The only thing constant about my day-to-day life in CRA is that I’m never doing the same thing from one day to the next. Each day brings its own unique set of challenges that makes going to work exciting. It also helps that my co-workers are friendly and intelligent individuals who I enjoy being around both in and out of work.
I usually arrive in our Boston office between 9-9:30AM. Having our office located in the center of Boston makes commuting or even walking to work so easy and convenient. It takes me around a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute bus ride to arrive from my apartment to our office in Back Bay. Once I’m at the office, I log into my computer, check my emails and schedule for the day, and usually get coffee (or tea) and a snack (usually fruit) from our kitchen with other junior staff.
After adding caffeine and food in my system, the real work begins. Most of the junior staff in the Finance Practice, which I am a part of, are assigned to two projects simultaneously. This means being able to work on two completely different assignments and teams, doing tasks that challenge me in varying ways. One project may require me to research the nuances of the global fertilizer trade while the other could necessitate me to use Stata to analyze how various economic factors affect an insurance company’s financial performance. I particularly like this set-up because it keeps work from being monotonous and allows me to learn and develop various skillsets.
I usually have lunch with other co-workers around 12 p.m. With an office situated in the heart of Back Bay, there is never a lack of choices of where to get lunch. Whether I’m in the mood for a sandwich, salad, sushi, or even Chipotle, I never have to go more than two blocks to grab a good meal. I usually order take-out and have lunch in our office’s kitchen. Having a large communal kitchen and dining area makes socializing with everyone from other junior staff from different practices all the way to the CEO easy.
The rest of my afternoon is usually spent on more project work. Another great thing about working at CRA is being able to work with amazing people. Both my current projects are staffed with small teams composed of one senior staff and two junior staff each. With such a small team, I am able to take a lot of ownership of the analyses and work we have to perform, and aside from reporting to senior staff members, I am also able to work directly with our clients and outside experts. I did not expect to have this degree of responsibility just starting out as an analyst, but CRA does a great job of allowing its junior staff to take ownership of their work and provide them with valuable work experiences and opportunities.
Life in CRA, though, is not all work. There are a number of extracurricular committees employees can join and work on. I am currently a part of the Social Committee, Communications Committee, Volunteer Committee, and Alumni Committee. These committees do various things from planning office-wide parties to organizing volunteer opportunities for CRA employees. One such volunteer opportunity is our participation in the Read to a Child program where a group of CRA employees goes to a local public school every week to read to 2nd to 4th Graders. CRA also has frequent “Happy Hours” and themed parties both in and out of the office, which are always fun.
Overall, working at CRA is both challenging and exciting. Being able to work on a variety of interesting projects together with supportive teams, makes CRA a great place for both aspiring and seasoned consultants. With a collegial and friendly environment of co-workers and a plethora of extra-curricular activities and opportunities, my day-to-day life in CRA is never dull.
“Try & Hire” internship experience at CRA Zurich amid the COVID-19 pandemic
José Bila is an associate in the Life Sciences Practice based in Zurich. He joined CRA in June 2020 as part of the Swiss “Try & Hire” program, where...