Making a Manager

  • Denise Chan
  • Nov 16, 2018
Life & Careers

After two years with the firm, AlphaSights’ client service and specialist function associates across our Europe, Americas, and Asia regions have the opportunity to apply for Manager. Associates have six months to prepare their application before interviewing with their respective Region Heads. If their application is successful, this global group of newly elevated managers head to an intensive week-long training course in one of our nine offices around the world. As we approach 2018’s second round of manager elevations, Denise Chan, who became a manager for our consulting accounts this past July, reflects on her time at AlphaSights’ Manager Bootcamp


I stepped out of the elevator onto the 12th floor of the New York office and was immediately enamored by the varying sizes of AlphaSights logos imprinted in the lobby, on the reception desk and on the LCD screens. It was my first time stepping foot in another AlphaSights office — this one is the largest of the nine globally — and I was speechless. I moved back to Hong Kong in 2016 and joined AlphaSights after graduating from Middlebury, a liberal arts college based in Vermont USA.

Fast-forward exactly two years, and my name was called out as I stepped to the front of the room at the biannual manager elevation ceremony followed by a round of cheers and applause by my colleagues — I couldn’t believe I was going to be a manager after just 2 years of starting my career. One month later, I flew to the New York office for a week-long intensive training (or ‘Bootcamp’) with my fellow group of 39 newly elevated managers from all over the world; it’s the largest Manager Bootcamp class that AlphaSights has had to date.

The week consisted of sessions focused on team and commercial management, effective communication, and conflict management. It provided a comprehensive toolkit of techniques and resources for us to refer to as we began our manager journeys back home. Throughout the week, we worked on how to have ‘tough love’ conversations, how to best deliver feedback, conduct effective 1:1 meetings, budget, grow our individual client accounts, and set ambitious commercial and personal goals.

We also had the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with like-minded colleagues from all over the world. It amazed me how similar yet different everyone’s experiences had been during their first two years in the other global offices. Though we all come from different backgrounds and endured different challenges, it was obvious to me that we all shared one similar trait: a desire & drive to get things done.

Denise (second from the right) having a lunch with other newly promoted managers

Our evenings were full of excitement and exploration. In my first couple of days I caught up with my best friend from Middlebury who currently works in the AlphaSights New York office and had a picnic reunion with the newly elevated managers from our four Asia offices. On Wednesday, the local consulting accounts team organised a fantastic cocktail reception to welcome the international consulting colleagues. It was a great opportunity to put faces to names and build trust. It’s always easier to work effectively with people across regions after you’ve met them in person! On Thursday, the new manager group continued stimulating conversations and sharing knowledge over a couple of beers at Happy Hour. Friday rolled around way too quickly but the week ended with a bang at the AlphaSights New York summer party, where I got another chance to meet new and familiar faces across the dinner table (and the dance floor).

Just as I was finally getting over the jet-lag (there’s a 12 hour time difference between New York and Hong Kong), it was already time for me to board my 16-hour flight back home, both physically and mentally exhausted. ‘Manager Bootcamp’ was a defining experience in my personal and professional development here at AlphaSights, where I was given the opportunity to learn and challenge myself, and build an action plan for post-Bootcamp implementation. I closed my eyes as my flight took off, feeling both fulfilled and energised for what was to come.

To learn more about life at AlphaSights and the Associate Programme that kick-started Denise’s career, click here to browse our current opportunities.