The social side of CRA


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The social side of CRA

Three members of Boston’s Antitrust & Competition Economics’ junior staff started a ping pong “league.” Regular season, which we’re in now and may never get out of, has periodic tournaments and will culminate in a championship. Championship seeding will be determined by Elo ratings earned during the regular season. The rating system has created friendly rivalries, dramatic upsets, and high-profile games. We’re eagerly awaiting a matchup between our youngest and oldest junior staff members—luckily ping pong is easy on the joints.

The junior staff have long thought that regular bouts of ping pong will make us better at our jobs since it improves motor skills (typing) and mental acuity (critical thinking). It’s nice to have our suspicions confirmed by a professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University. Maybe CRA should consider ping pong ability when recruiting. Adding a ping pong game to our interview process could be quite useful! Kidding aside, it’s great to have an activity that breaks up the workday and allows us to interact in a non-work setting.

There have been plenty of other chances to interact with coworkers in non-work settings this season. For example, Boston’s Volunteer Committee arranged CRA’s participation in the Camp Harbor View Citython 5K. The best part about this race was that it benefitted Camp Harbor View, a foundation that offers programs to youths from Boston’s at-risk neighborhoods. The second-best part was that it was followed by brunch.

The Volunteer Committee also had their annual Pie in the Sky event, which allows CRA employees to buy pies or make donations to benefit Community Servings, a non-profit organization that delivers free, freshly prepared meals to critically ill members of the Boston community and their families. This year, there was a competition to see which of CRA’s three Boston floors could buy the most pies.

We’ve had work-related, non-competitive events this fall, too! My favorite was a lecture organized by the Junior Class Council featuring Dr. Carl Shapiro, Senior Consultant to CRA and the Transamerica Professor of Business Strategy in the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Shapiro formerly served as a Member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economics at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. His talk, Antitrust at a Time of Populism, compared the current sentiment surrounding antitrust to the sentiment of the Teddy Roosevelt trust busting days, and summarized the two salient interpretations of current consolidation levels. It was well worth listening to!

Upcoming events promise to be just as interesting. I’m especially looking forward to Trivia Night, RAC II training (see my post Leveling Up for more information), and CRA’s holiday party.