My First Six Months as a Graduate
My first 6 months at AlphaSights has flown by — it seems like only yesterday when I first applied to the Associate program last September. I joined AlphaSights in January 2018, after studying Economics at The University of Exeter. Since then, each stage of my AlphaSights journey has proved to be more exciting (and challenging!) than the last. Here’s a look back at my highlights and headwinds so far, as well as what lies ahead for my AlphaSights career:
Month 1: Diving in
After meeting my starter class of over 10 aspiring graduates from across Europe, my first experience of the company came in the form of a two-week induction into the world of AlphaSights through an intense series of presentations, training exercises, and shadowing activities. During AlphaCamp, we got to grips with each of the client segments we serve (Consulting, Corporations, Private Equity, and Capital Markets), learned about the firm’s history and growth to date, our strategy for the future, and the range of professional development options available to us.
AlphaCamp was exactly what we needed before being let loose on the desks — there were lots of handshakes, even more free lunches, and one too many names to remember!
Month 2: Sound the Alarm
Once introductions were over, and I understood how I fitted into the team and wider Private Equity (PE) segment, it was time to start delivering on projects. Before I began speaking to potential expert Advisors for our clients, I was able to practice my approach through mock calls (not as scary as you think!). Not only did these prepare me for the challenging situations I could face, they gave me a chance to solicit feedback on what traits it takes to to be a successful Associate; emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and determination are a few that stand out for me.
A personal highlight was learning how to continue a conversation through our routine Friday fire alarm! From here on out, my level of responsibility grew quickly and I, along with the rest of my starter class, was given a great deal of autonomy in how to organise my day to day work. My team was great in helping me adopt the best practices of delivery straight away.
Month 3–6: Contributing to the Bottom Line
From my third month onwards, it was down to us to demonstrate what we had learned so far and begin meeting expectations. As a revenue-driven role, it’s exciting to be able to gauge your exact performance as the month progresses, and I found great personal satisfaction in seeing myself improve each month.
It was also during this time that we could really begin to appreciate what AlphaSights has to offer beyond the challenges of the Associate role.
The social side of the firm certainly lives up to what you see on our Instagram! With monthly team events, Friday Beers, internal sports teams, a trip to Dublin, and an annual weekend away — there’s plenty to keep you busy. Participating in #NetCredits — our mixed-team netball match, isn’t exactly something I’d imagined myself doing before starting at AlphaSights. However, my basketball background came in handy and it was a great way to get to know other people in the office outside of the PE team.
Our team events so far have also been pretty great — from attending my first life drawing class to Thursday nights out in central London, there’s something for everyone. You can submit your own ideas for events too (trampolining was a bit of a trend in the London office).
6 Months Down: Onwards and Upwards
Six months on, I’m looking forward to the next set of challenges in my AlphaSights career; namely client communications and having more chances to contribute to the wider team beyond project delivery.
When I reflect on my first few weeks, my performance between now and then is like night and day. From squeaking past a tricky few initial calls, to recently meeting a former CEO of a well-known multinational, penning this post has made me think about why I applied to AlphaSights in the first place; to gain a strong commercial acumen and develop the necessary relationship-building skills to thrive wherever my career takes me. My first 6 months have certainly delivered that in buckets, and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 has in store.