Diverse minds foster innovation. It’s why we at ZS honor the visible and invisible elements of our identities—the perspectives, experiences and passions that make us all unique. One of the many ways we show our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is by expanding our recruitment efforts and engaging with innovators who are historically underrepresented in our industry—including exceptional Black talent.
To help ZS engage with the bright young minds at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), we invite students to participate in ZS SEED. The ZS SEED program is an opportunity for smart, collaborative and ambitious students to plant a strong footing toward their ideal career through a competitive acceleration program.
It is through this program that ZS recruited Racquel Barnett, a current senior at Grambling State University. After learning about the program through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black college community, Racquel applied and participated in a three-day ZS SEED immersion.
“What ZS is doing is great because not many people, especially people of color, get this kind of opportunity. This program gave me the opportunity to work with some amazing professionals. The talks I’ve had with ZSers will propel me professionally throughout my life,” Racquel says.
Through the immersion program, Racquel learned about ZS’s culture and career opportunities. “I didn’t know much about consulting before this program,” she says, “but I learned that it lined up well with my public relations major. I decided to continue on with the programming and accept the internship offer.”
Because Racquel entered ZS SEED as a rising junior, she was able to skip the ZS SEED apprenticeship, an early talent program, and participate in an internship. As an intern, she worked side-by-side with ZS professionals and clients to deliver real life impact.
“My favorite thing about the program was meeting other students,” Racquel says. In her cohort, Racquel connected with students from Howard University, Virginia State University, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University and other HBCUs. “We were all on the same journey of figuring out the career field of our choice, so we all bonded. Even the people who didn’t continue with the internship program stayed in touch. We inform each other of other opportunities and internships.”
After Racquel finished her internship, she was offered a full-time position. Once she graduates college, she will join ZS as a strategy insights and planning associate in Atlanta.
For any students considering the program, Racquel recommended taking advantage of the life-changing opportunity with ZS SEED. “ZS has really given me everything I could have asked for to just jump into my career.”
To learn more about your opportunities for growth at ZS, such as ZS SEED, visit our social media.