When she graduated college with an accounting degree, Principal Emily already knew she didn’t want to become a certified public accountant. At 21 years old, her career search led her to consulting. Today, more than a decade later, she’s happy it did.
While her 13-year career path at ZS has been a winding one, marketing and market research have always been constants. She’s worked with pharmaceutical, biotech and some medical products and services clients, eventually shifting her focus from marketing growth and execution to product development.
“I used to be apprehensive about becoming overly focused,” Emily said. “But if there’s one thing my journey taught me, it’s that you can hone in on one thing without getting bored.” For Emily, there is not a week that goes by where she is not challenged intellectually by a new problem. “I went the expertise-based route, changing clients, therapeutic areas, and lifecycle focus along the way,” she continues. “You could zero in on any one of these and change different variables to tailor your own experience.”
This lesson is just one of the many that Emily has learned in her career. Today, she is the Marketing & Insights Regional Lead for North America West. In September 2017, Emily’s career reached a significant milestone: becoming Principal.
Now that we discussed what you do, let’s talk about why. What’s your core purpose?
I think that on a daily basis, the trust I’ve created with my clients and teams to “get it right” is what keeps me going. Knowing people rely on me to make good decisions and make them successful in their role is very important to me. This means having real relationships—knowing clients as people, celebrating their successes, genuinely wanting to exceed their expectations and being there for them during difficult times. I love pushing myself and my teams to make sure we have the right answer, and can communicate that answer in the most impactful and clear way possible.
What’s the most game-changing feedback you ever received?
Earlier in my career, I was terrified of the next level. I kept thinking the job would get harder and my personal life would be more demanding and that the combination of the two would never be sustainable. Lots of little pieces of advice helped me see that wasn’t true. Here are three.
- I remember Judith telling me every level would be different and bring interesting new challenges, but each promotion wasn’t necessarily “harder”. She helped me realize it wasn’t a linear, uphill battle.
- My office managing principal at the time when I was returning from maternity leave, Scott, told me ZS would rather have some of me than none of me. He sat down and helped me figure out a schedule that would work for me and my family.
- Kelly always reminds me people remember what you do, not what you don’t do. While someone may not remember the things I never committed to, they would, however, remember commitments I made that I didn’t follow through on. These have all helped me focus on the positive contributions I make, and not what I haven’t gotten to yet.