Skip to Main Content
ZS Europe logo

ZS Europe
Find a Mentor: 
ZS Europe Mentors

 Save

Vault’s Verdict

As in North America, ZS Europe is a leader within its vertical: the healthcare and pharma space. As a life sciences consulting firm, ZS has established its purpose by developing a portfolio of purpose-driven clients, offering healthcare strategy, operations, analytics, and technology services to some of the EMEA region’s most important health care entities.

Indeed, life sciences have been ZS Europe’s bread and butter thus far, but the firm refuses to pigeon hole itself, instead of ramping up its efforts to diversify its offerings and expand into new areas. Healthcare is a cyclical industry—though one that will always be in high demand—but ZS is actively expanding its services to stay dynamic and competitive in the market. These endeavors arrive as insiders express, more than ever, a desire to see the firm move beyond its health care niche and look towards the fruition of these initiatives with excitement.

Clients have come to trust the ZS brand, which is why they seek this firm out, but it’s the ZS people that keep them coming back. The culture of the firm is one of collaboration, where people who are passionate about impacting organizations that literally save lives come together to deliver maximum value to clients. The firm has cultivated an environment of friendliness, dedication, and mutual support towards growth and clients reap the benefits of a team of experts that has been able to flourish in such a supportive work setting. Any insider will tell you that it’s the people who define the ZS difference and make the experience worth it despite the intense hours and urgent demands.

Firm Culture

  • "A strong growth trajectory with great people.”
  • “First-year will surely be extremely challenging, but if you do manage to get past it, you will start loving the company and its culture, never thinking of leaving it ever. Compensation package will be competitive with the market locally, but you may feel that European savings are not as great as savings in American offices (in case you have an option between the two).”
  • “In my view of one the nicest and most relaxed companies to work at. Yes, it is a corporation but has a family feel to it where you are not anonymous but actually have a professional network that will support you.”
  • “A firm with nice people that is not competitive internally.”
  • “Everyone raves about the culture at ZS and there is a good reason why—it’s simply a great place to work! I think this sets us apart from the competition as on numerous occasions we hear from the clients that they simply enjoy working with us. When I discuss work with friends they are always a bit jealous about how smoothly things run at ZS.”
  • “ZS is the best place for you if you want to deliver top-notch work that is implementable and that can truly impact the business of your clients. Pharmaceutical companies love us (and we make sure they do) and so we get to work with really cool projects from the top-most strategic level down to the tactics and implementation. We are passionate about our work and our impact, and so we make sure we work with great people who make our daily journey more pleasant.”

Career Development

  • “Best: Fair and values-driven promotion process—not excessive focus on metrics; training opportunities are extensive; lots of free reign to pursue your own career path within the firm; London office is highly diverse.
    Worst: It can be hard to get much direct senior oversight/support once you're at the Partner level.”
  • “Firm provides an enormous amount of training internally.”
  • “I love the people who work here and the general feeling that everyone is rooting for you.”
  • “The only problem is that pharma and MedTech clients account for over 90% of the projects in the EU.”
  • “Promotion is more seniority driven, based on the number of months of experience in that role. The review feedback process is also more aligned to average career progression.”
  • “ZS offers a significant number of opportunities for personal development, from formal training to coaching, project mentoring, evolving into new practices, and funding to support external training.  In addition, our employees can advance through their career at the pace that works for them, with early opportunities to demonstrate and develop leadership skills through many early leadership opportunities.  Moreover, our people get direct client experience very early in their career—with no concept of "back-office" roles, but a push to gain direct client engagement from the earliest days.”
  • “ZS wants to attract people who are motivated by learning and professional growth. Therefore the pay is just above market average until you're close to principal and promotions are slow and cautious. One thing you can be sure of is that you will learn a lot and be constantly challenged in multiple projects at a time - no room for relaxing at the beach.”
  • "Hours can be long at times but the firm travel requirements are very reasonable and it is easy to take time off.”
  • “Lots of internal initiatives promoting quality of life: Women's Leadership, HealthMindZS, ZS Cares, etc.”
  • “The best aspects are flexibility and the lack of required travel. Most of the time, you can work remotely, which helps you keep your personal commitments, and you'll rarely be required to work from the client site unless you specifically request it. This is great because they'll give you the opportunity to shape your career as you see fit.
    On the other hand, consulting is consulting, so you should be prepared to work crazy hours on projects with more demanding clients. ZS is not very good at saying no to clients, so this can happen quite a bit. Eventually, you may or may not get better at protecting your own personal life, but you will inevitably have to be flexible to accommodate the odd work peak if you want to deliver good work, develop people and grow inside the company.”
  • “There are work-life balance issues like with any consulting firm, but ZS is one of the best when it comes to accommodating and even integrating your life into work.”
  • “Work hours in my client-site based role are more aligned to the client work hours (Big Pharma in Switzerland, quite relaxed) than to the standards in the consulting industry. Taking days off is no issue, also working from home if necessary for personal reasons.”
  • “ZS requires you to be flexible in order to meet client needs, but they are also very flexible and encourage you to take time as needed. This means that you may have to give up some vacation days at peak times, but you can still work remotely and you'll get those vacation days/hours back anyway.”

Outlook

  • “Currently moving out of the marketing and sales area, expanding to more strategic support to clients. There is a lot of enthusiasm around that.”
  • “Good foundation and expertise, but slow to innovate.”
  • “Huge focus on healthcare should diversify. Having said that I think we have the best expertise in healthcare by a huge margin.”
  • “The way we work and our positioning in the healthcare industry are second to none. I'm confident in our ability to keep innovating on our service offerings and it's only a matter of time for our customers to perceive all the value they can extract from our flexibility and service orientation.”
  • “We look set to continue our long track record of year-on-year profitable growth.  I think we need to keep a focus on innovation, for fear of losing out to some of our competition.”
  • “ZS is booming in the EU and will continue to grow.”

Compensation

  • “Annual raises seem very commensurate with experience gained and contributions made. There seems to be a very close tie to how hard you work and how much you are compensated.”
  • “Salary progression is nontransparent and people hide behind their black-box processes, difficult to have a conversation about salaries. Also, ZS is paying people with similar education and job background, even the same age and gender very different salaries—which is not really in line with the process claimed to be fair.”
  • “Competitive salary and bonus that is based on performance with pay equality.”
  • “The perks are perhaps somewhat basic but adequate and in my view, it's good that the company doesn't overinvest in that. It's easier to spend that on salaries so that each employee can decide how to spend the money.”
  • “The pay is decent, although potentially low compared to top consulting firms and industries which require the same amount of weekly hours. The upside is quite substantial for those who want to make a career here, but otherwise, be advised that your the only aspect worth staying less than 3 years are the solid learning experience and the strong name you can make for yourself in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Hiring Process

  • “I think the initial filter is a bit strict, so you really have to make sure our recruiters see the value in your CV (more so than your CL). Our ideal candidates can be 1 of 3:
    1) Business generalist (MBA) with no background in pharma but comfortable with working with data and a passion for solving complex problems
    2) Master/Ph.D. in pharma/healthcare-related sciences with a passion for learning
    3) A combination of both
    Whichever way, you'll have to be humble, eager to learn and want to work with people. Any signs of aggressiveness, narcissism, or adulation and you're out.”
  • [Company is seeking] “Smart and humble people who are likable.”
  • “The firm’s interview process is rigorous and highly selective.”
  • “The process is really smooth and fast which is a huge plus. The interviewers are also polite and friendly and the whole process is very well organized.”
  • “We seek people who fit with our culture, are incredibly smart and have the potential to have great impact with clients. Our interview process is known to be one of the hardest in the industry, for good reason.”

Interview Questions

  • “A marketing or sales problem in the pharma industry.”
  • “Behavioral interviews and tailored cases.”
  • “Competency based questions, unstructured problem solving and case presentations.”
  • “Pretty standard consulting case studies based on real work done by the firm (hence topics tend to be related to pharma). Some math is involved but nothing that wouldn't be expected at other firms.”
  • Unstructured case—40 minutes to turn a pile of papers with data, articles and charts into a PowerPoint presentation. This is the toughest case I've ever had to solve and it really separates the BS masters from the best presenters and decision makers.
ZS Europe

One New Ludgate
60 Ludgate Hill
London EC4M 7AW
Phone: 44 207 915 4200

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Managing Director: Pratap Khedkar
Founding Director: Andris Zoltners
Founding Director: Prabhakant Sinha

Major Office Locations

Evanston, IL (HQ)
Atlanta
Boston
Chicago
Los Angeles
New York
Philadelphia
Princeton
Raleigh-Durham
San Diego
San Francisco
Seattle
Washington, D.C.
Toronto
Barcelona
Bengaluru
Berlin
Buenos Aires
Cambridge
Copenhagen
D’Abadie
Delhi
Frankfurt
Kingston
London
Milan
Osaka
Paris
Pune
São Paulo
Shanghai
Singapore
Tokyo
Zurich

Affiliated Companies
Major Departments & Practices

  • Product Development
  • Product Marketing
  • Research & Development Excellence
  • Marketing Execution
  • Resource Planning & Deployment
  • Sales Compensation
  • People & Performance
  • Customer Insights
  • Business Technology
  • Customer-Centric Marketing
  • Healthcare Ecosystem Solutions
  • Pipeline and Launch Strategy
  • Value & Access