Professional Development at AlphaSights: Building a Platform for Top Talent

  • Eleanor Williams
Life & Careers

I joined AlphaSights four and a half years ago, when we were a significantly smaller team with far fewer offices but growing extremely quickly. We were all commercially focused and our primary goal was to provide an outstanding, quality-focused service to our growing client base. This goal remains the same today, however for me personally, I now have a new client base; the employees of AlphaSights.

I remember my first day as an Associate at AlphaSights very clearly; I had my photograph taken for the system and was provided with a desk and computer and told to get started. I learnt the role by following the guidance of my colleagues and just getting on with the task at hand. There was no ‘how to’ guide or training; we were simply trying to do a great job and in doing so, we created best practice and a culture of high performance. In a small organisation, this knowledge disseminates easily but as we grew it became much harder to share. I therefore started to focus on new joiner on-boarding and in August 2013 we launched our first official training programme for new joiners. Since then, Professional Development has become a true focal point for AlphaSights and in January 2014, I stepped into the role full time. Together with my colleague, Chris in New York, the PD function serves all six of our international offices, rolling out global training programmes and best practices whilst tailoring certain initiatives for each of the offices in order to resonate with local cultures and practices.

"Career paths no longer have to follow a stepladder route; graduates today can use their skills to branch into an array of different roles and industries."

Professional Development at AlphaSights means giving our employees the freedom to forge their own path by providing a work environment that is both supportive and inspiring but not constricted. We are lucky to have an extremely talented workforce, which is testament to the amazing work of our recruitment teams and the effort they put into attracting and selecting top talent for our business. We encourage our employees to drive their own development through wider readings (we have an extensive library), attending talks from inspirational professionals (we regularly host speaker events) or running their own training sessions to share learnings and best practice (lunch and learns). The 70:20:10 model (70% experiential learning, 20% social learning, 10% formal learning) is very apparent at AlphaSights; the majority of skills are developed and honed simply by doing the job but taking learnings and motivation from your colleagues is also clear to see due to our strong team culture.

The career path at AlphaSights gives you the opportunity to take on responsibility very quickly. After two years you could be managing your own book of accounts and a team of Associates. All new Managers attend a Manager Bootcamp, which is hosted by our New York office and delivered by Vice Presidents from across the business, as well as our founders Max and Andrew.

Career paths no longer have to follow a stepladder route; graduates today can use their skills to branch into an array of different roles and industries. Our aim is to ensure that our employees have the essential soft skills and confidence to do this, if and when they decide to move on from AlphaSights. In the same way that we are always looking to improve the service for our clients, Professional Development is constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of our growing business. Our challenge is to ensure we keep up with the growth of the business and continue to think of new and innovative approaches to Professional Development.


Eleanor joined AlphaSights in 2012 and currently is the Head of Professional Development in London.