Those who have experienced the MBA internship recruiting cycle know that is an absolute whirlwind of writing (and re-writing) your CV and cover letters and taking every opportunity to network with prospective companies. During these networking events, perhaps the most frequently asked question by MBA candidates is, “What makes your firm different?” Often, companies respond, “The people.” As this response became more common, I grew increasingly skeptical if companies were sincere or if this was just marketing jargon.
When I came to ZS for my internship, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I would be working hard, I knew I would be surrounded by experts tackling projects in the pharmaceutical industry and I knew the firm took great pride in their culture and people. On the first day we were handed a calendar of events, and the London ZSers wasted no time introducing themselves and making the interns feel welcomed. The first impressions were great, but I was curious if they would last throughout the summer.
In my first project kickoff meeting, I experienced a first in my five years of prior work experience. After the typical discussion about roles and responsibilities, we spent a good chunk of the meeting talking about our working styles and developmental goals and the project manager emphasized how much she valued our personal development. It was a powerful moment that helped me understand there really is something special about ZS’s people and culture.
From that moment on, I took keen notice of ZS’s culture and the effort they make to maintain it. The culture at ZS is driven by the people and in addition to their deep expertise, they go above and beyond to create a welcoming and nurturing environment. That’s what makes ZS a truly great place to work.
This fall, I’ll return to Barcelona to complete my MBA studies. When someone asks what made my internship special, I know exactly what I’m going to say: the people.
Marko is an MBA candidate at IESE Business School. This summer, he is interning at ZS’s London office.