Perspective Is Everything - Reflections on My Client Protection Internship at AlphaSights
I’ve often heard the phrase, “Perspective is everything.”
As a rising pre-law senior entering the last summer before graduation, I thought about this as I explored internship opportunities to help plan my career path after college. I had previously served as a judicial intern for two federal judges in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though those internships taught me a lot about the law, I felt that I needed to gain a different perspective on the way that law operates in a business setting. While researching potential internships, I came across a company called AlphaSights. Little did I know that just a few months later, I would be offered a position as the first Summer Associate (intern) for the Client Protection team at AlphaSights.
I originally applied for the Client Service team, which works with our clients to connect them to expert advisors in various industries to fill in their knowledge gaps. During that initial interview, I spoke honestly about my interest in the varying risks and concerns that AlphaSights and its clients may encounter. Interestingly enough, the VP interviewing me recommended that I be placed on the Client Protection team, which helps clients minimize risks and use AlphaSights’ services safely. I was intrigued by his suggestion, and the Client Protection team struck me as a vital aspect of AlphaSights’ model. This was a chance to look beyond the strictly “legal lens” and understand the fundamental business goals and needs of various players operating in major industries around the world.
At first I thought, “How can a small, global team work with hundreds of clients and colleagues to ensure that the business is safe? How do they secure our clients’ trust?” The answer became clear to me soon after starting my internship. Unlike other compliance teams, the AlphaSights Client Protection team is not a back office function. I saw first-hand how their input, processes, and participation are ingrained from step one of project delivery, ensuring that their vision is shared across the firm. The team is effective because it encourages and trains Client Service teams to approach projects with a Client Protection mindset — to be proactive, risk-averse, and keep clients’ best interests in mind.
Since the team was so involved with the other segments, I learned to look at problems through the eyes of all stakeholders, both internal and external, to understand and empathize with their points of view. While working side-by-side with my CP trainer, I learned how to confidently respond to a scenario and when to reach out to others for advice and support to resolve a problem. Discussion, debate, and creative thinking within our team allowed me to gain a new perspective on life and my future opportunities.
Two months later, I’m extremely grateful that my internship search brought me to the Client Protection team at AlphaSights. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and work at the intersection of law and business from a new viewpoint. I participated in online meetings with team members around the world to align our global policies, provided guidance to Client Service Associates working on projects for a variety of clients and industries, and conducted a long-term research project to update our policy and train our employees on how to work with government officials.
I began to understand the meaning of the phrase I had been hearing my whole life–stepping outside your boundaries and engaging in new experiences allows you to view the world through the eyes of others. For me, this meant I was able to understand the duties and goals of AlphaSights, its clients, and all of the individuals that I interacted with. I look forward to carrying this lesson with me as I approach law school. I ultimately gained a fresh perspective that will stay with me for the rest of my professional and personal life.
Need a dynamic pre-law internship? Want to develop your business acumen? Check out the Client Protection internship role here.
Andrew studies Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at Brown University and has spent the last two months interning for the Client Protection team in New York.