During an intern orientation session with Paul Maleh, he encouraged us to go out of our way to interact with CRA’s senior staff and ask questions. Paul said that to make the most of our time here, we should try and get to know the incredibly interesting people that work here, even though they’re often quiet and modest. I’ve found networking at CRA to be a healthy way to be social and learn what makes people excited about the work they do.
I took this advice with me when I left my internship and asked my professors at Wesleyan what made them excited about their field and why their research was interesting. The advice I received proved to be extremely valuable. After asking one of my professors what made his research on the economics of infrastructure industries so exciting, his face lit up. He replied that research has indicated that Internet infrastructure has been disappointing in improving wage growth, and this innovation, once imagined as an amazing tool for education and productivity, has not lived up to our economic expectations. His hypothesis was that maybe this was less true for other innovations, such as intermodal railroads because they carry such a wide variety of goods, and might create more “good” jobs like retail or manufacturing. His enthusiasm and the story behind his work inspired me to complete a thesis with him down the road as my advisor.
Now that I’m a full-time analyst at CRA, I continually reach out to a wide variety of people including those in our Competition, Energy, and Forensics Practices. I find people’s willingness to take time out of their day to talk to me shows that CRA is a wonderful firm to be a part of. A few months ago on LinkedIn, I saw we were welcoming a new Forensics Vice President who had published a really interesting article regarding cyber warfare and North Korea. After chatting on the phone, I asked if I could help out with conducting investigations, something that required a skillset far outside my job description. I started reading about how the cyber forensics process works in my free-time and took advantage of the learning opportunity this connection provided.
Today, I find myself working on calculating the settlement for a securities class action in the morning and reviewing a company’s online infrastructure for security penetrations in the afternoon. The variety of the projects I work on keeps me excited about coming to work because the challenges I face could be completely different than yesterday.
“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...