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Given the multiple requests I got in another thread I've decided to follow in 10xleverage's footsteps.

To give you some background, I graduated from Harvard undergrad in 2008. After graduation I moved to the bay area to join the 2 year finance leadership analyst program at a F500 tech company. The program place analysts in 6 month assignments in various finance and strategy groups across the company. You can be assigned to typical FP&A (financial planning & analysis) groups, corporate development (M&A), corporate or divisional strategy groups, corporate treasury (work on the trading floor helping to manage a particular asset portfolio), internal audit, market & competitive intelligence teams, etc. After finishing the program I joined the corporate development team in what is considered a 1st year associate role.

Feel free to ask all you ever wanted about corporate finance, corporate strategy, corporate developement, or anything else.

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Comments (287)

  • jimbrowngoU's picture

    You went through the FLP program, but when it comes to hiring MBAs, do these F500 hire directly into groups (i.e. hire an MBA candidate directly into corpdev) or do they go through a rotational as well?

    What type of hours do you work? What are your roles and responsibilities? How much do you get paid?

  • tuaj's picture

    +1 to "What type of hours do you work? What are your roles and responsibilities? How much do you get paid?"

    In terms of recruitment into the corp dev group, how are BB analysts viewed? Also, do you deal with recruiters? How would we get in touch if a BB analyst wanted to get into corpdev?

    Also, once you're there, is the goal to become the head of the group? Or are there 'exit ops'?

    Thanks for doing this, always wanted this clarity on corp dev.

  • ibintx's picture

    How do they place you into a group after the rotation program? Do you get to choose?
    Corp dev/M&A is what I would be interested in also.

    Also, any chance you would tell which company? (a PM would be good) Understandable if not.

  • dublin's picture

    very interested in this thread as well

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    1. When it comes to hiring MBAs, do these F500 hire directly into groups (i.e. hire an MBA candidate directly into corpdev) or do they go through a rotational as well?

    From what I've seen (at least at my company and at a few others where friends work) most of these corpdev or corpstrat groups hire MBAs directly. The hierarchy at my company, for example, is usually sr. analyst, manager, sr. manager, director, sr. director, general manager, then the CFO.

    post 2 years banking most come in at a sr. analyst (potentially manager titled but with sr. analyst pay) while post-MBAs come in at manager or sr. manager level.

    2. What type of hours do you work?

    Generally work 50-60 hours / week. If we are staffed on a large or pressing deal hours can increase to 80 hours/week...this happens maybe once every couple of months. In my 3 years thus far I've never worked more than 90 hours in a week.

    3. What are your roles and responsibilities?

    - Idea generation/ deal sourcing (usually in conjunction with the strategy team)
    - Lead valuation analyses
    - Participate in structuring and negotiating deals
    - Due diligence
    - Help prepare term sheets and definitive agreements
    - Help organize post-close activities

    - ad-hoc projects for our CEO, CFO, senior leadership team, and board.

    4. How much do you get paid?

    My total comp (including base + bonus + stock options) is ~$150K. Remember though that options typically vest over 5 year (1/5 every year). So you don't see that money immediately. As an analyst in the FLP total comp was ~$100K as a 1st year (most 1st years avg. $90-100K) and ~$120K as a 2nd year (most fall in the $110-120K range).

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    * forgot to add the following to #3:
    - help manage relationships with banks and VCs (mainly as part of the deal sourcing process)

  • jimbrowngoU's picture

    Very interesting, thanks for the response. Where does your firm typically recruit MBAs from? What are hours like for manager-level guys directly out of MBA? Compensation?

    Sounds like a pretty sweet gig. Any thoughts of leaving and going to get an MBA, or are you planning to stay for a while?

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    5. In terms of recruitment into the corp dev group, how are BB analysts viewed?

    most F500 corpdev hires are former BB analysts. I am an exception since I was not a former banker.

    6. Also, do you deal with recruiters?

    My company does not use headhunters or recruiters for junior level hires (post banking, etc.) we post everything on our internal site and post on places like linkedin, etc. Some companies do use HH or recruiters though.

    7. How would we get in touch if a BB analyst wanted to get into corpdev?

    Go through a headhunter (for companies that use them), keep an eye out for job postings on simply hired or linkedin, etc.

    8. Also, once you're there, is the goal to become the head of the group? Or are there 'exit ops'?

    The goal generally is NOT to become the head of the group. As far as internal exit opps, most corpdev employees move into junior executive (i.e. director+) and eventually leadership (GM+) roles within each of the different divisions at the company. At my company, for example, a large % of the divisional CFOs came from corpdev or strategy teams. As far as external exit opps, those that leave generally follow one of the following routes: 1) VC, 2) CorpDev or Strat (lateral move to another company), 3) MBA , 4) startup management jobs, 5) junior exec/leadership roles at other company

  • zeropower's picture

    I'd love to work in the States but heard firms only offer green cards to Associate level and above... Do you know this to be the case for 2yr rotational programs as well? Should i just apply to an EU or Cad position (have a similar firm in mind)

  • one_half_narwhal's picture

    Great thread. How did you find out about the FLP program? About 90% of the postings through career services are for banks financial firms, and I have yet to see any significant corporate development postings.

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    9. How do they place you into a group after the rotation program? Do you get to choose?

    Groups usually apply to hire analysts. Then analysts rank which groups they'd like to interview with and groups rank which analysts they want to interview. The based on these rankings analysts and groups are matched for interviews (usually 1-2 interviews with each group) which them leads to an offer. Usually 1-2 analysts in each class land a strategy or M&A job - most land them after they did a 6 month assignment with one of those teams and prove themselves (this is what i did).

    10. Also, any chance you would tell which company? (a PM would be good) Understandable if not.

    I would rather not say. However, it is a large F500 tech firm based in the bay area. My comments generally apply to most large tech companies...non-tech companies tend to have lower comp.

    11. Where does your firm typically recruit MBAs from?

    Top 10 MBA programs

    12. What are hours like for manager-level guys directly out of MBA? Compensation?

    Hours for manager level post-MBA guys tends to be 40-50 hours. Total comp ranges from like $150-200K. Remember though that this includes stock options which are not immediate comp.

    13. Any thoughts of leaving and going to get an MBA, or are you planning to stay for a while?

    Haven't really thought about it much.

    14. I'd love to work in the States but heard firms only offer green cards to Associate level and above... Do you know this to be the case for 2yr rotational programs as well? Should i just apply to an EU or Cad position (have a similar firm in mind)

    No idea on the immigration policies for the analyst program. We do sponsor in corpdev for post-MBA hires. Not sure how standard this is across the tech industry.

  • SHORTmyCDO's picture

    +1 SB for you my friend. What is general recruiting like out of undergrad? Is recruiting already over for kids coming out of school? If you don't mind me asking, why did you choose Corp Dev. over IB or more traditional finance route? Lastly, how does pay look like as you move up through the org?

  • In reply to harvardgrad08
    ibintx's picture

    harvardgrad08 wrote:
    9. How do they place you into a group after the rotation program? Do you get to choose?

    Groups usually apply to hire analysts. Then analysts rank which groups they'd like to interview with and groups rank which analysts they want to interview. The based on these rankings analysts and groups are matched for interviews (usually 1-2 interviews with each group) which them leads to an offer. Usually 1-2 analysts in each class land a strategy or M&A job - most land them after they did a 6 month assignment with one of those teams and prove themselves (this is what i did).
    .

    How many analysts are in a class? In other words, are these(^) groups more competitive than others? Are they difficult to get placed in for a 6-month rotation?

    Thanks for doing this man, tons of help.

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    15. How did you find out about the FLP program?

    I went to the tech company's presentation at Harvard during recruiting and asked about finance jobs even though it was a technical presentation. The HR person put me in contant with the person that ran the program.

    16. What is general recruiting like out of undergrad? Is recruiting already over for kids coming out of school?

    The program generally recruits at top school with a particular focus on top schools with undergrad business programs. I think full time recruiting for the program has ended.

    17. If you don't mind me asking, why did you choose Corp Dev. over IB or more traditional finance route?

    So I always had an interest in M&A but hated the banking lifestyle (interned in banking). Plus I've always had more of an industry interest as opposed to PE or VC. So i figured even if I did banking for 2 years I would probably end up in corpdev. After I learned about the program and figured out that I could get into corpdev without doing banking, without sacrificing too much in comp, and having an awesome lifestyle it was a no brainer.

    18. Lastly, how does pay look like as you move up through the org?

    Structure (from top to bottom):
    - C-Level Executives (top 20 or so people at the company): total comp $5M+/year
    - VPs: total comp ~$2-5M/year
    - General Managers: ~$500K-$2M/year
    - Sr. Director/Director: ~$300-500K/year
    - Sr. Manager/Manager: $150-300K/year
    - Sr. Analyst/Analyst: $100-150K/year

    *Total compensation includes base salary + cash bonus + stock options (generally have 5-year vesting period)

  • jimbrowngoU's picture

    How often do you work on the weekends? I would assume it's very limited, but just curious.

    How much better are you liking corpdev as compared to banking? Bet a whole hell of a lot. I'm jealous. I work in a software-focused banking group so we probably work with you guys.

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    19. How many analysts are in a class? In other words, are these(^) groups more competitive than others? Are they difficult to get placed in for a 6-month rotation?

    Analyst classes generally range from 15-25. These groups are generally a bit more competitive than others, however, each class is rather diverse and has varying interests...you have analysts who are die hard about going into audit, some that want to be traders in treasure, some that want strategy, some that want M&A, etc. etc. so the strat and M&A groups are a bit more competitive but not too much more than other groups. Getting placed into these groups requires some networking but it's not very difficult.

    20. How often do you work on the weekends?

    very rarely.

    21. How much better are you liking corpdev as compared to banking?

    I only did banking for a summer but I am loving it compared to that summer...my hours are great, comp is fantastic, I am given a lot of responsibiltiy, and the exposure to sr level management is awesome (to the point that our company's CEO sees my walking down the hallway and says hi to me by name, etc).

  • kmzz's picture

    what if you didnt have the rotational and started as a regular financial analyst? do you know people who made the transition?

    good rotational programs you would recommended? (im sure some are better than others)

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    22. What if you didnt have the rotational and started as a regular financial analyst? do you know people who made the transition?

    In all reality, corpdev & strat groups are like banks. They want people with a certain pedigree...generally top undergrad + 2 years banking/consulting. The farther away you get from this background the harder it will be to get a job...it's possible but requires a lot of networking, hard work, and just proving yourself over and over. I know 2 people that have made the transition into strategy without the support of a leadership program - both guys started in product management. I know one guy that started off as a regular analyst and was able to make the jump into corpdev...however, he moved over into a junior level position at an older age (i.e. he was like 27 and took a corpdev analyst job). He was able to do it because he had developed a great reputation at the company for being extremely smart and hard working...

    23. Good rotational programs you would recommended?

    I honestly can't comment on how good certain programs are. However, one tool i used to judge how good a program is linkedin. I used linkedin to see how people in these types of programs have fared down the line. I'd just look up "finance leadership program," "finance rotation program," etc., etc. You can usually see where program analysts end up after the program.

  • terrence's picture

    interested this in well, if possible to transition from general finance role. It was my understanding that it's possible

  • ibintx's picture

    Any tips for undergrads on how to get interviews for these rotational programs? (especially those of us who don't go to Harvard/other top targets)

    Also, do you think the leadership/rotational internships are good programs?

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    24. Any tips for undergrads on how to get interviews for these rotational programs? (especially those of us who don't go to Harvard/other top targets)

    A lot of F500 rotation program don't necessarily target HYPS schools...some do but most actually target large state schools with good undergrad business programs. One of the best things you can do is go to conferences that certain schools put on (i.e. Wharton Tech Conference, HBS Media & Entertainment Conference, etc.). At most of these conferences you will find people fromm strategy or corpdev groups from F500 companies that you can network with and get them to pass along your resume to the head of their rotation program. Also just go and apply to their websites...most F500 companies don't waste too much time with on campus recruiting so just apply via their website. You can also do what I did and go to a F500 company presentation during on campus recruiting, even if it's for technical positions, and inquire about finance or leadership program jobs.

    25. Do you think the leadership/rotational internships are good programs?

    They can be really good programs...a lot will also hire you as a sophomore which can then help you land a banking job during junior year and they are also a good way to secure a full time job in the actual leadership/rotational program.

  • idmbanker's picture

    For someone looking to do 2 years in banking and then leave to work in corp dev at a F500 tech company, what groups at the ibank would you suggest? M&A or Tech/TMT?

    In other words, would you focus on getting good modeling/M&A skills or focus on becoming an industry expert in the Tech industry, or even a specific subsector within the tech industry?

  • hmg22's picture

    I just a got a FT offer for a similar financial rotational in a F500 Bay Area company. However, I don't think analysts will rotate into a Corp Dev role. What advice would you give to people trying to break into Corp Dev from these kinds of finance rotationals?

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    26. Thanks. Not related, but do you know of any info about product management? Competitiveness, background, pay, etc.

    From a background perspective it doesn't really matter - engineering, business, etc. you can get a job just being smart and don't need a specific kind of degree. It can be pretty competitive especially at top places like Google or Microsoft. Pay is slightly under if not equal to corpdev or strategy pay. I honestly don't know that much though.

    27. For someone looking to do 2 years in banking and then leave to work in corp dev at a F500 tech company, what groups at the ibank would you suggest? M&A or Tech/TMT?

    Both types of groups would get you a job...I personally would suggest the industry specific one since you will develop a deeper knowledge of the industry which should translate better than just pure M&A. That said, M&A will still get you in the door just because the vast majority of the work you will do in corpdev is M&A and won't do some of the other types of things that you potentially had to do in an industry group.

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    28. I just a got a FT offer for a similar financial rotational in a F500 Bay Area company. However, I don't think analysts will rotate into a Corp Dev role. What advice would you give to people trying to break into Corp Dev from these kinds of finance rotationals?

    First of all, congrats on the offer. When I first started in my program no one had ever done a corpdev rotation. I networked really hard with all of the guys on the corpdev team...developed good relationships with them, tried to prove that I could do the work (wasn't too hard since I went to Harvard and had a top IBD internship), and then convinced them to take me on for a six month assignment. Definitely try to do this...if you are able to get them to take you on for 6 months and you do well you will have a good shot of landing a role after the program.

  • accountingbyday's picture

    Does the below compensation structure apply to CorpDev only or is that the general expectation for all finance positions leaving your rotational programs?

    I know that Tech generally pays pretty well and SF is expensive, but I'm at a non-tech F500 in the Chicago area and this is significantly higher than Finance in my company.

    Structure (from top to bottom):
    - C-Level Executives (top 20 or so people at the company): total comp $5M+/year
    - VPs: total comp ~$2-5M/year
    - General Managers: ~$500K-$2M/year
    - Sr. Director/Director: ~$300-500K/year
    - Sr. Manager/Manager: $150-300K/year
    - Sr. Analyst/Analyst: $100-150K/year
    *Total compensation includes base salary + cash bonus + stock options (generally have 5-year vesting period)

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    29. Does the below compensation structure apply to CorpDev only or is that the general expectation for all finance positions leaving your rotational programs?

    This is the general expectation for non-technical jobs (which include finance). Corpdev tends to be on the higher end of the payscale...less sexy finance jobs (like reporting, etc.) tend to be on the lower end of this and have fewer positions at the higher levels.

    If you look at the non-technical side of my company and evaluated how many people there are in each of these buckets you'd notice that the vast majority of employees fall in the "manager" bucket and have total comp of ~$150K.

    C-Level to General Manager = top 2% of employees
    Sr Director/Director = next 10%
    sr manager/manager = next 85%
    sr analyst/analyst = bottom 3%

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    * oh and also remember a sizable part of most of the higher level jobs is in the form of options which vest over 5 years...

  • jimbrowngoU's picture

    harvardgrad -- thanks a lot for this, I really appreciate it. Over the past few years I've thought a lot about "what's next" post-banking, and this certainly clarifies some of the questions I've had about corpdev.

    How many acquisitions have you seen through?

  • greatlakes77's picture

    Thanks for starting this Harvardgrad08. Really appreciate it.

    My question is, how possible is it to transition from a Big 4 Audit role with 4-5 years of experience to a corporate development/strategy role at a F500? Are any of the audit skills transferable? Is the Audit experience valuable?

    Thanks!

  • mkballer's picture

    harvardgrad08, thanks for this great thread -- it's very helpful.

    I'll be joining the finance rotational program at a top 10 F500 firm next summer. It has very similar groups as to the ones you mentioned above (treasury, audit, profit forecasting, etc.). My question to you is: If I have a preference for one group over another, how do I politely convey this to HR? I think we get assigned to groups based on needs, but if I can throw my preferences at HR, I would much rather do that and end up in a group I'd like working in.

    Thanks for the help!
    -mkballer

    MKballer

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    30. How many acquisitions have you seen through?

    Well including the 6 month stint + the 7 or so months i've been in the group full-time I've probably evaluated at least a deal every week and have closed 4 deals.

    31. My question is, how possible is it to transition from a Big 4 Audit role with 4-5 years of experience to a corporate development/strategy role at a F500? Are any of the audit skills transferable? Is the Audit experience valuable?

    I've only seen people move into strategy teams from the consulting arms of big 4 firms (i.e. deloitte consulting) never from an audit role. I have seen a lot of people with varying kinds of big 4 experience (primarily transaction advisory) go into our M&A integration team (i.e. they do all the post-close integration work). Since I haven't done audit I can't really comment on how transferable or valuable those skills are.

    32. I'll be joining the finance rotational program at a top 10 F500 firm next summer. It has very similar groups as to the ones you mentioned above (treasury, audit, profit forecasting, etc.). My question to you is: If I have a preference for one group over another, how do I politely convey this to HR? I think we get assigned to groups based on needs, but if I can throw my preferences at HR, I would much rather do that and end up in a group I'd like working in.

    This is different at each company but at least where I worked analysts got to rank the available groups which gave you the ability to land one of your top choices and not end up in some bs group that you have no interest in. So i guess it'll depend on how your company manages the assignment process - I assume they give analysts some sort of ability to express their interests.

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    33. [question asked multiple times in private messages] Can you land a corpdev job straight out of undergrad? If so, which companies?

    Getting into corpdev at a F500 from undergrad directly is pretty hard and practically impossible...most places want people with 1-2 years of banking or consulting experience. The only prestigious place i can think of is Disney's Corporate Business Developement & Strategy team...they usually hire 1 undergrad each year and only recruit at Harvard and Princeton (and occasionally Wharton undergrad). That team is known as being a future hollywood BSD training center. This team btw is a combined corpdev and corpstrat team.

    Corporate strategy or divisional strategy teams at F500 sometimes here straight out of undergrad so look for those job posts on-campus or online.

  • Walkerr's picture

    This is a great post, much appreciated. Are there also intern possibilities for corp dev/ corp strat?

  • Kools's picture

    how often do you work from home?

    is the culture in corpdev more collegial or "structured" in the sense that the majority of your colleagues go to work and go home?

    what would you have done after your rotation program if you weren't placed into corpdev or strategy?

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    34. Are there also intern possibilities for corp dev/ corp strat?

    Most companies offer MBA internships for corpdev and corpstrat teams. There are generally very limited corpdev/corpstrat internship opportunities for undergrads, however, with lots of networking it may be possible to secure something. We've had one undergrad in the past 4 years that did an internship with us and he was able to get it as his family is close friends with one of the C-level execs at our company.

    35. How often do you work from home?

    If I don't have any meetings scheduled that I need to be in the office for then I try to work from home which means that I work from home ~ once per week.

    36. is the culture in corpdev more collegial or "structured" in the sense that the majority of your colleagues go to work and go home?

    The culture is pretty laid back, however, you will find in a lot of corporate roles that people that have left banking, etc. left because they wanted to start a family, have a better lifestyle, etc. so most (even lots of the junior guys) are married which leads most to just come into the office and work and then go home to see their families. That said, those of us that aren't married go to the office then head out for dinner, drinks, clubbing, etc. - models & bottles still exist in this lifestyle :). Since our hours are good and getting vacations scheduled is pretty easy we make frequent weekend trips to Vegas to party, etc.

    37. What would you have done after your rotation program if you weren't placed into corpdev or strategy?

    I would have looked at moving into corpdev or strat at other companies and if that wasn't possible then I would have taken a corporate FP&A or treasury job until there was an opening in corpdev or strat that I could have networked my way into. On a side note, a friend of mine who also did a corpdev rotation wasn't sure there were going to be enough headcount openings to secure a job started to look outside of the company and he was able to get an offer for a corpdev/strat roles at other company and was also able to land a VC offer. In the end headcount was available and he took a job on one of our divisional strategy teams.

  • Bobo-for-hire's picture

    First off, great thread

    I'm a senior about to graduate from an Ivy with an offer to join the corporate development team at an F500 Tech firm. I was wondering, in terms of exit opps, have you seen people leave from an analyst position in CorpDev to go to a bank or consulting be it middle market or BB?

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    38. I was wondering, in terms of exit opps, have you seen people leave from an analyst position in CorpDev to go to a bank or consulting be it middle market or BB?

    It's definitely possible leave corpdev to go into banking or consulting but it doesn't tend to be the typical path; I've only seen a few people do it. The primary reason this isnt typical is because those in corpdev tend to come from those places initially and don't want to go back. Given that you have an offer to into corpdev directly from undergrad then it may be more possible for you to move into banking or consulting after 1-2 years...

    The people that do leave to go into banking most of the time tend to be very senior folks...i.e. head of corpdev group leaving to go be an MD leading a banks industry group, etc.

  • Bi-Winning's picture

    What did you major in while at Harvard?

    I win here, I win there...

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    39. What did you major in while at Harvard?

    I did a triple concentration in Latin American Women of Suffolk, Bottle Service at Rumor, and Bumming Rides on Friends' Jets.

    In all seriousness though...Econ.

  • Pierrepont's picture

    I'm about to start full time at a financial leadership development program next year. Once I go through the program, will I be limited to my company's industry? Let's say I wanted to work in tech down the line, would I be able to lateral in from a non-tech company?

    One of the greatest benefits I see in these development programs is the exposure to upper management and the accelerated pace they move you through the company. Do you see that advantage and accelerated pace staying with you after analysts finish the program? Is a lateral move to a different company shooting yourself in the foot if you've been given such a "prized status" at the original company?

    Thanks! It's really great to hear from someone who has been very successful without going through banking.

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    40. Once I go through the program, will I be limited to my company's industry? Let's say I wanted to work in tech down the line, would I be able to lateral in from a non-tech company?

    It will be easier for you to get jobs in the same industry, that said, the skills you will learn are very transferable to other indutries. I've seen various program analysts move from tech to other industries after a few years (I've seen them move into telecom, media & entertainment, and consumer/retail for example).

    41. One of the greatest benefits I see in these development programs is the exposure to upper management and the accelerated pace they move you through the company. Do you see that advantage and accelerated pace staying with you after analysts finish the program?

    You are spot in with your first statement...the best thing about these programs is the mgmt exposure, accelerated pace, and large network you develop. I have definitely seen these advantages continue after leaving the program. In all reality, all of these advantages help me do my job better than most of the analysts that came from banking since I have an unparralleled network at the company. For example, I know most of the strategy and M&A people in some of the other divisions...if we have a deal that could have synergies with other divisions I am quickly able to loop in people and get stuff done quickly while the other sr analysts/managers don't have the benefit of just being able to pick up the phone and call people. If I want to get data of some sort...i usually know who i need to get it from while my colleagues waste time trying to figure it out, etc. Plus the exec exposure is fantastic and has continued to help accelerate my career. Most of the banking hires don't have the benefit of having a personal relationship with most of the divisional CFOs, senior management teams, etc.

    42. Is a lateral move to a different company shooting yourself in the foot if you've been given such a "prized status" at the original company?

    You can definitely shoot yourself in the foot by moving over given the investment the company has made in you. One of the best things about being a program alum is the fact that if you are generally unhappy in your role you can reach out to the program's management and given their investment they will help look for other opportunities for you also it gives you some leverage if you get a competing offer to then go and see what the program's management can help you do internally to maybe match the offer, get you a promo, etc. This is something the banking hires don't have. At any rate, you can still leave at any time and if you manage it well you won't burn too many bridges.

  • jackilewis's picture

    Hey,

    do most corporate development programs recruit out of MBA (or just headhunters/networking etc) and If they do, is it only people with banking experience ?

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    43. do most corporate development programs recruit out of MBA (or just headhunters/networking etc) and If they do, is it only people with banking experience ?

    There are usually two entry points into corpdev:

    a. Sr. Analyst/Manager Level - Usually requires 1-3 years of banking or consulting (as I've noted above my route is non-traditional and an exception). For these roles some companies use headhunters so you may be able to land something via a headhunter (for example, I know that Expedia's corpdev is notorious for using glocap); some don't use headhunters and just post their job openings online (own website, linkedin, simplyhired, etc.) so you can just apply through there (for example a quick look for jobs on linkedin and simplyhired a few minute ago shows corpdev job openings at the following major companies - Oracle, Cisco, Amazon, Microsoft, Visa, Thomson Reuters, Zynga, eBay, Juniper, Yahoo!, Home Depot, Pepsi, EA, Amgen, Warner Brothers, American Express, HP, Dell, Mattel, AOL, Internet Brands, Viacom, Nike, Disney Internet Group, McKesson, Adobe, Intuit, 3M, Honeywell, EMC, among others...and this was just for "corporate development" if you search for "corporate strategy" you'll see that there are just as many).

    b. Manager/ Sr. Manager Level - Post-MBA position. For these most F500 recruit directly at top 10 MBA programs.

  • Pierrepont's picture

    How large was your analyst class?

  • Michael Scott's picture

    Thanks for your willingness to share your insight into this field.

    Background: I have been working for a F1000 in accounting. After gaining exposure to M&A through some valuation work with our Biz Dev group I recognize that M&A is a path I'd like to explore. I have been in contact with the Biz Dev group but thus far have had no success. I have also taken some courses to improve my Excel/modeling in hopes that they will be transferable skills down the road. I have been networking and have gotten a couple interviews but they have wanted to see more Corp Dev experience.

    My question is: What steps would you recommend for someone that is looking to break into specifically Corporate Development/Corporate Strategy. Is an MBA the only route for this type of career change? I know that I will be successful in this field, but I have not been able to break in... yet. Any advice would be appreciated.

    People ask me, would you rather be feared or loved?
    Um easy, I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.

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