Booz Allen Hamilton is a firm with a great “dead guy” name and a confusing history. Headquartered in the Greater Washington, DC area, BAH is well known for its governmental work. But after several sweeping changes to the company’s infrastructure, the question now hanging over Booz Allen Hamilton is how it’s going to weather the storm and if it will come out stronger on the other side.
Firm Overview Video:
Firm Profile Overview (click to jump to section):
- Booz Allen Hamilton Website: www.boozallen.com
- Booz Allen Hamilton Headquarters: McLean, VA
- Booz Allen Hamilton Employees: 22,500 Employees
- Booz Allen Hamilton Locations: 14 countries, 20 offices
- Booz Allen Hamilton Chief Executive: Horacio D. Rozanski
- Booz Allen Hamilton Revenue: $8B
- Booz Allen Hamilton Engagement Cost: $450K
Booz Allen Hamilton History
In 1914, Edwin G. Booz developed a theory that businesses could be more profitable and more successful if they could garner advice from impartial outsiders. From this noble seed came a company that birthed management consulting as we know it. And, let’s be honest here, don’t we all love that his last name was Booz, and that he named the company after himself?
From the very beginning, Booz Allen Hamilton has been involved in some very high profile cases. In the 1940s, it was hired to help the United States Secretary of the Navy prepare for World War II, and in the 1960s the company coordinated the AFL-NFL merger, a move that paved the way for the Super Bowl. One of the firm’s finest moments from the early years was in the 1950s when Time Magazine dubbed it “the world’s largest, most prestigious management consulting firm.”
Over the years, BAH has also done a lot of work for the federal government. From security projects for the Department of Homeland Security, to working with the FCC to improve public warning systems, and providing intelligence support to military and defense agencies, Booz Allen Hamilton has been around the block a few times. This also means it has friends the high places, so you don’t want to take the firm lightly (or, for that matter, be mean to the big boys).
One confusing thing about Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., however, is the number of name changes it’s gone through its 100+ year history. Starting off as Edwin G. Booz, it’s also been known as Business Engineering Service; Edwin G. Booz Surveys; Edwin G. Booz and Fry Surveys; Booz, Fry, Allen & Hamilton; Booz, Allen & Hamilton; and finally Booz Allen Hamilton.
Another confusing thing about BAH is its organizational structure. In the good ol’ days, the company was two very distinct businesses. There was one arm that dealt with governmental clients and another that dealt with commercial entities. In 2008, after months of negotiations, the commercial side broke away and became Booz & Company, with the governmental side keeping the name Booz Allen Hamilton.
As part of this process, BAH sold a $2.54B majority stake in itself to private equity firm The Carlyle Group as a means of reinforcing its independence from Booz & Company. Just a few years later, in 2010, Booz Allen Hamilton went public and the Carlyle Group remains a majority shareholder.
During negotiations, Booz Allen Hamilton agreed not to compete with Booz & Company for 3 years and therefore kept within the realms of governmental and public sector work. After the provision against competition expired, BAH has diversified its client base, moving into technology integration and cybersecurity programs.
As for Booz & Company, it was purchased by PricewaterhouseCoopers and became Strategy&, a firm we covered in an earlier Firm Profile.
Although Strategy& worked to rebrand itself as non-government focused and BAH has worked to diversify, both brands are really overshadowed by the (wealthy but non-stealthy) legacy of working directly with Big Brother both in the U.S. and overseas.
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At the top of the BAH food chain sits the board of directors. The President of the Board is Dr. Ralph Shrader, who served as CEO from 1999-2014. Beneath the board of directors are the senior management staff, including CEO Horacio D. Rozanski; CFO, Treasurer and Senior VP Kevin Cook; and Executive VP Karen Dahut.
- Acquisition & Program Management
- Assurance & Resilience
- Commercial (Financial Services, Health, and Energy)
- Economic & Business Analysis
- Information Technology
- Intelligence & Operations Analysis
- International (Middle East/North Africa)
- Modeling & Simulation
- Organization & Strategy
- Scientific Innovation
- Supply Chain & Logistics
- Systems Engineering & Integration
- Management Consulting
- Strategic Innovation
- Civilian Agencies
- Defense and Intelligence
- High Tech Manufacturing
- Specialized Services
Booz Allen Hamilton Locations
You didn’t ask us, but one of the most popular locations is Booz Allen Hamilton San Diego. You’re welcome.
- Melbourne, Australia
- Canberra, Australia
- Sydney, Australia
- Shanghai, China
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- Jakarta , Indonesia
- Seoul, South Korea
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Tbilisi, Georgia
- London, United Kingdom
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Helsinki, Finland
- Paris, France
- Munich, Germany
- Berlin, Germany
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Dusseldorf, Germany
- Milan, Italy
- Rome, Italy
- Oslo, Norway
- Warsaw, Poland
- Moscow, Russia
- Madrid, Spain
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Vienna, Austria
Central & South America
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- Santiago, Chile
- Bogata, Colombia
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Caracas, Venezuela
- Huntsville, AL
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Washington, DC
- Tampa, FL
- Atlanta, GA
- Honolulu, HI
- Chicago, IL
- Leavenworth, KS
- Linthicum, MD
- Lexington Park, MD
- Annapolis Junction, MD
- Rockville, MD
- Boston, MA
- Omaha, NE
- Parsippany, NJ
- Newark, NJ
- Eatontown, NJ
- New York, NY
- Cleveland, OH
- Dayton, OH
- Philadelphia, PA
- Charleston, SC
- Dallas, TX
- Houston, TX
- San Antonio, TX
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Mclean, VA
- Chantilly, VA
- Herndon, VA
- Falls Church, VA
- Arlington, VA
- Stafford, VA
- Norfolk, VA
- Mexico City, Mexico
Booz Allen Hamilton Careers
BAH careers migrate upwards through 6 total levels:
- Sr. Consultant
- Sr. Associate
Those starting Booz Allen careers right out of college will be hired as Consultants and MBAs will join as Associates.
Booz Allen Hamilton Internship
The firm offers 8-10 week long summer Booz Allen internships to all who can demonstrate the following:
- 30 credit hours of coursework
- A declared major
- Enrollment at an accredited college or university at the undergraduate or graduate level
Because of the early requirements, BAH can be a great place to do an early internship. Unlike Bain or LEK, the firm doesn’t restrict itself to junior hiring and you have a great opportunity to learn some grand consulting processes and get a brand name on your resume with absolutely no experience.
BAH also has specific internship opportunities for disabled students, the Emerging Leaders Internship Program. If you have a qualifying disability under the ADA, have completed at least 45 credit hours, and have a minimum 3.0 GPA, visit www.emerging-leaders.com for more information.
To apply for an internship, visit www.boozallen.com/careers, create a profile, and use “internship” keyword to search all internship opportunities. Hiring begins in the fall and lasts throughout the spring, but applications are accepted throughout the year. Candidates will be interviewed on campus or over the phone.
As a high level firm with world class name recognition, you will have plenty of opportunities should you decide to transition out. From academia, to the corporate world, to MTV, former Booz Allen Hamilton employees have pretty much done it all, and that’s before we get into all the high level federal opportunities readily available to you.
When you put things in the context of its history, Booz Allen is uniquely positioned to give its alum access to a both public and private sector opportunities. Having retained the governmental work, kept the prestigious 100-year-old “Booz” name, but now exercising its freedom to work with commercial entities working at BAH would definitely be a wise move for your early career.
That being said, even though Booz Allen Hamilton does now have the freedom to work with commercial clients, it’s only been able do so since 2011 and building up a significant reputation and client base takes time.
- Rohit Bhagat – Global Chief Operating Officer, Barclays Global Investors
- Sir (Francis) Christopher Buchan Bland – Former Chairman, Royal Shakespeare Company
- Chipper Boulas – Former Vice President of Corporate Strategy, eBay
- Jonathan S. Bush – President, CEO, and Co-founder – Athena Health
- Todd Y. Park – Co-founder and Chief Development Officer – Athena Health
- Art Collins – Chairman and CEO – Medtronic, Inc.
- Edward C. Davies (Ted) – Former Managing Partner, Unisys Federal Systems
- Karen Fawcett – CEO of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Bank
- Richard Gay – Former Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Operations – VH1 and CMT, MTV Networks
- Rhonda Germany Ballintyn – Former Chief Marketing Officer, Honeywell
- Gerry Horkan – Former Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Yahoo! Inc.
- Paul Idzik – Former CEO, E*Trade
- Abigail Johnson – President – Fidelity Investments
- Raymond J. Lane – General Partner – Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Stan Scoggins – SVP, Universal Studios
- Deven Sharma – Former President, Standard & Poor’s
Booz Allen Hamilton Culture
Booze Allen (yes, we’re calling them that) seem to have mixed reviews when it comes to Booz Allen Hamilton jobs. There are lots of perks, such as flexible hours, world-class Booz Allen Hamilton benefits, great work-life balance, paid parental leave and paid overtime for entry level Consultants who work more than 40 hours in a week (that will likely be you).
But that’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks. After making a name for itself as a government contractor, the economic downturn hit. Hard. This meant revenues shrunk rapidly, as government spending was cut. BAH was left trying to recover fiscal ground and there’s been a huge push from the top to make sure the bottom line is at a desirable level.
Experienced staff, in particular, are having a harder time in the midst of this season because they feel Booz Allen Hamilton’s priorities have shifted in the wrong direction and they miss the way things used to be. Since BAH went public in 2010, they feel many of the decisions and cuts that the management made have been in the interests of shareholders and not employees. Many remember how things were before 2008 and fear BAH will never return to the place of strength it once had.
If you look closer, there are a few decisions that are a little bit concerning. Health benefits, though still excellent, are more expensive than they used to be, with higher deductibles. Offices are being sold off to increase the bottom line, despite falling revenues. Raises, too, are now no longer based solely on performance but are tied to many other factors, making them harder to get.
What’s interesting though is that, in a case of not missing what you never had, newer staff members seem to really like working there and don’t really have as many complaints. I mean…the firm is nicknamed Booz Hamilton, a sweet reminiscence of our favorite misfit founding father. On balance, it would seem that Booz Allen Hamilton is still a good firm to work for, even if some of the changes being made are disappointing, though not catastrophic.
There are some within the firm who feel it is moving further away from strict management consulting and instead becoming a data sciences or high end analytics firm. Even though there are many great aspects to working at Booz Allen Hamilton and it is still a great place to work, there are obviously a few things you should take into consideration before accepting an offer.
A definite high point about being a Boozer, however, is the firm’s ongoing commitment to junior staff members’ career development. Even though all firms say it’s a priority, not that many actually follow through with it. With internal courses, external courses, and mentoring programs among other things, Booz Allen Hamilton strongly encourages its staff to pursue growth throughout the year. Even if the firm itself is experiencing turbulence and change, if you work there, especially at the start of you career, you’ll definitely come out with some valuable experience.
Booz Allen Hamilton Core Values
- Start with character, intelligence, and industry
- Daily—think right, act right, eat right, sleep right, work right, and play right
- Know your own blind spots
- Always be willing to listen and to help worthy young people
- Require character, intelligence, and “hard work” as the starting foundation in selecting people
- Pick the cream of the crop for your partners
- Fear not the future, nor people
- (2015) #1 Best Consulting Firms for Public Sector Consulting – Vault
- (2015) Perfect Score – Corporate Equality Index – Human Rights Campaign
- (2014) Susan Penfield (Vice President) – Women of Excellence Award – National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)
- (2014) Top 100 Companies for Working Mothers – Working Mother Magazine
Booz Allen Hamilton Interview
First things first: the chance of you getting a case to solve in a Booz Allen Hamilton interview is greatly reduced when compared to other large firms. It almost sounds sacrilegious to put that in print, but it’s true (and wonderful for those of you that don’t love cases).
For your Booz Allen Hamilton interview, your first round will be on campus, on the phone, or sometimes even in person – it all depends on your circumstances (learn more about case interviews). For the next interview, you will most likely have several 1:1 interviews with different mid-senior level staff members. Be prepared to speak highly of yourself and of your experience. Know your resume inside out so that you can walk your interviewer through your highlight reel with ease.
Booz Allen Hamilton is a highly interpersonal firm, and many interviewees speak highly of the interview process, saying they felt like their interviewer was getting to know them as a person and not just asking them a memorized set of questions, so remember to present yourself well. Make and maintain good eye contact, a good firm handshake, etc. If you can make a good connection with your interviewers and represent yourself well, you will put yourself in a great position to be hired.
Booz Allen Hamilton Salary
Good news – you’re paid well when starting at BAH. Want to read more? Check out our updated Salaries Report.
If you want more information (although not as up to the minute accurate, there is volume there), check out the Booz Allen Glassdoor page.
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- Williams College
Booz Allen Hamilton has established a forum for employees with disabilities, introduced ASL interpretation at major meetings and closed-captioning of corporate videos. Chairman Ralph Shrader has also worked closely with the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (PCEPD), Business Leadership Network and is the recipient of leadership awards from the National Business & Disability Council.
Booz Allen Hamilton Resources
- Consulting Salaries
- Required Reading For Prospective Consultants
- Consulting Resume: Complete Guide
- Top 25 Consulting Firms
- Booz Allen Hamilton Interviews
- Booz Allen Hamilton Facebook
- Booz Allen Hamilton LinkedIn
- Booz Allen Hamilton Pinterest
- Booz Allen Hamilton Twitter