At ZS, we pride ourselves on our innovative solutions to complex problems. These ideas wouldn’t be possible without the diverse perspectives and experiences of our people—including our veterans. Veterans@ZS , one of our diversity, equity and inclusion groups, works to recruit, retain and unite talented people with military experience around the world.
On November 11, Veteran’s Day, and throughout the year, we honor those who have served in our armed forces and celebrate the unique background and skills they bring to ZS.
Michael Gonzalez, a strategy insights and planning consultant in New York, came to ZS in 2017 while also serving in the Army Reserve National Guard. His first three years at ZS coincided with his last years in the Army Reserve, where he continued to spend time training with his unit every month. “I served in the Army National Guard for about 12 years,” he says. “I was a finance officer. I did a lot of operations for our unit and was a commander for one of our finance detachments. I never deployed but I learned and got a lot out of my time in the reserves.”
When he discovered Veterans@ZS, Michael knew he’d found a community he could connect with. “Being in the military becomes part of your identity, and when you get out, it can feel like you’ve lost that,” Michael says. “You lose a connection and people to talk to about that experience. It’s nice to have other veterans to engage with about the things I miss.”
Through Veterans@ZS, Michael can connect with his peers regularly. The group meets quarterly to discuss initiatives around recruitment and retention. “Historically, veterans tend to be underhired across the board, so this work is important to me.”
Sean Scobell, an associate principal in Philadelphia, is not a veteran himself, but he has worked with several over his years at ZS and has witnessed firsthand the value veterans bring to the table. “Initially, this was unintentional, but I don’t think it was a coincidence that many of the folks I found to be good teammates had this background,” he says. “While all successful ZSers spike in different dimensions of our competency models, I’ve found that the typical veteran at ZS tends to be particularly strong in their overall approach to work, team mindset and ability to work through hard and unique problems. I believe the training, experience and perspective that veterans come to ZS with provides the foundational elements of a good teammate for our project work.”
To increase this type of critical talent at our firm, Veterans@ZS attends the MBA Veterans Conference, a leading U.S. military and MBA diversity conference. Each year they send ZSers to discuss the benefits of consulting and the skills that can transfer from their service. As a result, we’ve had several applications and hires.
“We want to make sure veterans feel supported as they transition from the military to a civilian career, for those that have that transition,” Michael says. To do this, Veterans@ZS puts intentional effort into creating a welcoming and supportive environment. The group has launched a buddy program that connects new veteran hires with colleagues and developed onboarding material that is specifically beneficial to those with military experience. Lastly, they are connected with leadership to better educate ZSers on the benefits and skills veterans can bring to the firm.
Whether you’re a veteran like Michael or someone who works with fellow veterans, like Sean, ZS is a place where you can find your community and succeed. To learn more about our opportunities, visit our careers page. Find your passion at ZS!