I'm pretty new to the site; found it while researching some questions related to B-School admissions and really enjoyed some of the content. Anyhow, I saw plenty of users looking for more info on management consulting and thought I'd make myself available. I spent two years in Deloitte's S&O practice in DC working with Federal clients (mostly in the health care space). I then did some time at Booz Allen Hamilton, where I largely supported DoD clients but dabbled in some commercial work as well.
I'm happy to answer any questions: breaking into consulting, federal vs. commercial work, living in DC area, exit opps, whatever.
Full disclosure - I've been out of the game for two years (having bailed for industry) so some of my first-hand knowledge may no longer be current.
Insider Information On Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton
Here at Wall Street Oasis we are lucky to have many experts willing to share their insight on topics that they have experience. User @SpeedAKL has a few years with Deloitte and Booz Allen consulting and was willing to let other users pick their brain on the two companies. Below we have excerpts from the AMA.
Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton feature a huge workforce. Because of sheer quantity, the applicants that they receive and the exiting employees are extremely diverse. Due to this it is often very difficult to move into a position at either company without a recommendation from a current employee. Applicants that are hired will usually have a recommendation and will currently be in the same or a similar position. User @SpeedAKL did not notice anyone transferring in from other fields such as tax or audit because of the vast difference in skill sets. He did see the occasional move from HR or finance into client-facing roles.
As far as exit opportunities it really depends on the person. Plenty of people switch to other federal consulting companies. Other things people left for were tech companies, politics, non-profits, the government, etc. There is no real standard path because you develop very different and unique skill sets and the experience is valuable in so many fields. Approximately 40-50 percent exited into positions unrelated to government. 2-5 years in a federal practice seems to be the sweet spot for gaining valuable experience but not being stuck in a government related job.
There is a good amount of location movement within Deloitte. Say the Deloitte DC office needs someone with your skill set. You will be a strong candidate for the role due to already being in the company. Many people from Deloitte in DC have moved to international positions. Coming from an office like New York that focuses on commercial or private industry clients makes moving between offices easier.
New Employee Advice
As a new employee you will almost definitely either come in overconfident or the opposite. If you are overconfident you will quickly learn not to be, and if you are not confident enough you will struggle to make the moves that are necessary to further your career and impress your employers. @SpeedAKL provided some tips on succeeding in the fast-paced environment at Deloitte or BAH:
- Actively network and seek out mentors, both on and off your project
- Details, details, details
- If you screw up, apologize promptly and make sure you learn from it
- Kill it with your work ethic, even with seemingly-menial tasks. Doing well on the small stuff can quickly lead to more responsibility
- Ask plenty of questions, but make a reasonable effort to find the answers yourself first - if you do ask, write down the answer for future reference
- Remember to be a professional. I saw tons of people come in who could not write proper e-mails, goofed off in meetings, showed up late, or were unaware that the f bomb was not considered proper business terminology
- Don't be discouraged if you get stuck on a project outside your areas of interest. Those opps will come if you perform well and build a network
The Best and Worst Parts of Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton
There are many great things about working at Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton. All of your colleagues are very bright and motivated people. Being surrounded by people like that is very motivating and they will often have very interesting personalities and stories. They are also from a very diverse base as they can come from Ivy Leagues, small liberal arts colleges, military, etc. You will have great mentors at a place like Deloitte or Booz Allen hamilton. This is especially important in a field with such a steep learning curve. You learn the basic skills that are very important in business such as data analysis, presentations, project planning, project management, people management, etc. The offices, tech, perks are all much better than in corporate America. The travel is far less brutal than commercial jobs. The training is exceptional. Both companies really invest in their people. And, of course, name recognition. Everyone recognizes the name Deloitte and most recognize Booz Allen Hamilton as well.
On the flip side of all the great things about the companies, there are some definite negatives to working there. The first is having to live in a major metro. For example, if you work at Deloitte DC the metro has insane traffic and the cost of living really is extremely high. It is less interesting working in the federal roles as it will be a very long time before you get to make any of the big decisions. You also see the rot in the positions of power in our country. Some civil servants really are great, but many fulfill every negative stereotype you've heard and more. Tenure is almost exclusively what matters when it comes to job security, pay, etc. Because of this there is no incentive to shake things up and there is no reason not to do a poor job. There is no motivation to do a good job unless it matters personally to them. Most people are just sitting around waiting for their retirement and pension. The amount of waste and inefficiency truly is unbelievable. You also may find yourself doing something that clashes with your political beliefs, but that's your job.
Read More About Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton
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