Trading Cologne Cathedral for St Paul’s: My Journey From the Rhineland to London
Connect+ Event Cologne/Köln
It was early summer 2014, the day after the most intense storm of the year. I had been selected to participate in AlphaSights’ Connect event in Cologne and was determined to make an impression on the team – I knew I would be meeting Vice President Will Leeming, as well as the Head of Recruiting for the London office. Two obstacles tested that determination: an average temperature of 40˚C / 105˚F and the complete breakdown of the train network in the West of Germany. I took four different (and packed) busses on what became a six hour journey to Cologne. Needless to say that I was running late… three hours late! A handful of people didn’t make it – in the end my tardiness just proved my determination to meet the team. I was glad I made the effort. The AS team were interesting, open, young and ambitious. I was excited by the idea of revolutionising the way in which decision makers leverage knowledge in order to obtain a competitive advantage. The workshop clearly demonstrated the day-to-day work of an AlphaSights Associate and helped me understand the core business skills I would develop in this job: qualitative research, communication, sales, negotiation and project management. The networking drinks were a great way to engage with AS’ culture - I got to know my future colleagues while chatting about everything but work.
Interviews and Case Studies
After getting to know AlphaSights in Cologne, I was invited to interview in London. The interviews included a case study, which was designed to replicate the kinds of projects we typically work on. Having been to the Connect event, I was well equipped – I already had a thorough understanding of AlphaSights’ business and how they tackle business problems. The AlphaSights case study was very different from the traditional consulting case studies I was used to seeing, so attending the workshop was key. I received my offer almost immediately and started planning the big move…
The move from Germany to the UK
I started in the summer and the sun was shining. London is much better climate-wise than the cliché would suggest! At AlphaSights we have a strong sports culture – and just like in our job, we like to win. Londoners are mad about football, and joining the AlphaSights team made my move much easier. I got to know my colleagues as well as our opponents. London is an exciting place to start your career. There is always something to do here and life is fast-paced. The live music scene is incredible. Entry to most big museums is free and the West End is just a short walk from the office! Although I have to admit I still think Cologne has the most impressive cathedral of the two...
Sascha joined AlphaSights in September 2014 and serves as an Associate in our London office.