Lea Lorderer: A Day in the Life at Hamburg
I joined AlphaSights in September 2017 as an Associate in our Hamburg office. I’m originally from Munich, Germany, and after I received my Masters in Management having studied in Lisbon, Portugal and Sao Paulo, Brazil, I knew I ultimately wanted to return to my home country. I first discovered AlphaSights while at university, when a recruiter contacted me via LinkedIn. We had an introductory call about the company and I was immediately hooked. After interviewing and accepting a full-time offer, I went to AlphaSights’ London headquarters for two weeks of intensive training with a group of fellow new joiners, before starting on the DACH (German-speaking) team in Hamburg.
The Hamburg office in particular attracted me because it came with the opportunity to be a part of building an office from scratch. The office was set up a few months before I joined — AlphaSights’ first office in Germany — and I was its first direct hire. I love that we have all the advantages of working in a tight-knit, focused, and growing team, while also having access to our colleagues in the UK, US and Asia. Working here really does give you the chance to make an impact in the business every day. Hamburg is also a fantastic city to live and work in. The second largest international hub in Germany, it’s vibrant and diverse, and has lots of different areas within it (like the Old Warehouse and Portuguese districts) so you rarely get bored. It’s also full of beautiful sites like the Elbe river and Alster lake as well as great restaurants and nightlife.
“Most mornings before work, I arrive at the gym at Jungfernstieg. The top floor is right above one of Hamburg’s busiest downtown malls, overlooking a beautiful view of the city while I work out”
Everything is pretty accessible in the city; most of our morning commutes are under 30 minutes.
AlphaSights’ Hamburg office is much like the city itself: dynamic and busy. Our small size fosters a collaborative environment that leads to great friendships in and outside of work. We’re given a large degree of autonomy and access to senior leadership, executives, and clients early on.
“I especially look forward to being greeted by the WeWork office dogs in the mornings.”
Our communal area also has a football table, ping pong table, and offers weekly breakfasts. After work, there are beers on tap for happy hours and socialising with the other businesses based in the WeWork office. It’s a good way to get to know new people in the city and expand my network.
Office culture aside, I look forward to coming to work because of how engaging the associate role is. I’m constantly exposed to numerous industries and get to own different tasks throughout a project’s lifecycle.
“I typically spend my first 20 minutes going over my tasks for the day, determining priorities, and checking in with our clients to get a better understanding of their needs.”
I’m a naturally curious person so working on a variety of business cases broadens my knowledge base and presents new challenges on a daily basis. Interacting with professionals with such a wide range of expertise, AlphaSights’ clients, and the people on my team is a constant source of motivation. Being surrounded by dynamic and driven colleagues motivates me to push harder and always deliver quality results.
“We have a daily board meeting where my team reviews all of our active projects, plan next steps and gauge team capacity. After these meetings , our managers, Julian Kettenacker and Valentin Zuern, touch base with London so both of our European offices are on the same page.”
I’ve developed invaluable skills during my time at AlphaSights. I’ve learned to prioritize and multitask as I work with multiple clients, advisors, and team members every single day . The need for constant communication has greatly improved my ability to interact with people and adapt to situations efficiently and effectively. I’ve learned how to be composed, efficient, and persuasive as well as flexible when negotiation is required. My skills are a product of experience on the job, training sessions, and feedback meetings with experienced colleagues.
“I meet with my manager for 30 minutes every two weeks to discuss recent milestones, challenges and achievements. These catch-ups enable us to set expectations, share feedback, and understand one another’s priorities going forward. In addition to these catch-ups, I have monthly professional development meetings to make sure I’m progressing towards my desired career path.”
Our ultimate goal is to find the best advisors that meet our client’s needs and can provide the information they need to make smarter business decisions faster. This comes with its challenges: Advisors can be hard to contact and be short on time. These are the challenges that fuel us — we’re constantly experimenting with new approaches and processes to learn from and improve on.
“Around mid-morning we get a request from the London office to support a European-wide medical project for the DACH area. I get in touch with Liz Dolan in London via Slack (our internal messenger tool) to coordinate international project collaboration and schedule a phone call to go over the client’s brief and priorities.”
Outside of working hours, AlphaSights proactively makes time for us to bond and socialise. Some of my favorite events include Oktoberfest, our holiday parties, and our yearly Firm day. My best memory though, was a weekend outing in Hamburg with 20 other colleagues, as it offered the possibility to meet everyone in a different environment and show our London colleagues around the city. These kind of events help establish a strong bond with our colleagues whether they’re based in Hamburg, London, New York or Hong Kong.
I’d recommend anyone that’s looking for a fun, fast-growing, and challenging position, to consider our Associate Programme. You’ll learn something new every day and form great relationships along the way.
Learn more about AlphaSights’ Associate Programme and apply here.
Lea Lorderer joined AlphaSights in September of 2017 and serves as an Associate.