Ending up at ZS was a complete surprise for me. I was in grad school completing a degree in chemical engineering, and I had assumed that I would likely end up doing a stint as a postdoctoral researcher and becoming a professor or working in R&D. Then I realized that there were consulting firms coming to campus and looking for people with science, math and engineering backgrounds. I had no idea why they would be interested in those majors, but when I learned more, I understood that they were looking for people who could do complex problem-solving. I was intrigued. I was also drawn by the fact that the time frames for solving the problems were much shorter than in the research world: Instead of taking five years to do something meaningful, I would get to see the impact of my work within weeks or months.
What brought me to ZS was my interview experience. I had interviewed with a number of companies, but the ZS experience was different. The people I met were great and the culture was collegial. One of the principals who interviewed me actually came in wearing socks and Birkenstocks.
After 16 years, the people and culture that brought me to ZS have kept me at ZS. ZS has a truly collaborative culture. Sometimes the best ideas come from the associates who joined the team three weeks ago. With our peers, it’s a true partnership. I want to work with and learn from my peers with the intent of bringing the best of ZS to our clients. And with our clients, the best collaboration is when it’s just “us,” not “us” and “them.” We’re at our best when we’re working together and acting as one team. All of these forms of collaboration are strongly connected to how we drive impact.
I feel privileged to have had the opportunities that I've had at ZS. My career has evolved into new spaces numerous times, and each evolution has been supported by strong mentorship and guidance. I have a number of mentors within ZS who have given me both great advice and the opportunity to experiment, learn and grow. I also got married and had two children along the way. There was a lot of kindness and support as I navigated these life changes. Given what you hear about consulting, I wouldn't have expected to be in it this long. The culture, the people, the opportunity to evolve and the ongoing support have made my experience at ZS amazing—truly a privilege.
Nisha is a principal at ZS’s Princeton office. She works in the global forecasting practice with expertise across a range of therapeutic areas and project types.