If there’s one thing ZS Associate Principal Christina Corridon feels passionately about, it’s healthcare. This passion is what led her to pursue higher education—she earned her MBA and master’s in public health while working full time—and ultimately what led her to ZS in 2014.
Since joining, Christina has found her home in the oncology vertical. She works primarily on marketing strategy projects, taking our competitive scenario planning offering to clients. Over the last three years she helped launch the Oncology Value Watchdog thought leadership series and has become a leader in ZS’s biosimilars vertical. She's also an active member of Boston's Women's Leadership Initiative team.
“I enjoy the uncertainty and unpredictability of consulting in healthcare,” Christina said. “There’s constantly room for innovation in this dynamic industry, and I revel in helping clients navigate the evolving landscape and ultimately make a difference for patients and their families.”
Given her fervor, it’s only fitting that Christina be named to Consulting magazine’s Rising Stars of the Profession List in the healthcare category, which recognizes 35 outstanding professionals under the age of 35.
“I’m accepting this award with gratitude and humility,” Christina said. “So much of the credit goes to the great mentors I’ve had at ZS, the inspiring teams I’ve had the pleasure to work with, our many creative and talented clients, and my family and friends.”
Christina was featured in the March edition of Consulting magazine and was recognized at an awards dinner in Chicago on April 27. (Pictured to the left is Christina with her husband at the celebration.)
She recently shared success factors, career advice and her personal take on why the youngest generation of ZSers may have a leg up.
What’s been the biggest factor in your success?
Because I came in as an experienced manager, I didn’t have the benefit of growing up here like so many ZSers. In order to understand the ins and outs of our business and deliver solutions to our clients, I had to learn to delegate and rely on my team—many of whom have analytical skills beyond what I have.
This experience helped me develop the self-awareness to understand my weaknesses, the confidence to ask for help addressing them, the motivation to put in extra work to improve, and the ability to be comfortable surrounding myself with people who are strong where I am not. It also helped me recognize my strengths—understanding and articulating clients’ needs and communicating in a digestible way that resonates with them.
What gives millennials an advantage in consulting?
I’m on the very edge of the generation’s cusp, so I can speak to this a bit from personal experience and a bit from articles and studies I’ve read.
Research shows that millennials tend to hold work-life balance more dear than older generations. I think that gives our generation an advantage in consulting because it equates to passion. Because millennials are more concerned about striking that balance between their professional and personal lives they’re likely to be more selective, focusing only on the things they find particularly interesting and fulfilling. I found my passion in healthcare, so this is something I can personally attest to.
Research also shows millennials often consider coworkers to be part of their friend circle. A sense of camaraderie breaks down barriers and establishes trust, which is particularly beneficial in consulting because we’re constantly working together in teams.
What makes ZS a great place for young people?
We have smart, tenured people who have been in consulting 10, 20 and 30 years who are just waiting to bestow their wisdom on us, yet our firm still feels flat like a meritocracy. ZSers value each other’s opinions regardless of their level. Even as an associate, you can be recognized as the “go to” person on a certain topic. That’s something that ties back to our values. We focus on treating people right, doing the right thing and getting it right so we don’t have a need for politics, policies or strict rules.
What advice would you offer to ZSers under 35 who aspire to make the “Rising Stars” list some day?
Keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to focus on something and develop your expertise. If you do get staffed on a new project, client or with a new leader, embrace that. The most successful ZSers have a blend of core expertise and diverse project experience they can draw from.
Also, never be afraid to set boundaries and expectations. Speaking as a ZS leader, I appreciate when my team members actively engage me on personal dimensions so I can accommodate them, or even help them achieve goals such as going back to school or acing a difficult exam. Consulting is a balancing act. Communicate up to ensure you don’t burn out. That’s how you can sustain a long term career.