Hi, Sam here! I’m one of the newest cohort of Alpha grads and have been here for about a month, so thought it would be good to give applicants a little taste of what I’ve been up to, and what you can expect if you join Alpha…
The first month
The first month as a graduate here has been, above all, really great fun! And, from what I’ve gleaned so far, that’s something that really matches with the ethos of Alpha more generally. Even before you arrive, as a new graduate you are invited to go to lunch with your Alpha buddy (an amazing resource, a “go to” employee who will help you with any concerns you have), and meet everyone at company social events (which happen quite regularly here…). All of this just makes your first day a little less daunting and, once you join, everyone’s friendliness soon puts you at ease.
"Early responsibility isn’t just a marketing phrase at Alpha, it’s truly part of their DNA"
The first week
The first week comprises mainly of training sessions to introduce you and the other grads to Alpha; including an introduction to the asset and wealth management industries (definitely needed!), a “Consulting 101” session, as well as practical sessions on time management, Alpha’s business areas, presentation skills, and how to “influence and persuade”. All the sessions were extremely useful and allowed us to meet a number of Alpha employees, gain a clearer vision of what to expect when we get onto a project, and also get to know the other graduates. Rather than just watching a PowerPoint all week though, the sessions are all put into practice via a case study exercise that all the grads work together on throughout the week; again another really useful and, (dare I say it), fun task.
In true Alpha style, however, to accompany these sessions are numerous lunches (with outstanding food, accompanied by guilty gym trips…), as well as a number of other social events, including graduate welcome drinks; because clearly there is no better way to get to know all your new colleagues than over many glasses of wine, bottles of beer, G&Ts and also the Alpha staple Espresso Martini (better than it sounds, thankfully). These obviously really worked, because after the first week I felt like I had been there ages - a fully-fledged member of the Alpha family.
"Any lingering concerns regarding whether I’d made the right choice of graduate job were put to rest in the first 10 minutes"
The second week
The second week involves some classroom training to prepare you for the IMC (Investment Management Certificate) exams you sit in week 3. Although this sounds daunting, it is an amazing qualification to gain at this stage, especially before you hit a project. For anyone like me who also found giving up their uni days a bit of a struggle, the need for more study and revision reminded you what you were missing, so swiftly forced you to conclude that life isn’t actually that bad at all!
The final week of your first month
For the final week of your first month, you complete the training and exams in Prince2, a project management qualification which will give you a good foundation in all the vital skills required when you hit that first project the following week. By this time, too, I offered to help with the graduate recruitment campaign for next year; and so my fourth week at Alpha was topped up with a good dose of other work, including writing this very blog post. From my perspective, such tasks remind you that “early responsibility” isn’t just a marketing phrase at Alpha, it’s truly part of their DNA.
How am I doing?
So, then, after just a month at Alpha I already feel like I’m part of the family. Of course, there is still so much to learn and I’m hungry to get onto my first project, but any lingering concerns regarding whether I’d made the right choice of graduate job were put to rest in the first 10 minutes. I have really enjoyed my first month here, and the other grads all feel the same. To top it off, I at least know slightly more about what on earth it is that Alpha does than I did one month ago…
I hope this post has given you a little snippet of the kind of thing to expect if you decide to join Alpha. I really hope you do; and wish you the very best of luck with your application.