Embracing a Growth Mindset: Why I Returned Full-Time After My Client Protection Internship
Growing up, I was fascinated by the field of law. TV shows like Suits depicted quick-witted characters who could solve any business problem at the snap of their fingers. During my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to take a few law electives with an inspiring professor. She gave me a glimpse into the legal field, and encouraged me to further my legal studies by applying to a Juris Doctor program. When I was accepted into the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Juris Doctor program, I indulged in blockchain legal research in my Intellectual Property class and relished in spirited Jurisprudence debates. However, law in practice was different than what I had imagined. I didn’t enjoy subjects like civil procedure and could not see myself becoming a lawyer. As my classmates frantically buried their heads into vacation scheme hunting, I knew I wanted something different for my summer internship.
In search of a role that would allow me to branch out of a traditional legal opportunity, I stumbled upon AlphaSights’ Client Protection internship on LinkedIn in 2018 and applied. I was drawn to this role because of the job description, which described the role as the “intersection of business and law”— something I was looking for but did not know existed.
The Client Protection team at AlphaSights ensures that our clients access knowledge safely. This means driving the business forward vigilantly across many levels— from drafting strategic policies to manage potential risks, to developing impactful products and training to support a robust legal framework. As a Client Protection Intern, my responsibilities were both operational and project based. Operational tasks kept me on my toes throughout the day as I worked closely with our internal partners, the Client Service Team, to monitor client requests and provide tailored guidance. In addition, I redesigned a compliance training guide for our advisors globally. The project led me to work with our Legal and Software Engineering teams based in Europe and the US, as well as external animators to create an engaging animation to educate advisors on AlphaSights compliance policies. Two months flew by, and by the time I received an offer, there were three main reasons I decided to accept:
Honest conversations on professional development: I had open and transparent conversations with the Professional Development team and my manager frequently. They noticed that I had a knack for ideation and a creative mind, qualities that I hadn’t seen in myself before. These conversations had set valuable cornerstones for my developmental goals today.
Self-discovery and reflection: I was constantly encouraged to reflect upon my natural strengths and talents— what did I find exciting, and what drained my energy? I discovered that as an introvert, I felt most energized when innovating and developing Client Protection tools to make monitoring more efficient. As I progress in my career, I’m now identifying and developing relevant skill sets, (such as learning SQL and UX/UI) that would enable me to pursue a fulfilling career in this direction.
Active learning with a growth mindset: As Carol Dweck, Stanford psychologist, has mentioned, “The fixed mindset doesn’t allow people the luxury of becoming.” My teammates are all strong believers in adopting a growth mindset in everything we do. Adopting a growth mindset means to live mindfully by minimizing distractions, to learn intentionally and humbly through seeking actionable feedback. I was also consistently reminded that intelligence and capability can be cultivated through the right tools and coaching. This liberating mindset has transformed many aspects of my skill sets. For example, I learned to let go of my stubborn inner dialogue that I am a terrible public speaker. Now I am able to conduct compliance training in front of a crowd with confidence.
The decision to join AlphaSights as a full-time associate was a no-brainer. Today, I find myself exercising my legal acumen whilst developing a commercial mindset— an intersection that hits my career sweet spot. My responsibilities now range from designing and implementing strategically designed policies, to building new compliance features and products, while still delivering on operational and client work. Working in Client Protection at AlphaSights during a turbulent 2020 has been challenging but extremely rewarding. Apart from picking up technical skills such as coding and policy drafting, I have learned what it means to be adaptable in facing adversity – it is to stay resilient strategically, and to demonstrate resourcefulness through continuous innovation. All in all, I am grateful for all that this journey has offered and how it’s shaped my career so far.
Timothy Leung is a Client Protection Associate in Hong Kong. He joined AlphaSights full-time in 2019.