AlphaSights believes strongly in providing its employees with accelerated growth opportunities so we can grow and promote our talent internally and reward people for their hard work. We give employees more responsibility as an associate, so they’re ready to progress to a manager position within 2-3 years of joining us.
Client Service Manager, Lizzie Broke-Smith, joined AlphaSights in 2019 through our Graduate Associate Programme and now manages a team of associates and numerous private equity client accounts. Let’s learn more about Lizzie’s journey at AlphaSights over the past 3 years.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your time at university?
I am half-English, half-German, and grew up between London and France. I spent most of my school education in the UK, and then went on to study French and Philosophy at the University of Bristol. As part of my degree, I spent a year in Paris, working for a private concierge company where I arranged trips and reservations for high-net-worth clients. Although I was exposed to some challenging customers, I very quickly developed a strong interest in client services and demanding deadlines.
How did you find out about AlphaSights and what made you want to apply?
I came across AlphaSights through a mutual friend who had just been offered a role. During the case study interview, I enjoyed thinking critically about how to dissect an industry’s value chain in line with a client’s request, and how I’d source the perfect expert. I really bought into the vibrant culture, international teams, and the driven and interesting interviewers I met.
What were your highlights of the AlphaSights Associate Programme?
I was most excited about how tangible my impact was as an associate from the very first week on the desk. Partnering so closely with clients and driving revenue for the company, rather than sitting back and watching others do it, was so exciting to me. I felt that I was given every resource to grow professionally and prepare to take on clients and a trainee within my first 12 months. It was interesting to see how fast I could progress as an associate, especially in comparison to peers in other graduate programmes.
What was your biggest learning as an associate?
Time management and prioritisation — operating at a fast pace led to a hyper focus on how to best spend my time. I also developed a commercial awareness and understanding of many different industries and value chains, while learning to collaborate with and upsell to our clients.
What are you enjoying most about the manager role?
My first year in the manager role was a whole new challenge, but one I have thoroughly enjoyed every step of the way. I am never bored, always stimulated and challenged by my peers, and I’m excited to strengthen relationships with interesting clients. I’m most enjoying the amount of autonomy I have over how I shape my team and book of accounts — it’s helped me hone in on my creative and strategic thinking and own our team’s success.
How does your role differ from the associate role?
An associate is on the front lines for interpreting clients’ briefs to source and engage the most relevant industry experts. Associates are focused on executing on those projects, by identifying and reaching out to potential experts with the knowledge our clients need, whereas a manager is responsible for coordinating this from above. This can entail aligning with the clients to better understand their knowledge gaps, coordinating the staffing on projects, coaching the team, and managing the projects from end-to-end.
Tell us about a typical day on the desk for you
It’s hard to define a typical day at AlphaSights, as priorities always pivot, so it’s important to remain adaptable. Normally, my day begins with our morning board meeting where we run through all the team’s projects.. I’ll support my associates on project work, either by helping source experts or giving sourcing tips, and train our new joiners. Additionally, I jump on calls with our clients to understand their current priorities, and then coordinate within the team who can manage incoming requests as they’re often on a short timeline. After lunch, I’ll usually have meetings with other managers in the segment or region to execute on broader initiatives (interviewing new candidates, collaborating with our content and product teams to improve our service offering, leading training sessions for the associate cohorts, and much more), and spend time with our VP to strategise account growth and work on team initiatives. The rest of my day could consist of anything from working on commercial initiatives (eg. pitching our new services, upselling on workstreams, onboarding new clients), to meeting with my reports to support them on goal-setting and their professional development.
What do you enjoy most about working at AlphaSights?
I admire all of my colleagues and the collective drive to always improve ourselves, scale our business, and find better ways to deliver value to our clients. Our teams are filled with driven, smart, hard working people, and it’s so international, which creates a really special culture. I appreciate the platform that AlphaSights gives me to grow in my career and take on new challenges.
My colleague and I also started an informal netball social team that turned out to be very popular. This has now become a weekly event that people from all over the company join. We make sure to spend our event budget wisely; highlights include pizza-making, bowling, crystal maze, beach volleyball…
What’s your favorite part about managing your team?
Though managing a team comes with its challenges, I‘ve found it tremendously rewarding. I have the opportunity to really shape people’s experiences and support their growth. It’s amazing to watch someone go from a new joiner to a trainer in a matter of months— it’s easy to tangibly see the impact I make on the future of the organisation through my people’s success.
Considering a carrer at AlphaSights? Discover more about their live opportunities here.