Connecting Theory to Real Life: How AlphaSights Prepared Me for the CEMS Programme

  • Yvo Velthoen
Life & Careers

The vast majority of people who graduate from their Bachelor’s degree in the Netherlands either continue studying or take up a board position in a student association. Neither of those options genuinely appealed to me, so I opted for something different: a placement at AlphaSights. I couldn’t have wished for a better introduction to how to get things done in business.

career development
Yvo alongside industrial placement students, Ren and Chris, outside the London office. 

Accelerated development

AlphaSights competes in an industry where speed and quality are the two key variables that enable us to win. Two variables that are often at odds with each other, and that an Associate must navigate simultaneously.

Our initial deliverable to our clients always comes within 24 hours. Rapid response is key. On the flipside, AlphaSights is dedicated to delivering the highest quality match for clients. If the match is not right, you will know about it.

Shouldering the responsibility for AlphaSights’ two key differentiators can be tough for Associates. But having 100% visibility on what’s going right, and wrong, on your projects, means you can react quicker, deliver better, and make more informed judgement calls. It’s what has allowed me to make savvy business decisions at pace, and develop professionally as a result.

Young company

AlphaSights has seen remarkable development. At 10 years old, it is still one of the fastest growing UK-based companies in the world. The company lives and breathes growth and there are new initiatives every day to develop the firm.

Personally, I started a weekly running club together with a colleague and - my proudest moment - I managed to win a new (Dutch!) client. In addition, having developed a keen interest in all things financial and Dutch, I have taken on more projects focusing on these areas. AlphaSights’ youth and growth allows you to take the initiative and act, voice your opinion and tailor your experience.

Dynamic team

All in all, it has been a fantastic 10 months working and living in a different country, with numerous unique experiences and learning moments. Having serviced some of the most demanding clients in London across a myriad of industries and geographies, I am certain that due to my experience I can more confidently connect abstract theory to daily practice in my future academic career.


Yvo studied International Business at Maastricht University and has spent the past 10 months on the European Pre-Masters Programme at AlphaSights London. In September he will join the International CEMS Masters at Rotterdam School of Management and Copenhagen Business School.