"Today, in my everyday consulting work, I benefit greatly from my experience in private banking."
Release Date: 18.01.2022
Cédric graduated from the University of St. Gallen and has been working at zeb since the beginning of this year. He is part of the team at the Zurich office. In his testimonial he is going to talk about his path to zeb and the experience he has gained from projects and colleagues so far.
Cédric, have you always wanted to be a consultant?
To be honest, I first got to know and also appreciate the job of a consultant during an internship – while I was still studying. It perfectly meets my requirements for a job profile with a steep learning curve. At zeb, especially, the everyday work of a consultant not only involves a great variety of topics, but it is also intellectually challenging and enables me to get to know a lot of companies in a short period of time.
What path led you to zeb?
Unlike many other colleagues, I didn’t go straight to a consulting firm after graduating, but first worked at an internationally operating private banking group for about 2.5 years. Only afterwards did I decide to continue my career at zeb. Today, in my everyday consulting work, I benefit greatly from this experience in private banking and my knowledge of how banks work.
Where did you learn about zeb?
I first heard of zeb during the career fairs at the HSG in St. Gallen. Then, in many personal conversations with former fellow students, I gained very important insights, which in the end led me to zeb. I got a clear understanding of zeb and the Zurich-based team, the open-minded, cooperative working culture and the opportunities at zeb, so I finally knew that zeb was the right choice for me.
What were your first weeks like and what were your impressions of zeb?
I was very well received during the first weeks. At the beginning, I was introduced to key processes and procedures by both my Career Development Counselor (insert CDC-ITW LINK), a sort of mentor, and my colleagues. As early as day 2, I was assigned to a project and was able to generate added value quickly thanks to the excellent training I received.
What do you like most about your position as a strategy consultant?
What I like most about my job in strategy and management consulting is that I have the chance to see a lot of different types of financial services companies in a very short period of time. For example, in my first year I worked on projects for fintech companies, private banks and also cantonal banks.
How would you describe the atmosphere at zeb?
I would particularly like to emphasize the friendly atmosphere, especially at our Zurich office. Of course, our work takes top priority, but we also joke a lot and sometimes go for a beer after work.
What was the most exciting project so far and why?
In the spring, I helped to launch a bank that focused on crypto assets. The project was extremely multifaceted. We were able to accompany all processes from the development of the business model and the derivation of a business case to the licensing application. A project like this doesn’t happen every day, so I was very happy to be able to accompany it and I really learned a lot.
What does your typical week look like?
Well, this question is not easily answered. Normally, depending on the workload, I spend approx. 80–100% of my time on a client project – either on-site or remotely. In addition, we also work on the further and new development of topics as part of our Practice Group work (these are specialist groups within zeb). And we are also involved in acquisitions. Thanks to this versatility, our work is full of variety and we significantly increase our personal learning curves.
What makes zeb special in your opinion?
zeb stands out for me mainly for three reasons. Firstly, we have a highly cooperative working culture. We are like a small family and the atmosphere in the office is excellent. Secondly, at zeb, reasoning beats hierarchy. Here, a well-founded opinion is always given a fair hearing. There are no “locked doors”. Thirdly, we are given a great deal of freedom to work on different topics and to pursue a preferred development path. This allowed me to quickly develop the topic of digital assets from the Zurich office, just to give an example.
As a University of St. Gallen graduate: what piece of advice would you give to students at the University of St. Gallen or at other universities?
We are looking for colleagues with a structured, analytical and creative way of thinking and working. Therefore, in interviews, it is important to show that you possess these qualities and how your previous experience has helped you to acquire them. You don’t necessarily need to have a banking background. What’s more, our team at the Zurich office is like a small family. Our team is looking for down-to-earth colleagues who don’t put on airs. So it’s best to show your true self in the interviews.