Maryclaire joined AlphaSights in September 2015 after graduating from Vanderbilt University in 2013 with a degree in political science, focusing on international relations. She worked for two years in the media and entertainment industry at a global news network before transitioning to a fast-paced and business-centric role at AlphaSights.
I came to AlphaSights after spending two years in a completely different industry. After studying political science while also avidly following current events, I decided to go with an obvious choice after graduating and pursued an opportunity with a global news network. No doubt my time there was a rewarding experience, but over time, I learnt that not all career paths are as straightforward as a young 22-year-old would initially believe.
Working in a production role for a prime-time show team, I pitched stories, gathered research, and chased down leads. I covered breaking news ranging from historical Supreme Court rulings to disease outbreaks to natural disasters and social protests. It was exciting and it was challenging, but when I arrived at the two year mark, I had to be honest with myself and recognize deep down that I did not want to commit to a career in journalism.
I identified the pace of work, a team-oriented environment of the newsroom as well as the constantly changing topics as motivating and inspiring but felt the role lacked commercial impact.
You often hear that it is just as important to figure out what you don’t want to do as it is to figure out what you do want to do. There’s quite a bit of truth to that. When I was reflecting on my decision to leave my last job, I was able to identify what aspects I liked, what I felt I was lacking, and what I needed in the next chapter of developing my career. I identified the pace of work, a team-oriented environment of the newsroom as well as the constantly changing topics as motivating and inspiring but felt the role lacked commercial impact. I wanted to develop a different set of skills. To do that, I needed to transition to a more business-centric role and industry.
Enter AlphaSights. High energy and fast paced? Check. Team oriented? Check. Constantly changing projects? Check. Before, I’d look at stories as part of a news team and we’d decide which experts could speak on our air and what research and content we needed to tell the story. Now, I am leading and working on projects with my AlphaSights team, and we are mapping out industries and identifying experts whose insights will add value to our clients’ problem-solving and decision-making processes. Before, I got to meet politicians, celebrities, business tycoons, and activists. Now I am interacting with CEOs, scientists, public thought leaders, and top economists.
I was lucky to find a role that not only encompassed what I enjoyed about my last job, but also in an environment where I could develop business skills, such as sales, negotiation and excellent client service.
In the end, journalism was not the career path for me, and AlphaSights certainly isn’t the right fit for everyone else either. Regardless of what fits for you, paths are rarely ever straight. Most have multiple twists and turns. Wherever you are on your path, two years into your first job, ten years, or just two months, do yourself a favor and reflect. Reflect on where you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to be. Then make the changes needed to get you there. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up at AlphaSights like me.
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