Although it’s a stereotype that no one plans to stay in consulting for more than 2 years, it’s no surprise to me that many of CRA’s junior staff stay longer because there are so many opportunities for learning and professional growth.
I have been at CRA for about a year and a half now, and I am constantly learning new things. Whether it’s how to apply a theory involving options trading to calculate insider trading damages or something as simple as a new Excel formula, I still feel like I have not exhausted what CRA has to offer. Besides the project work, CRA also offers formal training sessions. Recently, I attended Research and Analysis Core II, a training specifically designed for those of us who have been with CRA for a little more than a year.
RAC II is a 2-day training event that builds off the first training (RAC I) we received as new analysts. With work experience and the technical know-how under our belts already, RAC II is geared more towards developing soft skills such as leadership and communication.
Day one of RAC II was about developing our own skills as experienced junior staff members. The first activity of the day helped find our driving purpose for our day-to-day work at CRA. Based on a diagnostic test, I found my purpose is to help society overcome barriers by providing tools and support. Through the session, I realized part of the reason why I enjoy data analysis work is because it’s an unbiased tool when used properly to explain why things are happening, thus it is a fair way of uncovering the truth for both our clients and society as well.
The second session was about developing our leadership skills. We were taught various interpersonal skills to ensure we are able to take on more advanced work from our project managers while also effectively working with analysts and interns who look to us as more experienced members of the team. The last session of the day was an outing to an improvisation class where we were taught effective communication techniques that would be helpful in our day-to-day dealings with colleagues and teams.
The second day of training shifted focus on how the work we do fits into the CRA business model. For the first session, we learned the importance of quality management when it comes to our work. The next session was with Paul Maleh, our CEO, who gave us a talk about the importance of having a plan, whether it is a short-term or long-term one. Paul discussed how he was able to attain his goals by setting objectives. RAC II concluded as we tied together everything we learned. We were able to learn a lot about ourselves, the skills necessary to perform well at work, the importance and value of the work we do for CRA, and the impact it all has on a personal and interpersonal level as well within the company and with our clients.
Over the past year and a half here, I have come to realize that CRA has a lot to offer its employees in terms of personal and professional growth. These opportunities not only come from our day-to-day work and projects but also through formal training sessions such as RAC II. I love working for CRA and look forward to working here for the foreseeable future.
CRA Sessions Podcast: Summer Internship Experience
In this CRA Market Insights Podcast, Michael Tom is joined by Claire Wang, Selena Kiu, and Karla Guerrero, who share their experiences as summer interns at...