example.S.” and quotes CEO Ralph W. It focuses on Booz Allen.” It cautions that over-reliance on government tax and spending policies to boost an economy can be risky. Shrader as saying.C.
457 consultants from 50 of the profession’s 75 largest firms. July/August 2004. “Half of Consultants Aren’t Happy With Their Jobs” This article discusses the results of a 2003 Consulting Magazine poll.” 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. is that as the 80 . which found that “of 5. Those folks (most of whom had only undergraduate liberal arts degrees) got. according to extensive research by the firms themselves. 47% consider their firms’ morale to be no better than neutral. Fortune. The paper says. on average. “There is little evidence that mastery of the knowledge acquired in business schools enhances people’s careers. 3 weeks of on-thejob training—after which. between this and last year’s similar findings. She goes on to outline a scholarly paper. that highlights the inefficacy of the modern MBA.” and includes the current glut of MBA degrees in a stagnant market as one of the reasons MBAs aren’t getting jobs. the article contends. 6/14/04. As an advice columnist for Fortune. Source: Consulting Magazine. “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. Fisher mentions that “the supercompetitive job market of the late ’90s led top consulting firms like McKinsey and Booz Allen to hire people who lacked MBAs. recently written by two business school professors. Anne Fisher says she’s been hearing a lot lately from disgruntled MBA-holders who can’t get work. Source: Anne Fisher. they did their jobs just as well as or even better than their MBA peers.” The difference.” The implication follows from there.For Your Reference makes it better able to assist pharmaceutical companies seeking to bring new products to market.
The article includes tips from a Booz Allen representative. Source: Consultants News. et al. “Culture Club” “I got my best information by arriving early and speaking to the receptionist.For Your Reference economy recovers and industry begins hiring again. Wall Street Journal. who says. many consultants who are dissatsified with long hours and diminishing returns are now leaving the profession. “If you have 10 interviews [for the same job] in three months.” and “Ask the interviewer or the company representative about her own background. and compare the responses among individuals.. November 2003. 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. the Booz Allen source lends insight into what is particularly valued at his firm. Source: Karen Hube.” Aside from offering good advice for jobseekers.” says one advice-giver in this Wall Street Journal piece about how to get the skinny on a company’s office-culture before getting a job there. 3/29/04. 81 .” underscoring that Booz Allen and its employees fared the tough times relatively well with work/life standards mostly intact. Does the company bring in people from eclectic backgrounds? That says a lot about what you’re likely to find at the firm. figure decision making at the company is a tortuous process.
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.
president. 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 .com. The company will not accept e-mail or paper resumes.S. chief human resources officer Recruiting Contacts Interested candidates can post their profiles or apply for a specific job through the careers section of the Booz Allen website at www.For Your Reference Key People and Places Key People Ralph Shrader.boozallen. Worldwide Commercial Business Horacio Rozanski. chairman and CEO Dennis Doughty. president. U. Worldwide Technology Business Dan Lewis.
D.For Your Reference Major Offices North American Offices (Commercial Sector) Atlanta Boston Chicago Cleveland Colorado Springs Dallas Houston Los Angeles McLean.C. 86 . Virginia (corporate headquarters) Miami New Orleans New York (commercial headquarters) Philadelphia San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Tampa Washington. International Offices For a complete listing of Booz Allen locations around the world.boozallen. go to www.com.
WETFEET’S INSIDER GUIDE SERIES JOB SEARCH GUIDES Getting Your Ideal Internship Job Hunting A to Z: Landing the Job You Want Killer Consulting Resumes Killer Investment Banking Resumes Killer Resumes & Cover Letters Negotiating Your Salary & Perks Networking Works! INTERVIEW GUIDES Ace Your Case: Consulting Interviews Ace Your Case II: 15 More Consulting Cases Ace Your Case III: Practice Makes Perfect Ace Your Case IV: The Latest & Greatest Ace Your Case V: Return to the Case Interview Ace Your Interview! Beat the Street: Investment Banking Interviews Beat the Street II: Investment Banking Interview Practice Guide CAREER & INDUSTRY GUIDES Careers in Accounting Careers in Advertising & Public Relations Careers in Asset Management & Retail Brokerage Careers in Biotech & Pharmaceuticals Careers in Brand Management Careers in Consumer Products Careers in Entertainment & Sports Careers in Human Resources .
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.P.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. 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 .
WetFeet serves more than a million job candidates each month by helping them nail their interviews. his shoes leaked. had a case of wet feet. While exploring our next career moves. But they didn’t exist. and entertaining way. Our team members. Today. was born . we needed products like the WetFeet Insider Guides to help us through the research and interviewing game. The quality of our work and knowledge of the job-seeking world have also allowed us to develop an extensive corporate and university membership. Every time he went hunting in the Maine woods.L. And L. one day. In addition. avoid illfated career decisions. share a passion about the job-search process and a commitment to delivering the highest quality products and customer service. .L. Bean. all because a man who had wet feet decided to make boots.com). credible. and they lined up to buy their own pairs of Bean boots. the company. And that’s exactly what we’re doing at WetFeet. Web-based recruiting technologies. .Who We Are WetFeet is the trusted destination for job seekers to research companies and industries. WetFeet Insider Guides provide you with inside information for a successful job search. he decided to make a better hunting shoe. the successful mail-order company. but entrepreneurs make boots. and add thousands of dollars to their compensation packages. and he returned with soaked feet. Leon Leonwood Bean got his start because he quite simply. consulting services. So. who come from diverse backgrounds. WetFeet was founded in 1994 by Stanford MBAs Gary Alpert and Steve Pollock. we do the work for you and present our results in an informative. such as the annual WetFeet Student Recruitment Survey. The lesson we took from the Bean case? Lots of people get wet feet. At WetFeet. and our exclusive research studies. So we started writing.com and InternshipPrograms. Think of us as your own private research company whose primary mission is to assist you in making more informed career decisions. and very literally. 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. WetFeet’s services include two award-winning websites (WetFeet. and manage their careers. “So. And he did. And he told his friends. Bean. . About Our Name One of the most frequent questions we receive is.
no-holds-barred Insider Guides. The firm’s long-term commitment to its clients keeps the work not only interesting.WetFeet. combining management strategy with technological expertise. but also fulfilling. • About typical responsibilities and day-to-day life for analysts and consultants. Booz Allen may be the place to be. If you think you’re ready to take on challenging assignments. WetFeet has earned a strong reputation among college graduates and career professionals for its series of highly credible. Booz Allen is among the most respected consulting firms in the industry and a top choice for recent graduates and MBAs. culture. supportive culture and commitment to employee development. and tips from Booz Allen insiders for acing the interview. hours. including the lifestyle. travel. compensation. www. Turn to this WetFeet Insider Guide to learn • How Booz Allen has fared in the challenging economy of recent years. innovative. as well as their colleagues’ distinct backgrounds and personalities.com . • What the recruiting process entails. and diverse. from top to bottom. 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. • About the workplace at Booz Allen. and training. what recruiters are looking for. Insiders consistently laud the firm’s open. • How the firm is organized.Careers/Job Search Prestigious. • What employees love most and like least about working at Booz Allen.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.