Across the Pond, Mate: The AlphaSights Office Exchange Program

  • Chris Zhao
Life & Careers

In my sparsely decorated New York apartment, there's a large world map framed on the wall above my bed. Across this map, there are a number of black, red, and white-colored push pins in sporadic locations. Black pins symbolize the places I've been to. Red is for places I've planned to go. And white is for the few dream vacations — places I can only hope to one day be able to travel to.

I recently had the opportunity to add a new black pin by traveling to London for the AlphaSights Office Exchange program. Each quarter, a handful of Alphas globally are chosen to work from another office for a week (or weeks if you play your cards right…). You have the opportunity to apply and present a plan for what you hope to accomplish during your time abroad. This exchange has been one of the most rewarding opportunities I have experienced by working at a rapidly growing, global operation.

This past November, I paid my official visit to AlphaSights London as one of New York's ambassadors. My purpose for the trip was twofold: I wanted to share some things that have been successful for our immediate team in New York (I work in the Capital Markets group — or "CAP"), while also taking away the best of London CAP’s best practices. I introduced a new segment-specific training for onboarding new Associates . We had implemented the same program in NY in the past year, and it proved tremendously helpful for such a growing, young team. In turn, I also analyzed how the London team has approached their successful client relationships and proactive work. I was able to glean these best practices and more from my London counterparts.

Working out of another global office also helps you learn to be adaptable. Chances are the culture, set of values, and even the work pace will be different. As someone who has grown into their professional career exclusively at AlphaSights New York, this time abroad was quite a good change of pace. With the same expectations to perform your job, your adaptability is on full display.

Looking back, some of the greatest takeaways from the Exchange were born from the simple opportunities to interface with international colleagues and counterparts. Being able to strengthen a working relationship across offices is not only beneficial for day-to-day work, it is crucial for the ongoing success of a true global firm — especially one that actively promotes the exchange of knowledge and knows few boundaries in our efforts or service. These interactions make you think on a global scale and see how others perceive the world.


Chris joined AlphaSights in June of 2013 and serves as a Manager on our Capital Markets segment.