Abroad at AlphaSights

  • Sze-Wing Choi
Life & Careers

It was never really in my plan to spend much time abroad - I’d spent most of my life in Singapore, and was really comfortable and settled there. My overseas journey formally began when I moved to the UK to pursue my studies in Experimental Psychology at Oxford. The three years at university ended up being some of the best years of my life; I met people with different backgrounds and world views, many of whom are now my closest friends. My takeaway from university was that I had not only learnt a lot from the lectures, tutorials and studying but also the diverse opinions of people I was surrounded by.

It became clear to me that I wanted a job with a diverse working environment. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but just knew that it was important to be constantly challenged by the people around me. I found AlphaSights to be supportive of such an environment - not only recruiting hard-working, driven individuals from all over the world, but also shifting their employees across the different offices to meet both business and personal development objectives.

There are three reasons why I feel working abroad is great. Firstly, it provides a different perspective and take on understanding a foreign culture - there are certain experiences that just can’t be soaked up as a tourist, in a few short days. For example, AlphaSights puts emphasis on skills such as commercial awareness, developing mutually beneficial relationships, and persuasion - things I had not seen to be a primary focus in the past, which was heavily academic.

Secondly, working abroad brings you and lots of different people together, each with a wide variety of experiences. A company with an international culture attracts people who value such experiences - there are people who have spent significant amounts of time abroad in places such as Japan, Spain, the USA and Thailand. It is easy to comfortably engage someone on their past experiences or views on current affairs, despite how different they are. Consistently learning from others is important at university and the same goes for at work.

Lastly, there is also great joy in learning to live independently, away from my family. I do miss home, but I see that I am learning valuable skills I can share with friends and family in the future. I cook for myself more often than not, and have also learnt how to find a place to rent, pay my taxes, budget, as well as clean! Also, if I’m being completely honest, living independently means I feel like I’m on holiday most weekends when exploring cafes, parks and museums with friends!

I signed up for a Connect day at AlphaSights’ London HQ. I not only experienced the culture first hand but also gained conviction to apply for the role and learnt more about the application and interview process. If AlphaSights sounds like it could be for you then I recommend doing you same!

Interested in attending our next Mixer or Connect Day? Visit out Meet Us page here to register your CV.


Sze-Wing Choi joined AlphaSights in July of 2015 and serves as an Associate on our Private Equity segment.