During my application for the AlphaScholars programme, I knew that it had a lot to offer but to be honest, I also saw the placement as an opportunity to fund a few months of travel in Summer 2016. Now, as I near the end of my placement, I can without a doubt say that AlphaSights has given me more than I bargained for. The placement was always going to improve my professional skills but I wasn't expecting it to have the significant impact that it has had.

Experiencing full-time employment at such an early stage has contributed immeasurably to my commercial awareness. At the age of 18, before starting university, I’ve had amazing exposure to deal activity with some of the largest private equity firms in the world. Being able to take part in the day-to-day due diligence of live M&A processes that are often in the news headlines is an awesome experience at such a young age.

Another crucial skill that AlphaSights has taught me is being able to seamlessly integrate into a new team. There have been many catalysts which have helped to speed up this process. Every week there is at least one opportunity to interact with colleagues outside of work. Whether it is on the sports field with the office football team, an inspirational speaker event, or a social gathering on a Friday evening, integration and collaboration is central to life at AlphaSights. A highlight of each week for me has to be playing for the office football team in our Tuesday night league. Being crowned champions of the league last season was the perfect end to what was a season full of beautiful “tika-taka” football and competitive spirit. Employees certainly buy into the firm’s philosophy of celebrating success and that's a great way to interact as a team and create a common goal for everyone to strive towards.

The change from school to full-time employment was certainly a jump. At school, you are pressured to succeed with the fear that poor results will negatively impact your university prospects. At AlphaSights, fear of failure is replaced with a supportive culture that encourages new initiatives. I take great satisfaction from seeing the early signs of success with the growth of the new business unit I worked on - certainly something that has given me an appreciation for taking intelligent risks.

My experience at AlphaSights has shaped my understanding of the private equity industry and the team can clearly see the positive impact they make for the clients they work with. For example, positive feedback from principals at some of the most successful private equity firms, after successfully delivering on a live due diligence project, is immensely satisfying. Moreover, I’ve been able to interact directly with senior executives and have made a real and lasting impact on a new business unit at AlphaSights. This is a perspective that not many people my age can claim to have gained.

Interested in our AlphaScholars programme? Click here to find out more and apply. The deadline is 29th April.