An investment beyond its years

When comparing notes with friends from other internship programs after the initial week at AlphaSights, I definitely noticed a difference.  In addition to the numerous emails I had received throughout the Spring and leading up to my first few days, it was obvious from my very first day that AlphaSights makes quite the investment in any new hire they bring on.  The entire first week of the internship was taken up by AlphaCamp, from 8am-6pm everyday.  The 80 of us interns were split in half and placed on different floors to sit through a variety of classroom-esque sessions throughout the week.   These sessions ranged anywhere from classes on what the AlphaSights mission is, to what a private equity firm is, to how to develop a professional brand.  From the variety of courses, we were acquainted with all different kinds of people at AlphaSights who led the sessions.  Some were taught by associates, only a few years older than all us interns.

The sheer investment of 50 hours in the opening week of the internship dedicated to intern-wide training and education was quite impressive, and not typical of most internship experiences.  Each individual who was presenting put together powerpoints that were then sent to all the interns at the end of each day; we were even assigned pre-reading throughout the week in preparation for the next day of session.  Given that I had not received any prior direct business education, learning about Capital Markets for 50 minutes was something I found really interesting and quite valuable.  The structure of the week was clearly something that had taken endless planning and access to resources long before interns had arrived; the investment was huge.

AlphaSights is a very young company, both in its newness and the average age of employees.  It is quite common for associates to work only about three years before leaving the company to explore something else.  Given such a short average of time spent at the company, it is surprising how much is invested in interns and new associates.  From the start, there is such an emphasis on personal and professional development, and it seems the entire program is structured around it.  In addition to the investment of new employees, there is also a significant investment as interns leave the company, fully funded for three months while searching for the next opportunity.  The young age of the company is something that is deeply ingrained in the AlphaSights culture–it speaks to the high energy and collaboration at the firm.  The investment, however, goes well beyond the short years of employees at AlphaSights.  The investment in development and skills is something that will last a lifetime.  AlphaSights catches its employees right at the beginning of their professional careers, fresh out of school and curious to explore the corporate world.  This essence of the company is the foundation of its culture.

 

 

2 thoughts on “An investment beyond its years

  • July 17, 2019 at 3:25 pm
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    Wow, that is quite a bit of investment. There are definitely some larger companies that have extensive bootcamps/training (sometimes flying all interns to one location), but for a smaller, younger company – you are right, it is impressive. So there is much attention paid to directly educating interns/new hires in regards to organizational values, attitudes, norms and processes (as well as a host of other content). Will be interested to hear, as you continue, about the formality (or lack there of) in terms of communication. Would be good to consider if it is the nature of the organization’s work that drives this culture, or is it a result of the founders/senior leadership and the work they’ve done to cultivate this learning-centered environment?

    • July 21, 2019 at 12:44 pm
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      Hm, think it is more a result of the senior leadership working to cultivate a certain kind of culture and environment. Would be interesting to see if there were any significant movements in this leadership if/how it would affect the company culture as a whole.

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