Careers

Sean

Principal


ZS Career Path

Principal (2014-Present)
Associate Principal (2012-2014)
Business Consultant Manager (2008-2012)
Business Consultant (2006-2008)


Why ZS?

I joined ZS after talking with several people about the company culture, the work and the people. ZS is recognized as the go-to firm when a company needs new insights to solve their most challenging sales and marketing problems, and to be successful in this area we need a rich mix of creative, analytic and strategic thinkers, who share a deep understanding of the realities of day-to-day business operations. Bringing these skills together in a single team to address a single problem also means we need people who have a lot of respect for each other, and have a shared vision for how to make each other, the project and our company successful.


My Favorite Project

Our project team was trying to understand how much it would matter to patients with a certain skin condition if they had a drug that cleared their skin within a few days, as opposed to over the course of a few weeks. To develop this understanding, we conducted focus groups with patients in two different cities, and what stands out about the project was how much fun everyone had in the course of drawing out these insights. We had the patients drawing, talking about pictures they brought in, graphing the highs and lows in dealing with their condition, and ultimately, helping our client understand what it would take to have a really great drug to treat this condition. We were able to provide the client with an emotional "story" of how patients experience this condition, which was also grounded in rigorous analysis of the issues and concepts the participants discussed. The work has had lasting impact with our client, as these results helped make the case for advancing the product into the next stage of clinical trials despite the fact that many other products are being launched in this same area.


My After-Hours Engagement/Activities

Consulting is an industry that attracts people with wide-ranging passions and interests, and sometimes I feel like the poster child for these type of individuals. I like to watch and play most sports, listen to all kinds of music and occasionally attempt to play piano, contemplate and occasionally re-read modern literature, and take in the enormous variety of arts and culture Los Angeles has to offer. In addition, living in Southern California with a wife and three kids, I have ample opportunities year-round to be involved with a full suite of little league sports, spend weekend mornings boogie boarding and surfing, and go on local hikes. We also travel a couple of times a year—recently we've done one trip to a national park and a second trip to a cultural destination, which helps to shake things up.

PROFILE

  • Location

    Los Angeles, Boston

  • Education

    MBA, Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University)
    BA in English Literature, Williams College

  • Career Path

    >Business Consulting

 

ZS Culture

I think of ZS as a place that shares success, and where people want to see each other succeed. Every now and again, someone new to ZS will ask me how the firm will know they are doing extra work to help their peers, because they are concerned they might not get credit for it. When I tell them ZS doesn't work that way—that we help each other because it's the right thing to do—I can usually tell the ones who will be successful here over the long-term. These are the ones who "get it," and appreciate that we're all in this together, in ways where one day we might be the one providing help to another team, and another day we might be asking for help. It's great to be able to come into work every day and know that everybody around you has got your back.


My Advice for Potential ZSers

We really do live our values, and people coming here really have to be ready to take that seriously. Authentically putting the highest priority all the time on “Getting it Right” for our clients and our firm, “Treating People Right” in all situations where we operate, and “Doing the Right Thing” in all aspects of our work, requires a different way of thinking than what is common in many universities and companies. In school, you get As even if you are wrong ten percent of the time—our clients would fire us if we were wrong this often. In other companies, management styles might be entirely top-down, with an expectation you simply do as you are told—we strive every day to work with our teams in ways that motivate individuals and help them develop in their careers. In other client service firms, there may be more of a priority on avoiding conflict and "keeping the client happy," even if a more difficult choice is the right one—we believe our clients need to make the best decisions they can, and are willing to work through conflict to help them achieve this.

 

A Week in the Life