11/30/12

Afternoon, monkeys. I've got the first of a two part interview for you today with Certified User Nefarious. Nefarious works in Strategy at a major Fortune 500 Aerospace & Defense company. While I know many of your are focused on banking and private equity, I think everyone can benefit from hearing his story.

Strategy jobs are some of the most intellectually satisfying roles out there, and they've got a great work-life balance. Plus, if you're in an interesting industry, like A&D, you'll put yourself in a position to have a tremendous, well-paying career in a space you really care about. From what Nefarious told me about his role, I'd bet that he's got one of the best jobs of anyone on the site.

And for any non-target readers who want to hear about non-traditional ways to break into a tough industry, his story is one of the best I've ever heard.

Today, we cover his background, how he broke into the industry, and extensive details on his Strategy job. Without further ado, here is Part One of the Q&A:

TheKing: So, tell us a bit about your background. Where'd you go to school, what did you major in?

Nefarious: I attended a top 50 non-target and majored in Economics and minored in Philosophy. My original plan was to go to law school, hence the odd major and minor combination, however, I eventually decided against it. During the time I was weighing my decision I had a lot of contacts telling me it was a bloated industry with graduates from a lot of good schools only able to find jobs as clerks, pushing paper for 15-20 dollars an hour. That sounded pretty terrible so I ended up going in a different direction.

TheKing: I understand you work in Strategy at a Fortune 500 Aerospace and Defense company. How'd you get into that? Previous banking or consulting experience?

Nefarious: Correct - I work for a Global 500 firm in the Aerospace and Defense field. After I graduated I had no clue what I wanted to do. Spending four years of college preparing to go to law school only to ditch that idea at the last second left me fairly high and dry and since I went to an out of state school, I financed my education by bartending, which meant staying at school during the summer to work instead of getting internships (money > working for free).

I began networking fairly heavily - my bartending gig paid extremely well so I was not worried about money and was more concerned about finding a good fit and a good opportunity. I was fortunate enough to find a strategy position with a tech firm in NY. I accepted the offer and worked there for two years before taking a role with my current company. I did not have any previous banking or consulting experience although I did have a boutique IB offer before I took the job in NY. I have always viewed the diluted hourly rate in IB to be a little ridiculous, especially when there are plenty of other opportunities out there with comparable pay and far less hours needing to be put in. Besides, most IB and consulting guys typically end up jumping ship to CorpStrat/CorpDev after most of them don't land that PE/HF job they were gunning for, so I just cut out the middle man.

TheKing: What is the role of the Strategy group within your company? In my experience, companies sometimes have separate Strategy and M&A groups, with Strategy groups working more on a high-level business development projects while M&A groups focus on potential acquisition targets. Is this the case at your firm?

Nefarious: This is where big company corporate bureaucracy comes into play. Because this is a Global 500 company with literally hundreds of divisions, there is a separate CorpStrat/CorpDev team that does that type of work for the company as a whole located at our headquarters. Below that there are the individual groups at specific divisions (Example: Aerospace v. Ground & Armaments). To make things even more confusing, these can be split between Strategy and M&A divisions and to go even further, M&A can be split between back office finance guys and front office negotiators and lawyers. These teams tend to run the company - I have seen M&A teams swoop into a division and take over the localized finance departments to help with their specific deal or to assist with due diligence, resulting in these people having to put their typical day to day tasks (like month end reporting) on the back burner. The corporate group is typically comprised of individuals with 20+ years experience.

I am at an actual division (although I have made contacts at the corporate level and do plan on making moves there once my wife graduates med school). Typically we will come up with ideas/strategies or identify targets and discuss them with corporate to see how this idea would interface with the global strategy of the firm.

TheKing: Let's hear a bit about your day to day role. What keeps you busy all day? What is a typical week like? Do you have a specific sector focus or do you cover all aspects of your firm's businesses?

Nefarious: Currently I am working at a specific division. As I alluded to earlier, I am not big on staying at the office for the sake of putting in face time. I show my value through my work, not how long I stay in the office or if I am the last to leave. I typically get to the office at 7:30 and leave whenever the job is done - sometimes this is at 6 or 7, sometimes it is at 3 or 4. It really depends on what we have going on. The last two months of the year are a lot shorter because it is really the only time of the year when people take vacation. I typically work around 50 hours a week and am usually gone by Friday at 2. I NEVER work weekends. As a matter of fact, I have only worked one weekend, it was a Saturday and we hit it at 6pm and stopped at 2am and that was for a big emergency we had to take care of.

Because my days change so often I will give you a quick summary of what they have been like for the past month:

Catch up on emails (like I said earlier, unless it is an emergency, I do not work the weekends, I get everything done during the week and leave no loose ends)
Around 9 or 10 we will have a staff meeting and catch up on old business, talk about some new stuff that is on our plate, go over projects, etc.

After that I will check in on some of the project(s) we have been working on, talk with some of my analysts/review their work, etc.

Around Noon I will eat lunch in my office (just a quick jab at some of you wall street guys, I have a corner office with four windows and it faces the water, take a second to stand up and look around the outside of your cube and ask yourself why you chose a career where they pack you into your assigned box like a chicken :-D)

Typically after this we will have some meetings with a few Directors/VPs/GMs from our division or the corporate strategy team to catch them up to speed on current projects
Somewhere in between the meetings I will sit down and hammer out some models, help some analysts with their models, help polish up some presentations and meet with clients/acquisition targets.

TheKing: What are some interesting projects you've had the chance to work on? What is it about your job that makes it fun and engaging?

Nefarious: Without getting into too much detail, there are two things that are going to keep the defense industry booming due to the looming Obama budget cuts.

The first is maintaining and upgrading what our military already has. R&D projects like rail guns will almost certainly get scrapped while projects like upgrading satellites and naval vessels will take center stage. The second is finding and entering markets that are not dependent upon the government and will not be affected by budget cuts. Now obviously we can't go selling tanks and war grade optic systems to civilians, so what I mean by this is entering other markets like the energy sector.
The great part about working for a Global 500 is we are not dependent upon the US Military (although it is our biggest customer).

One of the most interesting things I have been a part of is looking at entering civilian markets, a new venture for my division. We actually bid a lot of work at a loss for 2012 to show the market not only we are capable of doing the work, but we are better at it than the current competitors in the area. Taking that initial hit in 2012 has set up a huge pipeline for not only 2013, but for an extended 5-10 year forecast as well.
The best part about it is it changes every day and being involved in huge risk strategies like knowingly bidding work at a loss to secure our future.

TheKing: Back in the day, I interviewed for Boeing's Strategy group. I remember one of the perks of the job was the incredible exposure you could get. Even though Boeing is a giant global business, the Strategy group had legitimate access to the company's top officers. Do you get this sort of exposure in your role?

Nefarious: Again, the level of bureaucracy might make something like this a little more difficult for others. I am fortunate to have impressed higher ups in my division as well as having a few good close friends at the corporate level. This affords me certain luxuries like an invite to the corporate Christmas party each year.

TheKing: Any other downsides to the job? Anything you don't particularly love about it?

Nefarious: As I mentioned earlier - the levels of red tape and bureaucracy. It can sometimes take a while for big decisions to be made. Other than that, the government is a tricky beast. It is always an interesting dynamic having a customer that created the rules and laws you have to play by only to change them whenever they want.

TheKing: How'd you end up in the Aerospace & Defense field? Was it something you focused your search on while you were at the tech firm or were you simply focused on finding a new Strategy / Corp. Dev. type of position?

Nefarious: I had never really thought about it as a career - as I stated earlier I had a few close friend working at the company and we had talked about some of the work they were involved in, the various opportunities available (career development/travel opportunities/pay/bonuses/etc). I guess secretly I aspire to be Tony Stark.

_______________________________________________________

Part Two of our interview will be up on Tuesday, December 4th.

Comments (106)

Best Response
11/29/12

Thanks guys. I hope some of you find value in this series.

I will be around to field any questions some of you may have.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/29/12

great interview, thanks Nefarious for all the helpful info and sharing your story!

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

11/29/12
11/29/12

Thanks for doing this guys. Really interesting.

11/29/12

Great interview. Nerarious, when did you graduate college?

11/29/12

the straight-razor guy?

good interview dude.

In reply to Bobb
11/29/12

Bobb:
Great interview. Nerarious, when did you graduate college?

2008

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Febreeze
11/29/12

Febreeze:
the straight-razor guy?

good interview dude.

You should give it a try

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/29/12

Lockheed? Regardless, thanks for sharing

In reply to Nefarious-
11/29/12

Nefarious-:
Febreeze:
the straight-razor guy?

good interview dude.

You should give it a try

the thing is, the hair grows back.

regarding your work, did you need to be cleared by the government?

also, how much internal hiring do these groups do? say, you're coming into an fldp - there isn't much control over which rotations you're assigned to, so obviously networking would be the best play for assignment coming out of the program, but what sort of advice would you give to someone who was going that route?

edit: didn't read about the upcoming interview, sorry

In reply to Febreeze
11/29/12

Febreeze:
Nefarious-:
Febreeze:
the straight-razor guy?

good interview dude.

You should give it a try

the thing is, the hair grows back.

regarding your work, did you need to be cleared by the government?

also, how much internal hiring do these groups do? say, you're coming into an fldp - there isn't much control over which rotations you're assigned to, so obviously networking would be the best play for assignment coming out of the program, but what sort of advice would you give to someone who was going that route?

Getting security clearance or a TS/SCI is dependant upon your division and what type of work you are doing. There are heavier than normal background checks during the hiring process and all American employees fall under the SSA designation that the American division has with the US Government.

Internal hiring depends. Our group is a mix of individuals that are stars in one way or another (negotiating, contracts, BD, finance, etc) - it is the overall teamwork that typically makes our team successful. We will typically look to fill gaps we feel like we need for our team.

Regarding FLDP's - these are entirely finance related and rotations range from audit, accounting, program finance and FP&A. Most of it is designed to get your feet wet, get you thinking about how the business works and introduce you to programs and divisions. The biggest asset you are getting from an FLDP is the huge network you can put together, internally, in three years. That being said, my group is not actively seeking FLDPs to join our group for two reasons:

1) They are typically introverted to the actual FLDP class they are in

2) Their knowledge is too limited

Although this seems to be an issue for the people I have seen hired into the FLDPs. Personally, I think we could get a much higher quality of candidate (and that doesn't necessarily mean higher quality of the name on their diploma).

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/29/12

Great interview.

I get the impression you broke in when the job market wasn't laughable, correct?

11/29/12

Awesome interview coming from another Tony Stark aspirant, although I wonder if business is the correct route.

Couple questions:

1) If you don't mind, what is the pay like? And progression?
2) What are your long term goals?

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected." - Jobs

11/29/12
11/29/12

great insights.

since you probably can't talk about projects you've worked on with your current company (if you can then please do,) can you share some experiences you had at the tech company you started out with? maybe, an outline of how you guys went through a project.

11/29/12

Good Interview,

Can you talk a little bit about how you landed your first strategy gig? I'm guessing it was based on fit, or did you have some kind of experience that you leveraged?

In reply to moneymogul
11/29/12

Similar to moneymogul, I'm interest in how comp is, and how it progresses as you advance through the organization.

As a consultant, I'm interested to see how industry comp compares to consulting comp across one's career.

Another related question is the speed of progression (you've mentioned bureaucracy a number of times--is it a situation where you'll need someone to retire/move on/etc. for a spot to open up so that you can advance?).

11/29/12

Enjoy your little windowed office at Division Corp Strat, your 50 hour weeks and those awesome Corporate-level Strat "networking opportunities."

I'll be putting in 90, talking fantasy football and divesting a quarter of your businesses over sushi with your CEO.

"Breaking into" business level strat? Terri Schiavo could stroll into that gig.

Let's see them silver bananas.

11/29/12

good interview. but the chip on the shoulder is a little bit unbearable.

In reply to expenseaccounts
11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
Enjoy your little windowed office at Division Corp Strat, your 50 hour weeks and those awesome Corporate-level Strat "networking opportunities."

I'll be putting in 90, talking fantasy football and divesting a quarter of your businesses over sushi with your CEO.

"Breaking into" business level strat? Terri Schiavo could stroll into that gig.

Let's see them silver bananas.

Something tells me that you've never worked a day in investment banking. Just a hunch.

In reply to expenseaccounts
11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
Enjoy your little windowed office at Division Corp Strat, your 50 hour weeks and those awesome Corporate-level Strat "networking opportunities."

I'll be putting in 90, talking fantasy football and divesting a quarter of your businesses over sushi with your CEO.

"Breaking into" business level strat? Terri Schiavo could stroll into that gig.

Let's see them silver bananas.


Watch out, we've got a badass over here.

adapt or die:
What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

MY BLOG

11/29/12

I really enjoyed this... looking forward to the second part!

In reply to Nefarious-
11/29/12

Nefarious-:
Febreeze:
the straight-razor guy?

good interview dude.

You should give it a try

Also a straight razor guy. Do it Breezy, you won't go back. If you're concerned about price, try getting a "shavette", which is basically a straight razor with disposable blades. It's around $20. Poka tovarisch

11/29/12

lol. if i get a job, ill go to fuckin art of shaving for all i care. til then, i'm ticking to electric.

In reply to CaR
11/29/12

CaR:
Lockheed? Regardless, thanks for sharing

L3

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger

In reply to TheKing
11/29/12

TheKing:
expenseaccounts:
Enjoy your little windowed office at Division Corp Strat, your 50 hour weeks and those awesome Corporate-level Strat "networking opportunities."

I'll be putting in 90, talking fantasy football and divesting a quarter of your businesses over sushi with your CEO.

"Breaking into" business level strat? Terri Schiavo could stroll into that gig.

Let's see them silver bananas.

Something tells me that you've never worked a day in investment banking. Just a hunch.

Good hunch - I haven't, because I've got social skills and don't want to spend my 20s as a boring drone.

In reply to expenseaccounts
11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
TheKing:
expenseaccounts:
Enjoy your little windowed office at Division Corp Strat, your 50 hour weeks and those awesome Corporate-level Strat "networking opportunities."

I'll be putting in 90, talking fantasy football and divesting a quarter of your businesses over sushi with your CEO.

"Breaking into" business level strat? Terri Schiavo could stroll into that gig.

Let's see them silver bananas.

Something tells me that you've never worked a day in investment banking. Just a hunch.

Good hunch - I haven't, because I've got social skills and don't want to spend my 20s as a boring drone.

But, wait...I thought you were going to be putting in 90 hours a week advising CEOs on divestiture opportunities. Now you're not going to be a banker because you have social skills? Not that you've done anything in this thread to demonstrate your social skills.

Anyone that knocks another man for their means of making a living, assuming they are being responsible, moral, and law abiding, is a total clown.

11/29/12

What's the relationship between your team and strategy consultants? Antagonistic? Collaborative?

11/29/12

I apologize for the delay in responses, I have been busy tonight. I will get right on replying to each of you. Thank you for the interest.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Onetwobit
11/29/12

tmur:
Great interview.

I get the impression you broke in when the job market wasn't laughable, correct?

Incorrect - I landed both my first job and this job when the market was shit.

I actually had a contract with the Navy drawn up to enter SWCC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Warfare_Comba...) and on the week I was going to sign it I landed my first job. At the time my wife was my girlfriend and I decided I didn't want to jeopardize our relationship. Glad I made that decision, although I often regret not serving this country, especially being around active military and veterans fairly often.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to TheKing
11/29/12

TheKing:
expenseaccounts:
TheKing:
expenseaccounts:
Enjoy your little windowed office at Division Corp Strat, your 50 hour weeks and those awesome Corporate-level Strat "networking opportunities."

I'll be putting in 90, talking fantasy football and divesting a quarter of your businesses over sushi with your CEO.

"Breaking into" business level strat? Terri Schiavo could stroll into that gig.

Let's see them silver bananas.

Something tells me that you've never worked a day in investment banking. Just a hunch.

Good hunch - I haven't, because I've got social skills and don't want to spend my 20s as a boring drone.

But, wait...I thought you were going to be putting in 90 hours a week advising CEOs on divestiture opportunities. Now you're not going to be a banker because you have social skills? Not that you've done anything in this thread to demonstrate your social skills.

Anyone that knocks another man for their means of making a living, assuming they are being responsible, moral, and law abiding, is a total clown.

You sound like the type of guy who wears square toed shoes.

I'm going to give you a minute to put 2 and 2 together. And while you do that, I'm going to tell you a parable to help you understand. Once upon a time, a bunch of boys attended a prep school. The smart ones who were smooth got laid a lot and later went into consulting, the mediocre ones who spent a lot of time studying to make themselves seem smart, and who didn't get laid much, later ended up in banking. The morons ended up in F500. LOL at "breaking in-" that still cracks me up.

I've had hot sake and talked football with more CEOs than you'll probably ever meet in your life. Not saying that to be mean - just stating what's probably true.

As to the second comment - are you Normal Rockwell? Do you collect Thomas Kincaid paintings?

In reply to moneymogul
11/29/12

moneymogul:
Awesome interview coming from another Tony Stark aspirant, although I wonder if business is the correct route.

Couple questions:

1) If you don't mind, what is the pay like? And progression?
2) What are your long term goals?

Pay is very fair - the company goes on pay-grades. For example, an entry level analyst would be a grade 8, a senior analyst would be a grade 10 and so on. We try to keep pay fairly close to the recommended mid range set forth by HR; however, our group pays a little on the higher end.

Our analysts tend to make 70k with performance bonuses and other bonuses throughout the year. My position is between 85-115k with typical year end bonuses in the 10-25% range. Once you start getting into the Director/VP range is when you really start balling. I believe my Director receives a base of 225K and receives quarterly bonuses ranging from 20-30%. I know these numbers might be a little jaw dropping for some of you to see, but the defense industry has probably been the most lucrative industry in the US for quite some time. I am sure you can appreciate why everyone is against the budget cuts.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to expenseaccounts
11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
TheKing:
expenseaccounts:
TheKing:
expenseaccounts:
Enjoy your little windowed office at Division Corp Strat, your 50 hour weeks and those awesome Corporate-level Strat "networking opportunities."

I'll be putting in 90, talking fantasy football and divesting a quarter of your businesses over sushi with your CEO.

"Breaking into" business level strat? Terri Schiavo could stroll into that gig.

Let's see them silver bananas.

Something tells me that you've never worked a day in investment banking. Just a hunch.

Good hunch - I haven't, because I've got social skills and don't want to spend my 20s as a boring drone.

But, wait...I thought you were going to be putting in 90 hours a week advising CEOs on divestiture opportunities. Now you're not going to be a banker because you have social skills? Not that you've done anything in this thread to demonstrate your social skills.

Anyone that knocks another man for their means of making a living, assuming they are being responsible, moral, and law abiding, is a total clown.

You sound like the type of guy who wears square toed shoes.

I'm going to give you a minute to put 2 and 2 together. And while you do that, I'm going to tell you a parable to help you understand. Once upon a time, a bunch of boys attended a prep school. The smart ones who were smooth got laid a lot and later went into consulting, the mediocre ones who spent a lot of time studying to make themselves seem smart, and who didn't get laid much, later ended up in banking. The morons ended up in F500. LOL at "breaking in-" that still cracks me up.

I've had hot sake and talked football with more CEOs than you'll probably ever meet in your life. Not saying that to be mean - just stating what's probably true.

As to the second comment - are you Normal Rockwell? Do you collect Thomas Kincaid paintings?

You're like a bad combination of a wannabe-leveraged sellout and a wannabe tucker max. At least do a better job if you're going to be a troll.

In reply to Febreeze
11/29/12

Febreeze:
great insights.

since you probably can't talk about projects you've worked on with your current company (if you can then please do,) can you share some experiences you had at the tech company you started out with? maybe, an outline of how you guys went through a project.

Because of the size of my company we tend to view acquisitions the same way ABInbev would. We wait for smaller, regional guys to make moves or do something truly innovative or win a big contract, and then we buy them. Pretty simple process, actually. Of course we like to keep our targets in line with our global and divisional strategies and goals. As I talked about earlier, the Ground & Armament sector is taking a bit of a hit right now so it is a sector we are staying away from (in terms of expanding).

My original strat job was at a very small tech company in NY that had maybe 100 employees, 80 of which were dedicated salesmen. The other 20 were executive staff, admin, finance and the strat team. I was fairly fortunate to get into this group as a guy right out of college, but I might personal connections with the group and sold myself, not only on my abilities to do the job and perform, but also showing I would be a pleasure to work with each day.

During my time there we do one acquisition. It was for a local competitor and it was the first one the company had done. It was a new experience to the executive team and the strat team. We basically identified the company we wanted, got together with finance and our attorneys to assist with due diligence and came up with a valuation of the business that included looking at the past five years of sales to check for growth (positive growth each year, sales increase more each year), checking their debt (zero debt) and checking their income statement, balance sheet, etc - the main thing we looked for was to see if they were cash flow positive. We basically took all of that, looked at their current client base and possible pipeline and put a multiple together. It was a good target because it eliminated competition in the area, grew our client base and helped grow the company.

I hope this answered your question.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Nefarious-
11/29/12

Nefarious-:
Thanks guys. I hope some of you find value in this series.

I will be around to field any questions some of you may have.

+! brah.

how long does it take to make director from senior analyst/manager? 225k base and 20-30% quarterly bonus - is that 20-30% of the base of a yearly basis (split into quarters) or is that 20-30% of base each quarter?

You are probably going to answer a lot of these questions on your next interview. but thought i'd just ask anyway.

In reply to Ruskii
11/29/12

Ruskii:
Good Interview,

Can you talk a little bit about how you landed your first strategy gig? I'm guessing it was based on fit, or did you have some kind of experience that you leveraged?

It was almost entirely fit. Finance and formulas can be learned. Strategy takes a certain way of thinking and an ability to create and maintain relationships with internal and external customers. I showed my value and what I could offer and was fortunate to have someone believe in me and see that value.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Nefarious-
11/29/12

Nefarious-:
Febreeze:
great insights.

since you probably can't talk about projects you've worked on with your current company (if you can then please do,) can you share some experiences you had at the tech company you started out with? maybe, an outline of how you guys went through a project.

Because of the size of my company we tend to view acquisitions the same way ABInbev would. We wait for smaller, regional guys to make moves or do something truly innovative or win a big contract, and then we buy them. Pretty simple process, actually. Of course we like to keep our targets in line with our global and divisional strategies and goals. As I talked about earlier, the Ground & Armament sector is taking a bit of a hit right now so it is a sector we are staying away from (in terms of expanding).

My original strat job was at a very small tech company in NY that had maybe 100 employees, 80 of which were dedicated salesmen. The other 20 were executive staff, admin, finance and the strat team. I was fairly fortunate to get into this group as a guy right out of college, but I might personal connections with the group and sold myself, not only on my abilities to do the job and perform, but also showing I would be a pleasure to work with each day.

During my time there we do one acquisition. It was for a local competitor and it was the first one the company had done. It was a new experience to the executive team and the strat team. We basically identified the company we wanted, got together with finance and our attorneys to assist with due diligence and came up with a valuation of the business that included looking at the past five years of sales to check for growth (positive growth each year, sales increase more each year), checking their debt (zero debt) and checking their income statement, balance sheet, etc - the main thing we looked for was to see if they were cash flow positive. We basically took all of that, looked at their current client base and possible pipeline and put a multiple together. It was a good target because it eliminated competition in the area, grew our client base and helped grow the company.

I hope this answered your question.

This is absolutely great stuff, man. Thanks.

In reply to expenseaccounts
11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
Enjoy your little windowed office at Division Corp Strat, your 50 hour weeks and those awesome Corporate-level Strat "networking opportunities."

I'll be putting in 90, talking fantasy football and divesting a quarter of your businesses over sushi with your CEO.

"Breaking into" business level strat? Terri Schiavo could stroll into that gig.

Let's see them silver bananas.

I am sorry about your job at McDonalds.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to is-t
11/29/12

is-t:
good interview. but the chip on the shoulder is a little bit unbearable.

Not sure what this means.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Downeasta
11/29/12

Downeasta:
Nefarious-:
Febreeze:
the straight-razor guy?

good interview dude.

You should give it a try

Also a straight razor guy. Do it Breezy, you won't go back. If you're concerned about price, try getting a "shavette", which is basically a straight razor with disposable blades. It's around $20. Poka tovarisch

This guy knows whats up.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Febreeze
11/29/12

Febreeze:
lol. if i get a job, ill go to fuckin art of shaving for all i care. til then, i'm ticking to electric.

damn dude, you might as well take a cheese grater to your face

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
...

Ah, my favorite - the exasperated mediocrity response. It's hard to fathom that the real thing really exists, doesn't it?

lol, bro you're talking shit while gloating about drinking watered down vodka...

stop.

In reply to F. Ro Jo
11/29/12

F. Ro Jo:
What's the relationship between your team and strategy consultants? Antagonistic? Collaborative?

Can you expand on this? Do you mean bringing in outside consultants to work on certain projects? My strategy team does not do this. Consultants are bloated costs that we avoid. Typically my company only deals with consultants when it comes to IT projects like ERP implementation or Hyperion Implementation, stuff like that.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
Nefarious-:
moneymogul:
Awesome interview coming from another Tony Stark aspirant, although I wonder if business is the correct route.

Couple questions:

1) If you don't mind, what is the pay like? And progression?
2) What are your long term goals?

Pay is very fair - the company goes on pay-grades. For example, an entry level analyst would be a grade 8, a senior analyst would be a grade 10 and so on. We try to keep pay fairly close to the recommended mid range set forth by HR; however, our group pays a little on the higher end.

Our analysts tend to make 70k with performance bonuses and other bonuses throughout the year. My position is between 85-115k with typical year end bonuses in the 10-25% range. Once you start getting into the Director/VP range is when you really start balling. I believe my Director receives a base of 225K and receives quarterly bonuses ranging from 20-30%. I know these numbers might be a little jaw dropping for some of you to see, but the defense industry has probably been the most lucrative industry in the US for quite some time. I am sure you can appreciate why everyone is against the budget cuts.

Now I think I ACTUALLY speak for everybody here when I say nobody's jaws are going to be dropping at 225K. That's it? Directors are what - like mid 30s? You can get brain damage from a motorcycle accident and still be making that when you're 24 in PE. In your mid-30s you could be making 1M+ a year in consulting, 2M+ in banking, 3-5M+ in PE.

$225K BASE for someone in their early 30s with FOUR quarterly bonuses a year between 20-30% of base would equal $405k on the low end $495 on the high end.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to OMS
11/29/12

OMS:
Nefarious-:
Thanks guys. I hope some of you find value in this series.

I will be around to field any questions some of you may have.

+! brah.

how long does it take to make director from senior analyst/manager? 225k base and 20-30% quarterly bonus - is that 20-30% of the base of a yearly basis (split into quarters) or is that 20-30% of base each quarter?

You are probably going to answer a lot of these questions on your next interview. but thought i'd just ask anyway.

I answered progression earlier - really depends on your connections and your ability to add value. If you are willing to hop around in the country and get exposure to other divisions that helps as well and will expedite your path to corporate.

20-30% quarterly is based on annual base.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Ruskii
11/29/12

Good Interview,

Can you talk a little bit about how you landed your first strategy gig? I'm guessing it was based on fit, or did you have some kind of experience that you leveraged?

I'm also curious about this. Especially coming from a non-target, it seems like it'd be really tough to land a strategy gig, so do you have tips for someone looking to get in especially from a school that doesn't get a ton of recruiting?

Also, to expand upon that question a little bit, if someone is positive that he or she wants to get into corp strat/corp dev, do you think your path of aiming for those roles right away, or would it make life a lot easier to start in M&A/consulting and then transition?

Thanks for the interview!

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't see that you already answered this question. If you wouldn't mind expanding upon my part of the post, it'd be much appreciated!

11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
Nefarious-:
Febreeze:
great insights.

since you probably can't talk about projects you've worked on with your current company (if you can then please do,) can you share some experiences you had at the tech company you started out with? maybe, an outline of how you guys went through a project.

During my time there we do one acquisition. It was for a local competitor and it was the first one the company had done. It was a new experience to the executive team and the strat team. We basically identified the company we wanted, got together with finance and our attorneys to assist with due diligence and came up with a valuation of the business that included looking at the past five years of sales to check for growth (positive growth each year, sales increase more each year), checking their debt (zero debt) and checking their income statement, balance sheet, etc - the main thing we looked for was to see if they were cash flow positive. We basically took all of that, looked at their current client base and possible pipeline and put a multiple together. It was a good target because it eliminated competition in the area, grew our client base and helped grow the company.

I hope this answered your question.

Two things here:
1. Febreeze here is happy whenever somebody with a job speaks to him. There's another Corporate Development thread that you can search for with similar content.

2. That due diligence you described sounds about as complicated as running a lemonade stand. I'm serious - making sure it was making money each year, check, no debt, check, have clients, check.

Why would there be any need to get into an overly complicated valuation and due diligence process on a target that was worth about 10 million, especially when it was a brand new experience for the acquiring company?

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
Febreeze:
expenseaccounts:
...

Ah, my favorite - the exasperated mediocrity response. It's hard to fathom that the real thing really exists, doesn't it?

lol, bro you're talking shit while gloating about drinking watered down vodka...

stop.

Watered down vodka? I was talking hot sake -- have some class. You must wear square toed shoes too.

i've read through the other threads. they didn't include perspectives from this industry.

hot sake tastes like a poland springs left in my car during a hot day, i don't care who's drinking it.

11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
Nefarious-:
expenseaccounts:
Nefarious-:
moneymogul:
Awesome interview coming from another Tony Stark aspirant, although I wonder if business is the correct route.

Couple questions:

1) If you don't mind, what is the pay like? And progression?
2) What are your long term goals?

Pay is very fair - the company goes on pay-grades. For example, an entry level analyst would be a grade 8, a senior analyst would be a grade 10 and so on. We try to keep pay fairly close to the recommended mid range set forth by HR; however, our group pays a little on the higher end.

Our analysts tend to make 70k with performance bonuses and other bonuses throughout the year. My position is between 85-115k with typical year end bonuses in the 10-25% range. Once you start getting into the Director/VP range is when you really start balling. I believe my Director receives a base of 225K and receives quarterly bonuses ranging from 20-30%. I know these numbers might be a little jaw dropping for some of you to see, but the defense industry has probably been the most lucrative industry in the US for quite some time. I am sure you can appreciate why everyone is against the budget cuts.

Now I think I ACTUALLY speak for everybody here when I say nobody's jaws are going to be dropping at 225K. That's it? Directors are what - like mid 30s? You can get brain damage from a motorcycle accident and still be making that when you're 24 in PE. In your mid-30s you could be making 1M+ a year in consulting, 2M+ in banking, 3-5M+ in PE.

$225K BASE for someone in their early 30s with FOUR quarterly bonuses a year between 20-30% of base would equal $405k on the low end $495 on the high end.

Wow - 400k is amazing. Did you see the numbers listed for other professions?

Kid, you don't even make 20k a year. The numbers you listed above adhere to a very small percentage of individuals in the world. For someone in their early 30s to be pulling in half a mil a year in a corporate finance role at a publicly traded international conglomerate is amazing.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/29/12

The thought of doing an internship at a A&D F500 gives me just a much, if not more hard-on than a ib boutique sa because military stuff really interests me. Do you guys/companies like yours take interns for the summer?

In reply to Mr.Saxman
11/29/12

Mr.Saxman:
The thought of doing an internship at a A&D F500 gives me just a much, if not more hard-on than a ib boutique sa because military stuff really interests me. Do you guys/companies like yours take interns for the summer?

The company takes them all year, especially the summer.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/29/12

Out of curiosity, does your firm do post-MBA recruiting? If so, which schools do you recruit at and what level (salary and title) would a post-MBA associate come in at?

In reply to Nefarious-
11/29/12

Nefarious-:
Mr.Saxman:
The thought of doing an internship at a A&D F500 gives me just a much, if not more hard-on than a ib boutique sa because military stuff really interests me. Do you guys/companies like yours take interns for the summer?

The company takes them all year, especially the summer.

Do you guys usually get applicants from target schools? Any GPA requirements etc? Thanks!

In reply to expenseaccounts
11/29/12

expenseaccounts:
I've had hot sake and talked football with more CEOs than you'll probably ever meet in your life. Not saying that to be mean - just stating what's probably true.

What's really sad is someone who is poppin' a chubby about meeting CEOs who don't even remember your name.

adapt or die:
What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

MY BLOG

11/29/12

expenseaccounts:

Ah, my favorite - the exasperated mediocrity response. It's hard to fathom that the real thing really exists, doesn't it?

I can almost hear the crash of you falling off your chair and spilling what's left of your natty ice as I read this.
11/29/12

Do you know the names of companies that will take an undergrad as an intern in their strategy department? From recent posts on this website, it seems that you typically need experience before you can move into a strategy role, so I would greatly appreciate it if you could lead me into the right direction.

In reply to Mr.Saxman
11/30/12

Mr.Saxman:
Nefarious-:
Mr.Saxman:
The thought of doing an internship at a A&D F500 gives me just a much, if not more hard-on than a ib boutique sa because military stuff really interests me. Do you guys/companies like yours take interns for the summer?

The company takes them all year, especially the summer.

Do you guys usually get applicants from target schools? Any GPA requirements etc? Thanks!

We target all schools but do not actively recruit at all schools. As I said in a post above, because DC is to the defense industry the way NYC is to the finance industry, we do a lot of recruiting at DC schools. University of Maryland has a pretty good connection with us as well as Georgetown.

The only GPA requirements I know of are for our leaderships programs, like the FLDP, which I believe requires a 3.2

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to my man
11/30/12

my man:
Do you know the names of companies that will take an undergrad as an intern in their strategy department? From recent posts on this website, it seems that you typically need experience before you can move into a strategy role, so I would greatly appreciate it if you could lead me into the right direction.

I honestly do not know names of places that will take strategy interns. I know a lot of places will take MBA students as interns for the summer. A lot of places will take interns based on connections.

This summer, my group had a strategy intern because her father was a higher up in the company. It worked out because she was intelligent. She had an accounting degree, a few years of audit experience (CF audit) and was on her way to Georgetown for her MBA this fall. She ended up working out pretty well.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to chron3k
11/30/12

chron3k:
Similar to moneymogul, I'm interest in how comp is, and how it progresses as you advance through the organization.

As a consultant, I'm interested to see how industry comp compares to consulting comp across one's career.

Another related question is the speed of progression (you've mentioned bureaucracy a number of times--is it a situation where you'll need someone to retire/move on/etc. for a spot to open up so that you can advance?).

I replied to moneymogul above. Let me know if that didn't answer your question.

Regarding moving around and advancement opportunities: The defense industry is very old guard and old blood. It is almost all about networking and getting in with the right people. I have seen peoples careers die for pissing off the wrong people - and I am not talking about getting fired, I am talking about being transferred to the middle of nowhere arkansas where you can spend the rest of your career or quit.

If you make the right connections and put in the time, transitions and promotions can be quick. I have seen Directors that are 28 years old and I have seen Directors that are 60 years old. It is all about the network.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Accrual Dictator
11/30/12

Accrual Dictator:
Good Interview,

Can you talk a little bit about how you landed your first strategy gig? I'm guessing it was based on fit, or did you have some kind of experience that you leveraged?

I'm also curious about this. Especially coming from a non-target, it seems like it'd be really tough to land a strategy gig, so do you have tips for someone looking to get in especially from a school that doesn't get a ton of recruiting?

Also, to expand upon that question a little bit, if someone is positive that he or she wants to get into corp strat/corp dev, do you think your path of aiming for those roles right away, or would it make life a lot easier to start in M&A/consulting and then transition?

Thanks for the interview!

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't see that you already answered this question. If you wouldn't mind expanding upon my part of the post, it'd be much appreciated!

First of all, I ditched any recruiting and career days being offered by my university. Because it wasn't a target, we got a bunch of shit companies like Enterprise. I sent out a ton of cold emails, utilized linkedin in and avoided applying online. I sent direct emails either regarding open positions or inquiring about open positions. I always asked for advice on what they would do if they were in my position looking to get into one of these roles.

There are companies that hire entry level strategy analysts with the intention of molding them from the ground up and giving them the proper career development to be an eventual leader in the company.

Outside of that, I would look into getting technical experience and front office experience. I have seen people with finance and BD experience do quite well.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to kingfalcon
11/30/12

kingfalcon:
Out of curiosity, does your firm do post-MBA recruiting? If so, which schools do you recruit at and what level (salary and title) would a post-MBA associate come in at?

Good question - I am sure we actively seek out post-mba grads somewhere in the company. My group, specifically, does not. I know University of Maryland (located in college park near rockville, md, silver springs, md and DC) has a really good connection with my company as well as Georgetown.

Thing to remember about the defense industry is its central hub is DC, so you would attack DC the same way IB/PE guys would attack NYC.

One very important thing to keep in mind when it comes to MBAs in CF v. an MBA in "high finance" is you are not working for two years and leaving the company to get an MBA. Typically people will get an MBA to help advance through their plateaued career or to help them climb higher, faster (director+ positions tend to be reserved for higher educated individuals). That being said, if the company deems you high potential, they will pay for your MBA 100% while you continue to work full time in your current position. There is an upside and a downside to this. The downside is this usually means getting an MBA from a good online program of your choice or going to whatever schools are in the area you live in (if you are in a city like DC, it works out well, if you are in bumfuck Texas, it is not so great.) The upside is the company cares a lot less about brand name MBAs than they do the degree and you getting the education. It is a great dynamic because the company is more interested in you, not your school. I have seen some of the dumbest people on the planet come out of great schools like Wharton and I have seen some of the smartest people I have ever met come from piece of shit no name schools like Shippensburg in PA.

The company does a good job looking for value in the person and their ability to perform and executive their job while adding value, not what brand they are associated with.

Hope this helps.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/30/12

That does help. Thanks a ton!

In reply to Nefarious-
11/30/12

dude, watched knock around guys - another good recommendation! any more MovieKing?

Nefarious-:
Bobb:
Great interview. Nerarious, when did you graduate college?

2008

"...the art of good business, is being a good middle man, putting people togeather. It's all about honor and respect."

In reply to roofstreet
11/30/12

roofstreet:
dude, watched knock around guys - another good recommendation! any more MovieKing?

Nefarious-:
Bobb:
Great interview. Nerarious, when did you graduate college?

2008

Check out the original Oceans 11 with the Rat Pack - amazing.

The new Brad Pitt movie comes out tonight as well, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_Them_Softly looks amazing

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/30/12

I'm going through one of those "maybe its time to consider leaving finance for something rewarding," phase. I've always been fascinated with aerospace (majored in physics in college), and was a dream of mine to go into that industry.

Care if I PM you Nefarious?

11/30/12

Do you think that international applicants could have a shot at applying at programs like FLDP or is it reserved for american citizen ?

In reply to blackthorne
11/30/12

blackthorne:
I'm going through one of those "maybe its time to consider leaving finance for something rewarding," phase. I've always been fascinated with aerospace (majored in physics in college), and was a dream of mine to go into that industry.

Care if I PM you Nefarious?

Go for it, I am leaving the office soon so will probably get it to later tonight or something :D

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to TheSquale
11/30/12

TheSquale:
Do you think that international applicants could have a shot at applying at programs like FLDP or is it reserved for american citizen ?

What countries specifically? The US will want you to have a US citizenship I believe because of the SSA, but there are big players in Europe like BAE Systems PLC being based out of England and EADS in the Netherlands.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/30/12

Nefarious, great information. Thanks a bunch. I had a question regarding breaking into strategy coming out of Big 4 audit. I got a non-target that isnt even top 100, however due to the area in Florida, is pretty well recruited by the Big 4, but unfortunately, little to no F500 recruiting, and certainly no consulting, IB, etc.

Is there anything that you think I could do to be able to break into corp strat./dev. coming out of Big 4 audit? If I could get into TAS I'm assuming that would help the cause, but it is much less likely than audit. Should I try to jump ship within a few years after joining Big 4 audit into a financial analyst role?

Any insight into what I can do, if anything, to get into corp strat relatively early in my career is greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance

11/30/12

Thanks for doing this Nefarious. I work in the A&D industry as well and am currently in a FLDP. Mind if I PM you as well? Thanks.

In reply to MrReagan8
11/30/12

MrReagan8:
Thanks for doing this Nefarious. I work in the A&D industry as well and am currently in a FLDP. Mind if I PM you as well? Thanks.

Sure thing, I will get to it when I can.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/30/12

Fantastic characterization and description of strategy roles and what it takes to be successful in one. Great interview.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

In reply to Art.Vandelay
11/30/12

Art.Vandelay:
Nefarious, great information. Thanks a bunch. I had a question regarding breaking into strategy coming out of Big 4 audit. I got a non-target that isnt even top 100, however due to the area in Florida, is pretty well recruited by the Big 4, but unfortunately, little to no F500 recruiting, and certainly no consulting, IB, etc.

Is there anything that you think I could do to be able to break into corp strat./dev. coming out of Big 4 audit? If I could get into TAS I'm assuming that would help the cause, but it is much less likely than audit. Should I try to jump ship within a few years after joining Big 4 audit into a financial analyst role?

Any insight into what I can do, if anything, to get into corp strat relatively early in my career is greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance

This is a tough one as audit really isn't very connectible to strategy accept for technical due diligence. If you are interested in strategy I would look into getting into a finance or BD type role or possible rebranding yourself with an MBA.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Nefarious-
11/30/12

Nefarious-:

What countries specifically? The US will want you to have a US citizenship I believe because of the SSA, but there are big players in Europe like BAE Systems PLC being based out of England and EADS in the Netherlands.

Actually I'm French, we have some Defense companies in Europe, I was just wondering if it would be possible to apply in the US. Thanks for answering.

11/30/12

Is it just me or is anyone else also having trouble opening the interview? I see the post on the home page, but after 'Part One,' I see nothing at all. In other words, I'm just seeing the description of the interview, but not the interview itself. :S

Any thoughts?

11/30/12

Is it just me or is anyone else also having trouble opening the interview? I see the post on the home page, but after 'Part One,' I see nothing at all. In other words, I'm just seeing the description of the interview, but not the interview itself. :S

Any thoughts?

In reply to burrman
11/30/12

burrman:
Is it just me or is anyone else also having trouble opening the interview? I see the post on the home page, but after 'Part One,' I see nothing at all. In other words, I'm just seeing the description of the interview, but not the interview itself. :S

Any thoughts?

Do you use firefox? I had the same problem on FF but it works fine on chrome

In reply to Nefarious-
11/30/12

Nefarious-:
my man:
Do you know the names of companies that will take an undergrad as an intern in their strategy department? From recent posts on this website, it seems that you typically need experience before you can move into a strategy role, so I would greatly appreciate it if you could lead me into the right direction.

I honestly do not know names of places that will take strategy interns. I know a lot of places will take MBA students as interns for the summer. A lot of places will take interns based on connections.

This summer, my group had a strategy intern because her father was a higher up in the company. It worked out because she was intelligent. She had an accounting degree, a few years of audit experience (CF audit) and was on her way to Georgetown for her MBA this fall. She ended up working out pretty well.

pics

In reply to roofstreet
11/30/12

roofstreet:
dude, watched knock around guys - another good recommendation! any more MovieKing?

Nefarious-:
Bobb:
Great interview. Nerarious, when did you graduate college?

2008


Warrior, The Boondock Saints, The Departed.
11/30/12

Sorry for the issues with the post, everyone. Sometimes when things get re-bumped to the top of the front page, the post gets screwed up and things that come after the jump get lost. Should be mostly fixed now.

In reply to Nefarious-
11/30/12

Nefarious-:
roofstreet:
dude, watched knock around guys - another good recommendation! any more MovieKing?

Nefarious-:
Bobb:
Great interview. Nerarious, when did you graduate college?

2008

Check out the original Oceans 11 with the Rat Pack - amazing.

The new Brad Pitt movie comes out tonight as well, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_Them_Softly looks amazing

wtf? knock around guys was horrible...

oceans was great though.

In reply to TheSquale
11/30/12

TheSquale:
Nefarious-:

What countries specifically? The US will want you to have a US citizenship I believe because of the SSA, but there are big players in Europe like BAE Systems PLC being based out of England and EADS in the Netherlands.

Actually I'm French, we have some Defense companies in Europe, I was just wondering if it would be possible to apply in the US. Thanks for answering.

Would be dependent upon getting citizenship or a work visa - would be much easier if you were an employee of the company and tried to transfer to the US.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Febreeze
11/30/12

Febreeze:
Nefarious-:
roofstreet:
dude, watched knock around guys - another good recommendation! any more MovieKing?

Nefarious-:
Bobb:
Great interview. Nerarious, when did you graduate college?

2008

Check out the original Oceans 11 with the Rat Pack - amazing.

The new Brad Pitt movie comes out tonight as well, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_Them_Softly looks amazing

wtf? knock around guys was horrible...

oceans was great though.

Vin's 500 speech was amazing.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

11/30/12

Great thread. As a fellow corporate strategy guy, if you're ever in SF, let me know and I'll get you a beer.

In reply to Nefarious-
11/30/12

Nefarious-:

Vin's 500 speech was amazing.

lol the 500 fights speech, jesus... so corny.

although, don't get me wrong, i'll watch anything.

In reply to Pissingintowind
11/30/12

Pissingintowind:
Great thread. As a fellow corporate strategy guy, if you're ever in SF, let me know and I'll get you a beer.

Cool, what industry

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Febreeze
11/30/12

Febreeze:
Nefarious-:

Vin's 500 speech was amazing.

lol the 500 fights speech, jesus... so corny.

although, don't get me wrong, i'll watch anything.

i watch that speech before i shave

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to Nefarious-
11/30/12

Nefarious-:
Febreeze:
Nefarious-:

Vin's 500 speech was amazing.

lol the 500 fights speech, jesus... so corny.

although, don't get me wrong, i'll watch anything.

i watch that speech before i shave

lmao.

i've actually been watching british and australian gangster flicks recently, they're all mostly similar to knock around guys...

11/30/12

ok enough highjacking this thread

In reply to Nefarious-
11/30/12

Nefarious-:
Pissingintowind:
Great thread. As a fellow corporate strategy guy, if you're ever in SF, let me know and I'll get you a beer.

Cool, what industry

Financial Services + Technology = Payments. Been a blast so far.

11/30/12

Nice read, thanks for sharing.

In reply to Nefarious-
12/1/12

Nefarious-:

There are companies that hire entry level strategy analysts with the intention of molding them from the ground up and giving them the proper career development to be an eventual leader in the company.

First, thanks for all the great info in the interview and from answering questions.

Regarding the quote, I've been looking online for this type of job, but not finding much. Though this could be because of my location (Michigan). Is "strategy analyst" the proper term I should be looking for, or is there some 'fancy' other title that is more common? I guess it probably varies from company to company, but any insight would be greatly appreciated.

12/1/12

Thank you for sharing. It'll really useful.

Tomorrow never comes and today never ends !

In reply to KyleKatarn
12/1/12

KyleKatarn:
Nefarious-:

There are companies that hire entry level strategy analysts with the intention of molding them from the ground up and giving them the proper career development to be an eventual leader in the company.

First, thanks for all the great info in the interview and from answering questions.

Regarding the quote, I've been looking online for this type of job, but not finding much. Though this could be because of my location (Michigan). Is "strategy analyst" the proper term I should be looking for, or is there some 'fancy' other title that is more common? I guess it probably varies from company to company, but any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Strategy Analyst and Corporate Strategy Analyst are the titles although more companies have Strategy Associates and Corporate Strategy Associates. Typically Associates will have more experience.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

12/1/12

Good info.

I was recently thinking about corporate strategy/strategy consulting as a great fit for my personality and interests. I'm pretty anti-MBA, though. Don't want to get one and don't want to deal with aspiring "Six Sigma blackbelts", if you catch my drift. My hunch is that it's not as much of a concern in strategy roles. What's your take?

In reply to freemarketeer
12/1/12

freemarketeer:
Good info.

I was recently thinking about corporate strategy/strategy consulting as a great fit for my personality and interests. I'm pretty anti-MBA, though. Don't want to get one and don't want to deal with aspiring "Six Sigma blackbelts", if you catch my drift. My hunch is that it's not as much of a concern in strategy roles. What's your take?

You really don't need one in CF - they are fluff degrees and people realize that; however, you will reach a ceiling in the company without one. The good part is, if you go CF, you can usually get your MBA paid for, which is the only way I would ever consider getting one.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

12/1/12

Thank you for all the information.

In your group, do you have people coming from technical backgrounds without MBAs (let's say worked 5 years as an aerospace engineer, then as a manager)? I have seen people jump to business development, but this is different in some ways?

In reply to P0.06-FML
12/1/12

P0.06-FML:
Thank you for all the information.

In your group, do you have people coming from technical backgrounds without MBAs (let's say worked 5 years as an aerospace engineer, then as a manager)? I have seen people jump to business development, but this is different in some ways?

I haven't seen engineers in strat, typically finance/contracts/BD guys

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

12/1/12

Nefarious - Do hiring managers in corporate strategy value certain academic majors more than others?

In reply to Nefarious-
12/1/12

Nefarious-:
Febreeze:
the straight-razor guy?

good interview dude.

You should give it a try


Important question regarding careers in corporate strategy: do you think its worth it switching to straight razors from safety razors? I've been shaving with a Merkur "Classic 1904" Open-Comb safety razor for about two and half years now. The thing is that it still works really well but I think I need a new/better brush. However for the price of a really nice brush I can buy an entire straight razor shaving kit such as: http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/straight-razor.... Is it worth the switch?
In reply to B2B430
12/1/12

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You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

In reply to thurnis haley
12/1/12

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

12/2/12

jacobzhang.net - my thoughts and portfolio.

"Money doesn't talk, it swears." - Bob Dylan

See my other WSO Blog posts

12/3/12
In reply to gphillips102390
12/3/12

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.

12/3/12

"Do not go gentle into that good night"

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