Associate, Chicago

Why did you choose to join Analysis Group?
I actually joined Analysis Group twice – once as an analyst in Boston and once as an associate in Chicago. When I chose to leave my investment banking job in New York City, I looked exclusively at economic consulting firms in Boston, where my girlfriend – now wife – was attending law school. I had experienced the traditional investment banking and management consulting environments, and I wanted to work with people with diverse backgrounds who loved their jobs. Analysis Group immediately stood out among the other firms as a great place to work as an analyst. After leaving the firm for graduate school, I kept open the possibility of returning, but I didn’t know much about the role of a Ph.D. at other economic consulting firms. After graduation, I looked at other firms again, but this time with a better idea of what I wanted. In the end, the choice felt easy to me. Analysis Group was, and still is, the best place to develop myself.
What do you find most enjoyable and most challenging about your work?
What I find most enjoyable are the conversations I have with coworkers – people here are interesting and funny. A single conversation can move from economics to sports to movies to cattle auctions – and (inevitably) back to economics. The environment fosters a strong sense of camaraderie, which makes a big difference when the office is busy. Everyone pitches in to help each other out, and everyone I’ve worked with has a great attitude, even when times get tough. The most challenging part of the job is keeping our analyses simple enough to be understood by a jury but sufficiently technical and rigorous to be convincing and robust.
What do you think about the firm’s collaborative culture?
It’s not just me trying to solve the problems of a multinational bank – it’s the whole office. Sometimes I’ll think out loud when trying to construct an approach to solve a problem. Having others around to listen and perhaps to offer a different approach can be very helpful. Sometimes my questions are very technical, and it’s nice to have experts in just about everything nearby.
How do you balance work and life?
It helps having a spouse who also works in litigation and understands its variability. But I have found that Analysis Group is very understanding and protective of vacation time. When I’m not working, I enjoy yoga and hiking, and I travel when deadlines permit. Also, the firm organizes a lot of activities outside of work. I recently completed the Tough Mudder with five coworkers, and we hope to double the team size in the future. At our office trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I got to try snowboarding for the first time (and had the bruises to prove it). I also play on the office’s volleyball team.
David Smith profile