March 24, 2008

David Van Schaik ’06 Advances Quickly at CRA International

He secured full-time job with firm after serving internship sponsored by Alan Friedman ’68

Success is coming quickly for David Van Schaik ’06 at CRA International, a global economics and litigation firm. He was recently promoted from financial analyst to associate.

Van Schaik secured his position at CRA after serving an internship the summer before his senior year with InteCap, Inc., which CRA later acquired. Economics and business graduate Alan Friedman ’68, managing director, sponsored the experience.

“Unlike other students who may have had connections via family or friends, I unfortunately did not,” explains Van Schaik. “Because of this limiting factor, I knew I had to maximize any opportunities through the Office of Career Services. Fortunately, after conducting interviews with three different InteCap employees, including Alan Friedman, I received a favorable response. I entered the 10-week internship program and performed job functions similar to those of a full-time analyst, all of which provided me with valuable professional experience. The internship culminated with a formal job offer.”

Van Schaik conducts analyses related to ongoing financial litigation matters. His day-to-day routine includes analyzing data, reviewing and managing the accuracy of analyses, researching issues and identifying crucial information in litigation matters, producing research summaries and assisting in the development and presentation of findings, and assisting in analyst recruiting efforts.

“The most rewarding aspect of my career is the constant challenge of knowing in the back of my mind that any analyses conducted need to be able to withstand scrutiny by an opposing expert’s team of professionals,” he says. “Additionally, every engagement I work on is unique. It allows me to obtain valuable industry knowledge as well as broaden my skill set.”

Van Schaik found that having a Lafayette alumnus as his mentor was a beneficial addition to his internship experience.

“Alan Friedman is highly motivated, intuitive, and tremendously experienced in his profession,” he says. “He is decisive and always seems to know how to attack, prioritize, and delegate complex issues. Since his time is so valuable, he needs to have things efficiently summarized and have all the relevant information available to him in order to make a final decision.”

Van Schaik believes his double major in A.B. engineering and economics & business gave him a solid foundation for his career.

“Lafayette’s engineering and business majors were very helpful in preparing me for my competition, especially since I had the business mindset along with the quantitative and analytical engineering skills,” he explains. “Moreover, extracurricular activities such as Leonardo Society and Investment Club allowed me to fine-tune my leadership and decision-making skills.”

Originally a chemical engineering major, Van Schaik credits David Veshosky and Sharon Jones, associate professors of civil and environmental engineering, with helping him change his academic discipline.

“During my sophomore year, I decided to drop chemical engineering and pursue a more management/business type of engineering,” he says. “They supported me greatly during this process as well as while I was applying to internships in the financial area. I owe them a tremendous amount of thanks.”

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