ZS Associates

  www.zsassociates.com
  www.zsassociates.com

ZS Associates Reviews

Updated December 22, 2014
Updated December 22, 2014
513 Reviews
3.5
513 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
ZS Associates Managing Director Chris Wright
Chris Wright
186 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is reasonable for consulting (in 23 reviews)

  • Very open work culture, great work-life balance, provides work from home facility (in 48 reviews)


Cons
  • No work life balance - especially when staffed on multiple projects with different managers (in 132 reviews)

  • Tedious work culture because of long working hours (in 67 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Tenure matters more than performance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

    I worked at ZS Associates full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great people - most are very smart, motivated, and hardworking.
    Decent pay if you don't work crazy hours.

    Cons

    Promotions/raises/bonuses at the associate/AC levels are essentially based only on tenure, not performance. Some offices promote people slower than other offices.
    No work life balance - especially when staffed on multiple projects with different managers.
    Difficult to switch practice areas / project teams without burning bridges. Associates/ACs have little to no say on staffing.
    Turnover rate has been increasing in recent years - firm has difficulty retaining top performers.
    The caliber of newhires has also been dropping. Firm is trying to expand, so the recruiting standards have been declining.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ZS Associates

    Pros

    Opportunities, Leadership, Challenging work, people

    Cons

    Hours, especially at higher levels, narrow focus

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Stimulating environment with opportunity for improvement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Consultant in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Business Consultant in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at ZS Associates full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    ZS provides challenging opportunities for its employees. Leadership is very motivated and has the capacity to steer ZS in the right direction. People are very smart and culture is dynamic and energetic.

    Cons

    Too much attention to minor data details and bigger picture is missed, sometimes. Lower appetite to bring creative solutions to the table since clients are willing to pay for same old methodologies. Many managers worry too much about losing projects and tend to say "yes" to all client requests.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure that managers are giving timely feedback to teams. Work life balance needs to improve.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's a sweatshop but you'll learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Business Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at ZS Associates full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get paid above market rate for a consultant and will learn a lot you're first two years.

    Cons

    The extra 10k isn't worth the hours and the projects get repetitive after a few years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop using an hours model to put people on 4 projects at the same time (no this project will definitely not be 10 hours a week) and let people recover on the beach every once in a while.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    At that time it was good for those with engineering background

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Consultant in Evanston, IL

    I worked at ZS Associates full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Competitive salary, some interesting work, nature of the work enables to stay confident in face of the client as long as the consulting project is within the comfort zone of the company's core expertise.

    Cons

    Employees not trained to think beyond the processes repeated many times across many projects. Engineering people dominate management and limited promotion opportunities for non-quant background.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing particular that I can think of.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to start career - hard working people!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Consultant in Jersey City, NJ
    Current Employee - Business Consultant in Jersey City, NJ

    I have been working at ZS Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good place to learn hard skills at junior levels
    Not much travel

    Cons

    Lack of vision and competitive advantage
    Company going through growing pains - quality of people recruited on decline, pressure on managers to sell more
    Not a prestige management consulting firm

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to ensure core ZS values remain intact given all the structural and cultural changes happening

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Intellectually stimulating internship with a lot of freedom to explore ideas and projects.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Operations Associate in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Business Operations Associate in Princeton, NJ

    I worked at ZS Associates as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    People are amazingly friendly and nice. Most of the principals have their doors open and you can walk in and talk to them at any time.
    Project work varies and project leaders will usually give you a lot of freedom to take on the project.

    Cons

    The work may become mundane and repeat in some cases
    Focused on Pharmaceuticals in some of the major offices but this varies depending on the location of the office

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great people. Work hard

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Consultant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at ZS Associates full-time

    Pros

    Stimulating work environment
    Most projects are fun to work on
    Great training
    Many fun company events
    Most people and managers are great to work with

    Cons

    Late work hours
    Some managers are hell to work with - would make you look for new jobs
    Can really get pigeon-holed into specific types of projects / clients
    Transparency is not as much as they claim / advertise

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Poor management and poor work culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager

    I worked at ZS Associates full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Incredibly smart colleagues (more of a function of rigorous hiring process than people or professional development), good reputation with clients in pharma industry

    Cons

    No concept of people or professional development (only for name sake).
    Aspires to be a meritocracy but performance review based on whims and mood of Office Managing Principal
    Partners are scared to be challenged to take up new areas and as a result the focus continues to be Pharma -> Commercial -> Sales Operations and in the limited space, the top is becoming extremely crowded

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create levels within partners and introduce review process for them so that they continue to be challenged
    Challenge senior partners to replicate success stories at other clients or other industries
    Seriously believe and focus on professional development of people

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Best of breed in software development practices and mentor ship.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Consultant in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Consultant in Evanston, IL

    I worked at ZS Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Mentor ship model works excellent for the small, tight-knit development team. Great tools and development practices followed by all teams. Development practices match up to companies like Google or LinkedIn.

    Cons

    Depending on the software project, support or unplanned features can overwhelm. Poor planning or over promising from the consultant teams often required super-human development efforts to fix.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure the different groups focus on their core competencies and also introduce measures to ensure cross-department coordination is rewarded and that over-promising is punished.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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