Will Kingham ’22

Wilton & Bain, Inc., New York, NY

This summer, I was privileged to have the opportunity to take up the position of Associate Intern in the New York office of Wilton & Bain, a global executive search firm, based in London. Wilton & Bain was founded in the early 2000s, and has consistently “punched above its weight” in terms of rivalling more well-known search firms, such as Heidrick & Struggles, Russel Reynolds, and Spencer Stuart, but had been forced to scale back significantly during the pandemic. As a result, I found myself as one of three employees based out of Wilton & Bain’s New York office, and one of five employees located in the United States.

On the NYC Ferry.
A final in-person get together on the NYC Ferry with the NYC team at Wilton & Bain.

When I first arrived at the Williamsburg office, I was given a brief orientation and then focused on getting up to speed with software and best practices, as well as a basic understanding of the structure of both the search industry and the industries within which they recruit. Then, I was immediately placed on two different projects, and given the opportunity to “learn on the job.”

Within two weeks, I was managing client calls and conducting candidate interviews. Although I had not expected to receive as much responsibility as I did when I had initially approached the firm about pursuing an internship, I was particularly persistent about the position because it did seem to offer me the opportunity to receive real, consequential experience in a fast-paced, dynamic industry. And the internship itself—and the responsibilities with which I was trusted—surpassed all expectations.

While Wilton & Bain have a significant presence in London (with approximately ninety employees based in the UK), the New York office can be best characterized as having a “scrappy,” entrepreneurial spirit. As such, one of the most important personal developments I experienced during the internship was the emergence, and subsequent growth, of my own entrepreneurial abilities: tackling seemingly-Sisyphean tasks through creative thinking, ingenuity, and good-old-fashioned hard work. Not only does work in the search industry lend itself to the “hustle” that first attracted me to opportunities within the sphere of entrepreneurship, but it also serves to fine-tune the analytical and communication-based abilities that I’ve hoped to hone over my time at Williams.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Mr. and Ms. Case and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration, as well as Dawn Dellea and Tonio Palmer, for allowing for, and subsequently facilitating, this opportunity. I will never forget my work this summer, nor will I forget the generous individuals who helped make it possible.