Booz Allen Hamilton

Jon Allen

Principal

“Booz Allen Hamilton was the only company where I interviewed. I had no interest in leaving the Army unless it was with Booz Allen.”
 

Why did you choose Booz Allen?

Prior to joining the firm, I was an Army Ranger-Qualified Infantry Officer with assignments in Korea, with The Old Guard in Washington D.C., as a White House Social Aide, and as company commander at Fort Hood.  As I was approaching the end of my time as a company commander, I was seeking a new opportunity in light of the recent attacks of 9/11. A former commander, who was then working at Booz Allen, shared my resume with leaders in the firm’s security market supporting the intelligence community. Many former military worked at the firm, and that made it an easy transition—especially since my first assignment had an impact in supporting operations in Afghanistan and, later, Iraq.

Why have you chosen to stay at Booz Allen?

My leaders have always encouraged me to grow my career and provided me with diverse experiences to facilitate that. My first assignment was supporting the intelligence community and its critical infrastructure protection programs, where I was promoted up to the first level in the executive ranks. The leadership then allowed me to serve in other parts of the firm within our Combatant Command business, leading a strategic investment around enabling “whole of government/ smart power” programs, assisting with reestablishing the international business in the Middle East/ North Africa, and now supporting our Commercial business building the manufacturing-high tech account. Each time I wanted to try something new, my leadership supported me and provided me the tools to succeed. 

What type of work do you do at Booz Allen?

Early in my career, I started focusing on critical infrastructure protection, which eventually transitioned into cyber security. Today, I use those experiences and my knowledge of defense-grade cyber capabilities to support our Commercial clients. I am currently one of the firm’s leaders in the manufacturing, high tech, and retail business, where I focus a majority of my time with our automotive and industrial manufacturing clients. It’s an exciting time in the industry. As machines become more connected and customers increasingly expect more convenience through the Internet of Things, the technological evolution and need for greater product security are changing how leaders think and act in the automotive and industrial manufacturing industries. In addition to cyber, we are beginning to see a greater focus on building and delivering data analytics, supply chain analysis, and enabling advanced technology solutions. In addition to that exciting work, I am also a leader within our Mission Assurance capability and support the firm’s relationship with the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

What differentiates Booz Allen from other companies that you could work for? What makes Booz Allen special?

Booz Allen is an Ivy League consulting firm. It built its reputation by providing clients with all the services they need from strategy through design to implementation. And it’s easy for me to work across markets and teams—there are minimal barriers to asking for help and requesting the support I need. 

How has Booz Allen helped you be ready for what’s next in your career?

Booz Allen has always been on the leading edge of identifying our client’s emerging challenges, transforming and investing in capabilities to meet those challenges, and finding the right talent or training our existing staff to deliver and make an impact for our clients. I reflect on where we were with cyber 10 years ago and where we are today—similar to the early investments we’ve made in data analytics, predictive intelligence, and creating partnerships with companies such as Intel and Amazon Web Services. We always seem to be slightly ahead of our competition, which in turn has provided with me with the tools to help our clients thrive rather than simply survive.

How does the work you do help your clients be ready for what’s next? How has your work and your team’s work made an impact for your client?

In many instances, our clients have not hired us because of our deep domain experience but rather our functional expertise and our ability to bring new, fresh perspectives to complex problems. We first focus on understanding the client’s ecosystem and, to a larger extent, understanding the business drivers that are motivating their senior leaders. We are able to take a client’s challenge, tie the challenge back to business needs, and help our client communicate and demonstrable change in a short amount of time. Our client’s want functional capabilities rather than typical management consultant strategy decks.  I am always impressed by how our teams can quickly integrate within the client environment and become value-added members of the team. The most critical aspect in this business is the people dimension—being genuine and committed to helping our clients be the absolute best in their industry.