London Principal David wanted to be a vet growing up, but after a short work experience, he discovered he didn't have much of an affinity for animals. He decided to study chemistry at university and in his last year, his flatmates persuaded him to consider a career in management consulting.
“In some ways, what drew me to the veterinary field, I found in consulting,” said David. “I wanted to solve tough problems and make an impact. I didn’t want to move money from place to place to make more money – I wanted to make a difference.”
So, he began applying to consulting firms – big and small. When he interviewed with ZS, he knew he found his place – from the passionate people he met during his interview to the focus on pharma to the exciting growth trajectory. At the time, he didn’t know he wanted to pursue pharma consulting, but the idea of our industry focus and the opportunity to become a true expert was appealing.
He joined the London office in 2006 as a business analyst where he worked on a broad range of projects. He enjoyed the work but even more so, he enjoyed working with a small set of clients. “I quickly figured out that by staying with one client, I could get to know them better and elevate my role within the team,” said David.
Over the years, David has gained a true appreciation for the unique way we run our firm – where all ZSers play a role in our success – both internally and externally.
“At other companies, you focus solely on your client work and other people take care of running the company,” said David. “One of the many things I enjoy about ZS is actually getting a chance to invest my time in changing our firm and making it an even better place to work.”
He’s spent time focused on the development track for associate consultants at ZS and most recently, David helped lead an internal initiative that empowers ZSers to connect with relevant experts across our firm. “What started as a small idea between a few ZSers eventually made its way to Managing Director Chris Wright and lead to the comprehensive tool that we have today,” said David. “It's really refreshing to see how decisions like this are made at ZS.”
How does ZS’s Core Purpose — together, we love solving complex problems to help companies and their customers thrive — resonate with you?
I remember when our Core Purpose was introduced at a summit a few years ago. Normally, when you bring an idea to a room full of consultants, you’ll receive a few probing questions to ensure you’ve considered every possible angle. But when the Core Purpose was introduced, everyone sat there nodding their heads and said, “Yes, that fits”. We all may have our own interpretation of what it means to us in our roles but ultimately, I believe it really unites our firm.
One word that resonates with me is “thrive” because I think it describes the kind of work that we do. In general, we're helping our clients build things or do something differently than they've done it before. Although our work spans many spaces and practice areas, at the end of the day, we're focused on helping our clients become better. Our clients are generally quite pleased to see us because we're often working on projects that excite them and will help them improve, and that's something I especially enjoy.
If you had to choose one hashtag or just a few words to describe your ZS career, what would you say?
#ClientFocused. I've always enjoyed gaining a deep understanding of our clients – both the organizations and the people. What makes the organization tick? What makes different individuals tick? As we continue to broaden our offerings, I hope that I can continue to use my role to connect our clients with the great ideas happening across the firm.
What’s your life like outside ZS (think family, interests and hobbies), and how do you balance it with your career?
My wife and I have three children – Daniel, who is almost nine, Sophia, who is turning six and Chloe, who's one. They keep me busy and weekends are taken up with their sports, classes or other activities to support their social lives! When I do get some time, my wife and I love cooking and fine dining. We have a goal to visit every Michelin-starred restaurant in the UK, which is a bit tougher now with three children. I’ve always enjoyed going to the gym and doing weight training. I used to play rugby at a pretty serious level too – playing for my school at Twickenham Stadium as national champions and university first team rugby. While I've now retired from rugby, I still keep up with the weight training.
In terms of balance, there are times when I need to leave the office a little early, which means I have to pick up some work on the weekends, but wherever possible I try to keep my work and personal lives separate. When I’m spending time with my family or at the gym, those are times for me where I don’t look at my phone or check emails. It’s an ongoing challenge, but I try to keep the worlds separate as much as possible.