Charles River Associates Reviews

Updated Feb 26, 2021

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4.5
93%
Recommend to a Friend
93%
Approve of CEO
Charles River Associates President Paul Maleh
Paul Maleh
168 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good work/life balance as well as fun social/extracurricular events(in 37 reviews)

  • "Junior staff members are not over-staffed on projects(in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • "At times unpredictable workload, some long hours(in 31 reviews)

  • "Sometimes unpredictable hours, limit opportunity for junior staff to travel(in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. Featured Review
    COVID-19
    Helpful (1)

    "CRA Remains Caring Despite COVID"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Intellectual atmosphere, collegial rapport, competitive pay, reasonable hours (for consulting), substantial communications from corporate, excellent professional development opportunities, extensive training resources, appreciative managers.

    Cons

    Inconsistent week-to-week workflow, hours are still sufficiently long (but reasonable for the industry, and you get to choose your workload to some degree), self-directed project assignment.

    Continue reading
  2. "Talented colleagues, interesting work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Interesting and challenging work in a collegial environment

    Cons

    Work-life balance, unpredictable hours/deadlines at times


  3. "Great place to start a careee!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Interesting work, exceptional colleagues, good work/life balance once you’ve mastered time management

    Cons

    Steep learning curve, unpredictable hours at times

    Continue reading
  4. "Excellent employer overall"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great people, interesting work, entrepreneurial, responsibility over projects

    Cons

    Occasional long hours, expected in consulting

  5. "Working for CRA is excellent"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Principal 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The work is interesting and challenging. My colleagues are competent, capable, and great teammates. Senior management is responsive and creates space for me to become the best version of myself within the firm.

    Cons

    Like all consulting, the default expectation is that we are always available for work unless we had explicitly expressed the parameters of when we are not available. Secondly, there is a lack of transparency about the bonus, raise, and promotion process that makes it hard to gauge internal success.

  6. "Great place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consulting Associate in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Over CRA is a fantastic place to work. Excellent opportunities to move up for junior staff and the opportunity to work with extremely intelligent coworkers, from across the world. Also get the opportunity to work directly with expert witnesses, world class professors, and clients. Senior management provides great mentorship and actually want you to enjoy the work you do every day.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be tough at the beginning but you learn how to better manage your time as you progress.

  7. "Great"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consulting Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexibility, teamwork, locations, prestige, good management.

    Cons

    Recruit from some schools that attract pompous junior level staff.

  8. "Collaborative work environment and interesting projects"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - colleagues are very supportive and friendly - there are lots of opportunities to be on interesting projects - teams are well-managed and juniors are given the resources they need to learn

    Cons

    - workload fluctuates with projects - can sometimes be on too many projects

  9. Helpful (1)

    "Incredible Learning Environment"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Employee Relations Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles River Associates full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    CRA is an incredible place to work. The Human Capital team offers so many learning opportunities for their staff. Creativity and thinking outside of the box are highly valued and encouraged. Senior leaders also value inclusivity and work hard to ensure that those values are firmly engrained in the rest of the team as well.

    Cons

    I don't have any cons.

    Continue reading
  10. "Lots of opportunity for growth/promotion, very little room to be a human being"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Tallahassee, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Charles River Associates full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    CRA is exceptionally organized, and works like a well-oiled machine. You will be able to work on a wide array of projects in many different areas. The problems are challenging, but interesting. You will become very proficient in whatever tools you use to solve those problems.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is nonexistent. Management touts “flexibility” in workload, but this flexibility is only meant to provide you with more work- very seldom are you encouraged to rest during periods of less work. As an analyst, you will be expected to work at a moment’s notice during nights, weekends, and holidays. Making personal plans and sticking to any kind of schedule is very difficult. Day-to-day experiences will vary wildly by project, and especially by project manager. Some project managers are organized, communicative, and considerate. Some are the polar opposite. You are expected to perform consistently across all of these projects- very little (if any) responsibility is placed on poor project managers. The overall culture at CRA is broken. Despite putting in the majority of the work, analysts don’t get to experience any ownership of the projects- they forfeit all successes and shoulder the mistakes. Even the best project managers are pushed to their breaking point by the tremendous pressures that upper management puts on them to take on more projects and promise faster deadlines. The generous amount of PTO given to employees is hardly ever utilized. Working in this type of atmosphere, the general dissatisfaction is apparent to everyone, but verbally recognized by no one (for fear of seeming unmotivated or lagging behind). Many of the junior staff learn to accept this “churn-and-burn” type of culture, which is truly unfortunate.

    Continue reading

    Charles River Associates Response

    February 26, 2021

    Thank you for the feedback. We strive to provide every employee with a positive experience, and I am sorry to hear that your experience with us was not so. I note that you are no longer with CRA, but please reach out to me directly if you would like to discuss your concerns further. Jen Kordell, CHRO

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