Avascent’s organizational culture is something I would describe as very academic, a little nerdy, and very focused on personal growth of its employees. Such large emphasis is placed on the growth of newer employees with regards to their knowledge related to the typical work Avascent does, as well as their ability to step up and lead when needed. Analysts are promoted very quickly to Senior Analysts, and continue to have check ins with their more senior Advisors about things they’re doing well and what can be improved upon. Just this week, Avascent had its first ever employee retire (they’re a fairly new firm), and it was very evident how much he valued investing time into improving all of the other people on his project team, including their personal relationships with each other. When I first began my internship, I was especially concerned about creating a good work/life balance as I know the typical hours in the industry can be quite long, and with the switch to remote there was no way to “leave the office” as the office was in my bedroom. However, the company has made a great effort to make sure we are both having fun with other employees and the interns (we’ve done multiple game nights, happy hours, and lunches) and are also not working past the hours we need to work. I have just begun to wrap up my first project at the firm and have just been staffed on my second, and I have been reminded many times by project managers how important it is to not take on too much work too early. I’ve really appreciated how much time my project manager has already invested in teaching me new ways to do my work, as well just get to know me. Another interesting thing to note about the culture of the office, is how willing senior leadership and especially the CEO has been to recognize where they can do better and to ask help of how to improve. Most notably, the firm has made a large point of discussing diversity and inclusivity at the firm at all levels, especially with regards to the protests in DC. The company pledged to match a certain number of employee donations towards non profits working towards racial equity in DC. This week we also had a company wide meeting where plans were laid out as to how the recruiting process can change to reach out to groups who historically have been underrepresented in both the consulting and defense industries. Having the CEO of the firm have these kinds of honest conversations with the entire firm was very refreshing as someone who was worried that a more corporate style internship would make it difficult to talk about injustices at large or within the industry. Finally, a large part of learning the culture and adjusting to it has been my buddy that I was assigned before my internship began. We have weekly lunches and chat over teams throughout the day if I have any questions about my work or the company in general. It helps me have a point person, so I don’t always have to ask my project managers about something small, and instead can rely on someone who has been working at the firm for just a year and was also an intern last summer.
- Team Dynamics and Leader/ Follower Relationships at UCB Pharmaceuticals
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