Polly moved from Switzerland to spend eight months of her gap year with AlphaSights. She will be studying French and International Relations at Durham University.
A global information services firm packed full of young, motivated and intelligent people - my first day at AlphaSights aged 17 for an eight-month internship was definitely a daunting one. Many aspects were challenging and required a lot of adapting, but there was one part of this experience that for me was entirely familiar: the international environment. I moved away from the UK when I was two, and since then have lived in three other countries, was taught in four different school systems and learnt another three languages to various degrees of fluency. Despite causing a multitude of identity crises when asked where I am from, I believe that these experiences have shaped my values, interests and passions, as well as giving me the soft skills to succeed professionally.
At AlphaSights, this international experience continues; there are multiple nationalities in the office and it is normal to hear three or four languages simultaneously, from German to Turkish. This is key to the way we connect with people, particularly in our London office where we work with a range of European clients and global advisors.
What struck me at AlphaSights is the feeling of community, acceptance and, most importantly, intellectual curiosity that comes with an international outlook. Working with people from different nationalities not only allows you to hear so many languages on a daily basis, but work with people who have vastly different opinions about the way the world works and should work. Not only this, but they are open to other perspectives too, and this makes for a dynamic and fast-paced environment, which helps us deliver as efficient and bespoke a service as possible.
I was one of two AlphaScholars placed on a client service team working alongside top European strategy consultants. My projects involve constant communication, both internally and with advisors from all over the world. Leading a conversation with an advisor in a second language about a topic that they are an expert on is challenging. However, having an open mind, a lot of confidence and good communication skills is key. Whether gained from living, working or studying abroad, an international mindset is an essential part of succeeding at AlphaSights.
Interested in our AlphaScholars programme? Click here to find out more and apply. The deadline is 29th April.