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Hear how Zach has settled into life as an analyst

by Zach Weiss

I loved everything about Middlebury College, and I’m so happy I studied Economics, Math, and Computer Science while I was there. Nevertheless, anyone who majored in a quantitative discipline at a liberal arts school can relate to my struggle of seeking a job that could both continue to fill me with knowledge in a variety of disciplines and satisfy my affinity for problem-solving using quantitative reasoning. In many professional spheres, these qualities in a job are mutually exclusive, but I’ve found that economic consulting is the perfect intersection of the two.

Six months into my tenure as an analyst in the Financial Economics Practice at Charles River Associates, projects I’ve worked on have exposed me to a breadth of markets and industries, often requiring different econometric approaches to solve the problems presented in each. Our practice works primarily in the home mortgage lending and auto lending industries, identifying disparate impact in lending activity on the basis of race, age, or sex. The data cleaning and econometric model-building we do is entirely relevant to the econometrics courses I enjoyed taking in college, and to my senior economics thesis entitled “Lost Hope? The Effect of Banning Affirmative Action on the Risk Behavior of High School Students.” Stata is usually the first and last window I have open every day, which I unabashedly admit makes the left side of my nerdy brain very, very happy.

I like to think that I’ve decorated my cubicle in the Boston office well. To my left, I have printed out the text To the Virgins Make Much of Time, and I have written on my whiteboard the nearly chapter-long quote from Chapter 14 of Grapes of Wrath. I have posted hand-written letter correspondence from old friends above my monitors as well as pictures of my favorite paintings, movie scenes, and moments in history to my right. No one would ever use the word “clean” to describe my space, but I find it comfortable.