Sydney Gibson (BA 2021 Politics and International Affairs)

Manager, Private Equity Accounts at AlphaSights in New York, NY
Headshot of Sydney Gibson '21

Tell us about your current job role/employer and what you’re currently working on. 

AlphaSights was my first role out of college, and prior to AlphaSights, I had three internships in the Washington DC area. The common thread between my past professional experiences was an interest in both quantitative and qualitative analytical skill building and being in an environment that fostered day-to-day learnings.

In my role now, I manage a set of private equity accounts, as well as a team of three associates. We rally around the goal of helping our clients gain the market insights needed to propel their investments forward.

What was the most challenging aspect of your first “real world job” and what did you learn from it?

The most challenging part of my first “real world job” was setting short-term and long-term goals that that I believed in and would help guide me through the kind of all-consuming routine that comes along with working full time. Short term goals especially help to push the needle forward on a daily basis.

What advice would you give to new Wake Forest graduates about developing their personal life habits after college (finances, health, values, work/life balance)?

The first few months out of college are immensely exciting because you’re just entering this life that you’ve built in your head for four years at WFU. The things that I learned about myself in school informed my post grad experience but were tricky to balance when working full time.

My advice to grads entering the world of work is to decide what hobbies, goals, routines fueled them in school, and to keep those as non-negotiable post grad. I like to think that prioritizing hobbies / activities now will make for a habit I can maintain even as priorities and responsibilities shift and grow at work.

How have you made personal and professional relationships in your city, company, or community?

After graduation, I moved to NYC right away and leaned heavily on my Wake Forest connections to build a community in the city. Through those friendships I began to meet more and more people organically who introduced me to all the city has to offer! I also recently joined the board of Wake NOW‘s NYC chapter—looking forward to expanding my network of WFU connections.

What advice would you give to current Wake Forest students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional job?

I would say the most important thing you can do as a young professional is to put your best foot forward in the role you have, even if your first job isn’t your “dream job.” The people you work with and things you learn in a first role will always, in some way, inform the next role. It’s better to tackle each day as a new opportunity.

What are your future career goals or plans? How are you being intentional about working towards them?

My plan is to continue peeling the onion! I am taking each new skill I develop in my professional and personal life as an opportunity to further my search for a core passion and interest that I can translate into a full time role.

Story published in February 2024. For current updates on Sydney’s career path, visit her LinkedIn profile.