From internship to career takeoff
Coming out of business school, the question for Vicky Jin was where to go next. She had started her career in China after completing undergraduate studies in Beijing, then moved to the UK to earn her MBA at the University of Oxford. There were global opportunities, but an encounter with someone at the firm at an Oxford alumni event convinced her to pass up an offer elsewhere for a summer internship at AlixPartners.
She recalled thinking that “this firm sounds actually very amazing, and the approach they adopt is very much in line with my interests.”
Vicky felt that the firm did high-stakes work, and that she would have an opportunity to shape her own career as a Vice President with the Strategy & Analysis team.
“I curated my experience at AlixPartners, because I came into consulting knowing that I don't want to repeat what I've done before,” she explains, with the ambitious goal of building holistic knowledge up and down the value chain and across industries. “Every three months I get to work on something completely new to me, so I get the sharpest learning curve.”
This growth mindset appeals to Vicky, who has done everything from retail category strategy and sourcing to a large-scale integration planning project and assignments where she has a chance to look at systems change.
She learned to see businesses through a lens of social impact during her MBA studies, taking a broader view of problems to encompass social change rather than just micro business transformations. “Oxford encourages business leaders to take more responsibility as a participant in the system instead just focusing on profits,” she explains.
And this holistic approach to work has played out in her career at AlixPartners where, among other efforts, Vicky has involved herself with the Asian Leadership Insights & Growth Network (ALIGN) employee resource group. Her goal is to “improve the visibility of the Asian community within the firm, which is a win-win for both the firm and our members.”
Her own background in the Greater China market is an asset at AlixPartners, Vicky explains. “I feel like I'm appreciated for my performance, for my capability, and my unique background.” Ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives like ALIGN are good for the bottom line and an important part of the culture, especially with a global workforce.
In-person activities help to give people the sense that “you actually have a home, you have someone you can connect with,” says Vicky. “That's gives people like a safe zone to express themselves.”
That social support has been priceless, and enabled Vicky to quickly establish a strong network within the firm, which reinforced her experience of continuous learning. “People are genuinely very helpful, collaborative, and friendly to each other,” says Vicky. “I feel like I'm receiving help from all my colleagues on a daily basis.”