Alex Intriago, Analyst
Consumer Group | San Francisco Office
How did you find your way to Harris Williams?
I grew up in Miami and graduated from Boston College, where I studied economics and took an interest in business and entrepreneurship. Wherever I landed in my first job, I knew I wanted to take ownership of my work from the start. While strolling the Boston College career fair, I learned about the Harris Williams Women’s Leadership Summit and decided to apply. During the Summit, I was drawn to not only the fast-paced lifestyle at the firm, but also the ownership and responsibility that analysts are given on day one. As I continued to get more exposure to the firm after the Summit, the people impressed me with their intelligent, thoughtful, and collaborative approach. The quality of people at Harris Williams made it clear to me that it was a place where I would develop and flourish.
How did your 10-week analyst internship program contribute to your decision to join Harris Williams full-time?
My desire to branch out to a new city drew me to Harris Williams’ San Francisco office. That summer, I worked on a number of projects across the Consumer; Healthcare & Life Sciences; and Technology, Media & Telecom Groups. I was struck by how collaborative each team was—from the managing director to me, the summer analyst. Not only did I have regular interaction with every deal team member, but I also participated in client calls where I learned the intricacies of each deal stage. My experience further cemented the high degree of ownership and the entrepreneurial spirit that the analyst position requires.
How would you describe the dynamic of your analyst class?
We’re very close and support each other in ways that I think are rare in investment banking. When an analyst needs help on a task, other analysts (in the same office or across the globe!) jump in with solutions in minutes—sometimes seconds.
The camaraderie Harris Williams fosters throughout the firm is particularly evident across analyst classes. Despite being spread across eight cities, my class is always communicating with each other to exchange ideas or just catch up. In San Francisco, we spend time together on weekends and plan regular, firm-sponsored analyst events where there’s no shortage of great memories and inside jokes. My fellow analysts are friends before they are co-workers; they make the job much more enjoyable and fulfilling.
How have you grown professionally since joining the firm?
- Finding value beyond the numbers. I’m able to think critically about the growth drivers and development areas for a company as they relate to an M&A transaction. What’s more, I’m learning to value a company not purely from a financial perspective, but also from a more qualitative, bird’s-eye view.
- Succinct communication is key. I’ve grown comfortable expressing my ideas—through writing and verbally—to time-strapped senior team members and clients. With this skill under my belt, I frequently speak up in meetings and can whittle down language in marketing materials to a clear, concise message.
What’s the best advice you’ve received at Harris Williams?
Over-communication is better than under-communication because deliverables and to-dos can easily get lost. I have learned that it is better to frequently ask questions, to communicate status updates more often than what seems necessary, and to never hesitate to ask for more time to review work.
At Harris Williams, asking questions and expressing opinions are encouraged, and I feel empowered to do so. This open style of communication transcends into my interaction with clients: I am encouraged by my team to ask our clients questions because often I am one of the team members closest to the data.
How have you contributed to the firm outside of deal work?
I am an active part of the firm’s recruiting efforts and have gone back to Boston College to network with students and discuss what a career in finance looks like. I love being a resource for undergraduates because I remember how valuable my resources were at the time. More importantly, I enjoy hearing unique perspectives from students from an array of backgrounds. In this same vein, one of my favorite sources of involvement outside of deal work is our Women’s Leadership Summit, the event where I was originally introduced to the firm.
Go-to activity outside of work: fitness classes
First skill mastered at Harris Williams: 3D maps in Excel—a hidden gem when you are working on a multi-site deal!
Best analyst event yet: all-you-can-eat sushi (very underrated)
A leader you admire:
- Harris Williams: Ryan Budlong, for his calm demeanor through any situation
- Non-Harris Williams: José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen, for his innovation in the restaurant business and positive influence in the world