Our experiences with the zeb.talents program
Release date: 16 August 2023
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the zeb.talents program, we met with one of our talents currently taking part in the program and three alumni in our Munich office. We wanted to find out what they find special about the zeb.talents program, how they perceive its development over the years and what tips they would like to give future applicants. Julian, Johannes, Simon and Lisanne have one thing in common: they all did an internship at zeb and were then accepted into the zeb.talents program. However, the individual paths that led them to zeb are just as different as their current fields of work. Julian has already been a member of the program since 2016 and thus belongs to our first generation of talents. Lisanne joined the program in 2021; Johannes and Simon have been taking part since last year.
What was your first point of contact with zeb?
Julian: I got to know zeb when I did a three-month internship as part of my bachelor’s degree program in 2013.
Lisanne: After completing my bachelor’s degree, I did an internship at zeb. Then I started my master’s degree program at TU Munich, joined the zeb.talents program and continued to work at zeb as a student assistant.
Simon: I got to know zeb in my third semester in the context of a workshop held at the University of Mannheim.
Johannes: I first got into contact with zeb during my first semester, when I attended a guest lecture by zeb at LMU Munich.
What was your first impression of zeb?
Julian: On my first day, after a warm welcome at the Münster office, I was handed a train ticket straight to Cologne, where, later in the afternoon, I got to meet my project team. This immediately gave me a pretty good first impression of the dynamics of a consulting project.
Simon: The open, down-to-earth and friendly way the consultants treated me instantly struck me as very positive. Equally impressive were their subject-matter expertise and in-depth knowledge of the industry.
In your opinion, what makes zeb special as an employer?
Julian: I have a very definite answer to that, as I always emphasize the following two things in interviews with job applicants:
1) No matter what challenge you are facing, you will always find a person at zeb who knows the subject matter and will offer their help immediately.
2) The open discussion culture across all hierarchy levels is not just an empty claim – it really exists.
Simon: Moreover, zeb provides its employees with the necessary means to achieve a good work-life balance. That’s not to be taken for granted in the consulting industry.
How has zeb changed during your time at the company?
Julian: zeb has gradually become more and more international. This is particularly noticeable in the fact that English has become the primary corporate language.
Johannes: The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the consulting industry; the classic model of four days on client premises no longer exists. As a result, not all projects require as much traveling as they used to, which – depending on the project – allows for more flexibility. Some of the colleagues in my team make use of this flexibility by working from one of the zeb offices, while others prefer to work from home.
In your opinion, how has the zeb.talents program evolved in recent years?
Lisanne: During my time in the program, the events offered have become more varied. They present opportunities to make and maintain contacts among talents, which has resulted in a proper network.
Johannes: Also, the zeb.talents program is being advertised more intensively than it used to be. When I started as an intern, I didn’t even know that the program existed – meanwhile, it has become a real incentive to apply for an internship at zeb.
What advantages did you or do you have by participating in the zeb.talents program?
Julian: In addition to the numerous events and workshops I have been able to attend, I particularly benefited from the simplified application process. Instead of the usual three interviews, I only had to do two.
Lisanne: As of last year, active talents and alumni are also allowed to participate in the annual zeb.Uni. This is a great opportunity to pick up the latest impulses from the industry, but also to keep in touch with former colleagues.
What’s best about the program: after you finish your master’s degree, you may get an open offer, which allows you to skip the entire application process for a permanent position.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in an internship at zeb?
Johannes: If you are interested in the financial services industry and have been considering working as a consultant, you already have what’s most important: motivation. Also, it doesn’t hurt to read up in advance on current issues in the financial services industry and look at a case or two to prepare for your interview.
Simon: Our consultants are always available to answer questions from all applicants. You may also contact them via LinkedIn. Of course, it is helpful to have made initial contact at a graduate recruiting event. Alternatively, you may want to approach alumni from your university who are now working at zeb.