Reflecting on our Boston summer

Reflecting on our Boston summer

This year, CRA welcomed a class of over 40 interns who were spread across our offices from San Francisco to Brussels. While at CRA, interns are fully absorbed into life at CRA, and their experiences mirror that of our consulting staff. Interns have an opportunity to work on projects alongside their teams, attend all-staff meetings and intern-specific programs, and enjoy office social events. Take a peek into our program, and hear what several analyst interns had to share about their summer in Boston. 
 
Keran Huang
School: Wellesley College
Office and practice: Boston; Antitrust & Competition Economics
Fun fact: I’m learning to play the ukulele.
 
Yuki Yu
School: Wesleyan University
Office and practice: Boston; Financial Markets
Fun fact: I slept on an airbed over the three months in Boston, and both my airbed and I were fine!
 
Interns are given project responsibilities from day one at CRA. They help with ongoing cases, contribute to final client reports, and learn a multitude of hard and soft skills while working with their project teams. Here, our interns give brief overviews of their project experiences. 
 

Keran: I worked on several merger cases in which CRA helped parties evaluate the effect of a potential merger on market concentration, product pricing, etc. I also worked on some litigation cases. With these, CRA helps analyze the anticompetitive effect of a company’s conduct.

Yuki: I worked on articles about the telecom industry and databases in the Finance practice. I helped with quality checking data used in articles, updated settlement databases with Python, and compiled data for research about gold mine transactions around the world.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

Keran: On a typical day, I come into the office at 9am and work on tasks such as creating tables and charts, cleaning and analyzing data, conducting research on relevant markets and geographies, and running regressions. Around noon, junior staff in the Competition practice grab lunch together nearby.

Yuki: I come to the office around 9:15 am, update senior staff on my progress, and see if there are new tasks for me. Then I work on my projects on my own. I stop by junior colleagues’ desks if I have questions about Excel or research services like Bloomberg and S&P Capital IQ. I normally have lunch with other analysts and associates in the Finance practice.

Describe either your favorite moment or the biggest surprise while interning at CRA:

Keran: Throughout my internship, I was surprised by how helpful and supportive people at CRA were. My supervisor and onboarding buddy regularly checked in with me to make sure that my questions were answered and that I had a chance to work on the types of projects I was interested in. Everyone I worked with was very patient and willing to help. 

Yuki: I really can’t find a favorite moment, because I enjoyed every moment while interning at CRA! If there has to be one, I loved the fireworks on the night of the Fourth of July! I came to the office that night and watched the fireworks on the patio. This was the first Fourth of July I spent in the U.S., which was fun! 

What is a piece of advice you’d give to future CRA interns?

Keran: I would encourage future CRA interns to fully engage themselves in the work they do and use the internship opportunity to learn as much as they can. 

Yuki: There are a ton of resources at CRA – I can always find something to do. I would also recommend learning new skills if you have downtime. On demand Tech Labs training workshops are very helpful. Ask for book recommendations from junior or senior staff. Talk with people, even those you don’t directly work with, as you can always learn something interesting!

During their time with us, interns had the opportunity to attend company-wide events, training sessions, and intern-specific programs. Here they discuss the moments that most resonated with them.

Keran: An intern program that resonated with me was the overview of Quality Management, presented by Matt List, a Principal in Boston Competition. Matt discussed the importance of work quality, the process of independent replication, and other ways to achieve the best product possible. I was impressed with the emphasis on accuracy, rigor, and quality at CRA. This presentation inspired me to put in extra effort to ensure the quality of my own work. 

Yuki: I went to the Q2 2019 Earnings Call hosted by CEO Paul Maleh and learned about CRA’s performance across practices and offices. It’s great to know that CRA is continuously growing. It’s also interesting to learn about the financials and metrics, especially since they are related to some work that the Finance practice does.

Lastly, why is an internship at CRA a good experience for current college students and/or those interested in a career in consulting? 

Keran: Interning at CRA is a great way to improve both data analysis and communication skills. The internship gives you an opportunity to see how different cases evolve and how people at CRA use various approaches to drive analyses forward. Overall, this internship is an unparalleled learning experience offered in a supportive environment. 

Yuki: CRA is a place you can experience both corporate and academic life. In college, students work with peers and professors, whereas at CRA, you work with other junior and senior staff. Similarly, at school, you complete research for papers and projects. At CRA, you also do a lot of research and read many academic articles. Everyone here is friendly. They are willing to answer your questions and give out advice. The people at CRA were the best part of my intern experience.
 
CRA is different from other companies where junior analysts are mostly generalists. Here, the projects vary across practices. This internship is a great opportunity for someone who’s always been interested in a specific area and is willing to explore the practice. I’ve always been interested in Finance, and that’s why I chose the Finance practice. I was able to apply what I learned in economics classes at school to the projects at CRA. The learning curve was steep, however, especially for a non-Finance major like me. But many people at CRA have similar liberal arts backgrounds, so they understood my difficulties and were encouraging and helpful. My intern experience made me even more interested in Finance, and I’m excited to learn more about it in the future.