Hands gripping the wheel, eyes locked forward in anxious concentration, feet hovering over the pedals—we wait for the signal. The green flag suddenly dances above us, and we’re off! We screech around corners, zoom down straightaways, and careen against each other. Our ZS internship has only just begun, and we’ve already forgotten what the word ‘brake’ means—at least when it comes to go-kart racing! (Credit to Los Angeles intern Matt for that zinger.)
Like our experience on the go-kart track, the summer interns have accelerated through training and jumped into projects with ease and agility. Our first week began with the fundamentals, such as completing HR paperwork and getting a refresher on Excel and PowerPoint. Next, we were thrown into a case simulation, which required us not only to use the analytical tools and presentation skills we’d been practicing, but to also acquire a taste for how ZSers determine the best way to help clients and provide actionable solutions.
From the first day of training, the interns have felt at home in the office. This past weekend, I got to know my team better on a hike through gorgeous Lands End in San Francisco, and soon everyone in the San Francisco office will begin an exciting office-wide competition featuring various Olympic-style events with the goals of eternal glory and a sweet trophy. My fellow interns and I are also looking forward to attending a Giants game, traveling to Santa Cruz for a surfing trip, hiking trips to Pacifica, happy hours and more. On the professional side, we look forward to the Summer Space series, where each week a principal and consultants from different practice areas speak about their project work and field questions from those in attendance. It’s a great way for everyone at the company to get a feel for the wide variety of industries and solutions that ZSers work with, and the free lunch doesn’t hurt either.
So far with my ZS internship, I have a good grasp of what project work is like, what skills I need and how I might grow as the summer progresses. Opportunities for feedback present themselves continuously, and there is never a moment where I feel intimidated to ask for help or clarification. The people at ZS are approachable, knowledgeable and diligent, and I’m excited to continue working with them as I complete my summer internship.
This post was written by Xander, a student at UC Berkeley studying environmental economics and policy. This summer, he's interning at ZS’s San Francisco office.