Gerson Lehrman Group
Spring 2014 Site Review
Position: Network Development Intern
Student: Economics/International Relations and Global Studies, Senior
Gerson Lehrman Group is a young company, in terms of the age of its employees as well as its own. The firm was created in 1998 as knowledge broker, meaning that they operate a platform of thousands of experts on every subject and broker consulting services between these individuals and clients such as investment firms, professional services firms, and corporations. Clients send in requests to speak with experts on any number of subjects, as broad as the high fashion retail market and as narrow as bitumen type roofing in the American northwest. Clients subscribe on a yearly or half-yearly basis to GLG’s services.
Interns can be placed in various teams at GLG, usually sorted either by market sector or by region. My team was Network Development, which does important foundation work for the firm by finding and recruiting experts to add to our network, as well as making sure existing members were receiving and responding to invitations to consult. An intern in this group has two main tasks; wake-up calls and lead generation. A wake-up call entails ‘waking up’ existing members of our council who have been invited to consult. This usually entails reminding them of the invitation in their inbox, and perhaps providing a quick summary of the project and why they are an ideal fit. It sounds like droll and unrewarding work, but it is vital to the functioning of the company. The phone call an intern makes can make or break relationships with our corporate clients- if we don’t provide the right expert match, they’ll flee to the competing services. The second task, lead generation, occurs when a project comes our way for which we do not have an adequate expert in our network. Through internet research, including career networking websites like LinkedIn, relevant leads and their contact information are gathered. This role is also important as one of the tasks that keeps the company moving forward.
Fall 2013 Site Review
Position: Member Solutions Intern
Student: International Relations and Global Studies, Senior
I worked as a Member Solutions intern at Gerson Lehrman Group for two semesters and had a very positive and fulfilling experience. Gerson Lehrman Group, or GLG, is a primary research and knowledge brokerage firm. In short, GLG facilitates consultations between industry experts and clients all over the world, helping people to make smarter business decisions. We have a client and expert network of hundreds of thousands of professionals in varying industries like health care, real estate, consumer goods and services, law, financial and businesses services, and many more. These experts are located on literally every continent and are the most dynamic players in their respective fields.
At GLG I was tasked with communicating directly with these experts – called Council Members – and assisting them in any way possible. On an average day, I might reach out to Council Members to resolve financial disputes (perhaps they have forgotten to invoice for a project or one of their payments returned to GLG) or assist with compliance concerns (making sure our Council Members were in full compliance with their own companies policies). I also worked closely with Research Teams (usually in EMEA and Asia) to assist with increasing successful participation in consultations. As a result, I was able to actually speak with top industry experts and give them clarifying information about potential projects or surveys.
I also routinely assisted the Member Solutions team with tracking metric data, managing mailboxes, and cataloging Council Member profile information (having a good grasp of Microsoft Excel will be of great value). All of my work was unsupervised. I sat with the Member Solutions team and was able to ask for assistance any time, but I largely worked independently. In Fall 2013, I worked about 20 hours, 5 days a week. (Note: I was the only intern in the fall.)
In conclusion, my internship at GLG has provided me with incredible experiences that I have already found to be extremely valuable to other employers and highly recommend this internship to any other UT student.
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Life Sciences / Corporate Research Intern
Student: Plan II Senior
The day in the life of a GLG intern is rather rigorous. I spread out my workdays on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:30-6:30 PM. All the interns get their own cubicle to work in, which is nice because you have a bit of privacy. Standard protocol is to log in immediately to your computer and check your email for any projects that may have been assigned to you over the period you were at school. Once you’ve sifted through the email, you’ll tend to find projects that have been assigned to you, requiring certain leads to be found under specific guidelines in the project description. For the remaining time you’re in the office, you generally allocate 2 hours for each project. You’ll have multiple projects you need to handle in one afternoon.
The people that you collaborate closest with is the network development team who does the outreach to the leads you’ve found once you’ve added them to the system, as well as the research manager. An important thing to note is that if you encounter something you don’t understand (a concept or terminology), you must ask the research manager. Oftentimes, it’s important to make sure that you understand the key terms because it is vital to searching for suitable leads for a project. Also, it is important to keep the network development team in the loop in terms of how much time you may need to work on the project because each project has a pending deadline. Furthermore, it is useful to communicate via email to the research managers to let them know that you’re currently working on their project (or whether you have other priorities that you need to deal with first) so that you are managing everyone’s expectations. At the end of the day, I like to send out an “update” email that states what progress I have made for each of the projects, as well as the problems I may have encountered along the way. This helps the research manger in charge of the project, as well as the network development team, understand the progress made during the day so that they can continue working on it the following day.
Sometimes, you’ll get requests for wake up calls to remind council members that they have been invited to a project. I find that it’s easiest to get these out of the way at the beginning of the day because people are more responsive in the early afternoon, rather than the late afternoon, when the workday is winding down. Wake up calls require you to understand whom you’re calling, as well as the content of the project (specific needs that the client is looking for, areas of knowledge clients are looking to understand, etc.). As a note of caution, if a council member has an EU marker or AS marker, you have to take caution in when you’re calling because they are in different time zones.
Fall 2012 Site Review
Position: Research Intern
Student: Economics Junior
My internship site for the semester was Gerson Lehrman Group, a global financial services firm located in downtown Austin. My position was Research Intern and I was assigned to the Energy and Industrials practice area to provide support for the EI team around the nation. The work hours for a typical intern is around 20 hours a week and I chose to do 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. A typical day starts with me checking in with my managers and getting a feel for what the work load is for the day. Next I would check my emails and respond to any inquiries and start prioritizing my work load for the day. Before I begin my work, I like to spend a few minutes reading over the news headlines for the day, specifically focusing on business related news. The two major responsibilities for an intern are “Lead Generation” and “Wake-Up Calls”. On a typical day I would prioritize wake up calls because they generally are more time sensitive. A wake up call project consists of calling GLG Council Members or “experts” and letting them know that they have been invited to consult on a project for a client. Many times, I would have to research the project and understand the details because Council Members would inquire about the project. GLG facilitates consultation between clients which primarily include the investment community and industry leaders. So, if a client wants to know more about energy trading for a project they are working on, they ask GLG to find experts on energy trading. So, my job with Lead Generation would be to find industry professionals who are knowledgeable about energy trading. This would be completed primarily through LinkedIn and the other websites online. A typical day consists of around several Wakes up Call projects which lasts about 2 hours and the rest of the time I devoted to an ongoing Lead Generation project. There would be a lot of interaction, both verbal and written through the course of the day. The last thing I would do is send my supervisor a brief email of what I did that day.
Spring 2012 Site Review
Position: Client Solutions Intern
Student: English Senior
I worked for Gerson Lehrman Group, which is an expert network firm. As an expert network firm connects experts knowledgeable on various topics I.E. energy, healthcare, technology, and media with institutional investors looking to make decisions in such areas. Our experts, called council members, are oftentimes consultants, retirees, or current employees working at a company looking to share their knowledge with other people. Our clients range from institutional investors such as hedge funds, mutual funds, and private equity firms to management consultants and companies.
As a research intern there were two tasks I was primarily asked to do. First was what they called lead generation, where a client is looking for an expert who is not currently in our network, and thus must be found via various recruiting tools such as LinkedIn, Monster, and various other internet sites. The second task is called wake up calls, where experts have already been invited to a project but have yet to respond to our invitation. Before making these calls its important to look over the project and utilize the necessary details to inform an expert on the basics. Aside from these tasks an intern also attends all meetings and town halls held while they are in the office, and are expected to complete about three hours worth of compliance training. The hours I worked were Monday-Thursday from nine to one or one to five, and they expect an intern to work at least fifteen hours a week. As an intern I was constantly busy, and there is rarely a day I went in where I didn’t have at least five different projects on my plate to complete. Everybody in the office is usually extremely busy and so it’s important to be responsible, diligent, and resourceful when completing what is asked of you to do.