Abir Shah

Consultant, Financial Institutions

From Solar Design Engineer to Risk Management Consultant

I was lucky enough to grow up in Vancouver, Canada. Part of any normal childhood there involves a combination of hiking, camping and skiing. Thanks to the short distance between the city, mountains, forests and ocean, I spent a lot of time outdoors on the west coast of North America. Nowadays, I enjoy a game of squash and never miss the chance to travel to a new and interesting destination when I can find the time.

A career change into finance

My Bachelor’s degree was in chemical engineering at McGill University in Montreal, after which I moved for 2 years to Silicon Valley to work as a solar design engineer. Here, I helped design some of the most energy-efficient, innovative and award-winning commercial buildings in the US.

A number of factors made me decide it was time for a career change into finance, so I decided to pursue my Master’s in management, technology and economics with a focus on risk management at the ETH Zurich. Shortly after graduating in late 2018, I started at Zanders as a ‘Financial Institutions’ (FI) Consultant in the Risk Management Systems team.


One of the things I like about consulting is the exposure one can get to a variety of different projects and knowledge areas. This means you get the choice to specialise in a particular area, or to be a jack-of-all-trades. Furthermore, colleagues at Zanders tend to come from a wide range of backgrounds which also gives you the opportunity to leverage their knowledge to develop the professional skills of your choice and find ways of applying them effectively. Equally if not sometimes more important than technical skills, are interpersonal skills. The emphasis Zanders places on this is just as fundamental to becoming a well-rounded consultant as strong technical competences.

Over the next months, I’m looking forward to developing my competences further through the Zanders Talent Program as well as building on my content knowledge through some interesting and challenging projects!

Study: Master Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich
Consultant at Zanders since: 2018

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