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8/21/13

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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.

Comments (288)

Best Response
12/12/10

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).

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12/12/10

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?

12/12/10

+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.

12/12/10

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.

12/12/10

very interested in this thread as well

12/12/10

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

12/12/10

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?

12/12/10

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

12/12/10

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)

12/12/10

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.

12/12/10

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.

12/12/10

+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
12/12/10
harvardgrad08:

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.

12/12/10

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)

12/12/10

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.

12/12/10

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).

12/12/10

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)

12/12/10

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.

12/12/10

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

12/12/10

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?

12/12/10

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.

12/12/10

Thanks. Not related, but do you know of any info about product management? Competitiveness, background, pay, etc
I made a thread a little bit ago but didn't receive much info http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/product-mana...

12/12/10

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?

12/12/10
12/12/10

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?

12/12/10

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.

The WSO Advantage - Corp Fin, Corp Dev. & More

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation.

Corp Fin & FDP Secrets Revealed

11 Profiles of Top FDPs.

Resume Help from Corp Fin. Pros

Land More Interviews.

Find Your Perfect Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews.

12/12/10

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.

12/12/10

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)

12/12/10

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%

12/12/10

* 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...

12/13/10

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?

12/13/10

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!

12/13/10

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

12/13/10

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.

12/13/10

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.

12/13/10

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

12/13/10

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?

12/13/10

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.

12/13/10

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?

12/13/10

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.

12/13/10

What did you major in while at Harvard?

I win here, I win there...

12/13/10

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.

12/13/10

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.

12/13/10

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.

12/14/10

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 ?

12/14/10

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.

12/14/10

How large was your analyst class?

12/14/10

44. How large was your analyst class?

See my answer in question #19.

12/14/10

Really appreciate the post, harvardgrad08, very interesting

12/14/10

45. 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.

An MBA is not the only route you can take but it will help significantly. If I were in your position, give your relationship with your bizdev team, I would propose to help them on future projects in addition to the work that you are doing in cost acct. Once you have worked on a few projects with them then you may be able to more easily break into corpdev.

12/14/10

Can you talk about corp strategy (background, exit, breaking in, etc); is it diff than corp dev? Sounds more like a dept that would hire management consultants (as corp dev is to bankers)

12/14/10

Can you also touch on getting into corp dev or strategy from a boutique or mm analyst position? I am assuming better chance with smaller public companies, right?

12/14/10

46. Can you talk about corp strategy (background, exit, breaking in, etc); is it diff than corp dev? Sounds more like a dept that would hire management consultants (as corp dev is to bankers)

Corporate strategy generally favors consultants, however, some companies will hire former bankers as well. Exits are generally very similar to corpdev both internally and externally. The major difference in internal exits being that most folks in corpdev try to move up the finance ladder and take positions that will set them up for CFO jobs while corpstrat folks tend to move into positions that allow them to climb the product management ladder which generally is more of a path to leading a business unit (i.e. CEO type track). Like I mentioned earlier, for external exits corpdev guys usually exit to MBA, lateral corpdev groups, VC, startup management, and management at other companies. For corpstrat it is similar except you see more folks going the startup & other company management tracks as opposed to VC (that being said it doesn't preclude you from moving into VC). Breaking into corpstrat is similar to corpdev...2 years at either consulting/bank, lateral move from another corpstrat at another company, or MBA. It's possible to also join internally from a leadership program as well but again requires you to network and be very proactive.

47. Can you also touch on getting into corp dev or strategy from a boutique or mm analyst position? I am assuming better chance with smaller public companies, right?

Obviously a top BB or prestigious boutique sets you up best to try and get these kinds of jobs, however, I've noticed that in all reality most corpdev groups, even at large F50 companies, have a sizable percentage of people from boutiques or MM firms - I assume this is because those at BB or prestigious boutiques tend to have more PE opportunities available to them. As long as you don't come from some random unknown firm you actually have a pretty decent chance of landing one of these jobs - the more you can demonstrate that you are passionate about and have an understanding of the industry, the company, its products, etc. the better chance you have.

In reply to harvardgrad08
12/14/10
harvardgrad08:

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.

Does the post MBA position require bankin experience though ? I.e. could an accountant get an mba and then move to CD.

thanks

12/15/10

48. Does the post MBA position require banking experience though ? I.e. could an accountant get an mba and then move to CD.

No it doesn't require banking experience, however, banking experience obviously help. I have seen people with engineering work experience, accounting, etc., go into corpdev after their MBA.

12/15/10

great thread harvardgrad08! representing all of us internal bankers!

my background is actually quite similar to harvardgrad08's I graduated from Wharton undergrad in 2007, went to a F50 FLDP and now work in strategy & corporate development. I agree with pretty much everything harvard has said...although comp in my industry is lower than tech. :) I have a couple of friends doing tech corpdev as well and they all tell me the same things that harvard has said...so kudos harvardgrad SB for you.

12/15/10

What was your path? Where did you end up out of the program?

12/15/10

harvardgrad08 -

...I've got a couple of questions about the top level MARKETING executives at your company. #1) Do they ever make it into the million dollar pay bracket? #2) What is their typical background? (consulting to MBA, I'm assuming).

Thank you very much for taking the time to help out like this. If you're not all that familiar with the marketing arm of your company, no worries.

Best,

Jim

12/15/10

Does your company sponsor MBAs for those in corp dev? Do most/any firms? If so, when/how does that take place? (Like after your 2 "associate" years or what.)

12/15/10

49. I've got a couple of questions about the top level MARKETING executives at your company. a.) Do they ever make it into the million dollar pay bracket? b.) What is their typical background? (consulting to MBA, I'm assuming).

a. The pay scale I posted for question #18 applies to all non-engineering jobs (including marketing). So to answer your question - yes. Obviously this will vary by industry, consumer/retail and tech marketers make a lot more than say the top marketing execs at a semiconductor company.

b. Most of the ones I've seen have either a consulting background or an industry sales or marketing background - meaning they started off in the industry and have climbed the ladder.

50. Does your company sponsor MBAs for those in corp dev? Do most/any firms? If so, when/how does that take place? (Like after your 2 "associate" years or what.)

This obviously varies by company. In general I have seen that most will pay for an MBA for people that they consider to be rockstars and have the potential to be future c-level execs at the company with the caveat that you come back and work at the company for 3 years, etc. In terms of timing, I would say it they will generally do it for people with 4-7 years of experience. Additionally, most places (at least in tech) offer a decent amount of tuition reimbursement (can range from 5-15K/year) so I've seen a lot of people pursue part-time degrees at Berkeley, Stanford, or other local schools over the course of 3 years or so which gives them the ability to have most of their degree covered by the tuition reimbursement program. Lastly, again speaking just for tech since that is the industry I know, most MBA hires are giving a large signing bonus that usually covers their 2nd year of MBA...which is also a pretty good deal.

12/15/10

What was your path? Where did you end up out of the program?

After the FLPD I took a job on a market intelligence team for about 1 year. Then when there was an opening on our strategy & corporate development team I interviewed and got the job. During one of my rotations in the program I had worked with 2 people on the team and kept in touch with them. They liked my work during that project and allowed me to interview for the job which I subsequently landed.

12/16/10

thanks so much man!

12/17/10

hey so i was wondering.

1) do you have to be at a firms head office ? (i.e. does corporate development operate out of regional offices or is it usually at the firms head quarters ?

2) I always hear that in corporate development you could be stuck in the same position for years. (i.e. in banking you either get promoted or leave, there is no middle ground, while in corporate development it takes much much longer to climb the ranks ? Is this true ?

12/17/10

51. Do you have to be at a firms head office ? (i.e. does corporate development operate out of regional offices or is it usually at the firms head quarters ?

This totally depends on the company. I've usually seen 3 standard operating model:
a. The entire corpdev team is located at HQ.
b. Most of the team is located at HQ with maybe 1-2 person at each of the regional HQs in EMEA and Asia-Pacific.
c. The team is completely spread out across multile geos. A few folks at HQ (assuming in this case that its not NYC, SF, BOS, CHI), a few in NYC, a few in SF, a few folks in other cities (Boston, Chicago, etc.), a few at each of the regional HQs.

I would say though that a and b are the most prevalent. c is not that common but I've seen it at a few companies.

52. I always hear that in corporate development you could be stuck in the same position for years. (i.e. in banking you either get promoted or leave, there is no middle ground, while in corporate development it takes much much longer to climb the ranks ? Is this true ?

Again totally depends on the company...before I delve into the promotion velocity question let me set up the structure of most corpdev (as a caveat titles vary):
- Sr. Analyst / Manager (post 2 years IBD)
- Sr. Manager
- Director / Sr. Director
- MD / GM / VP (i.e. head of group)

I've generally seen that people move pretty quickly through the first two pieces of the structure - around 1-2 years in each (i.e. 1 year as sr. analyst, then 2 years as manager, then 2 years as sr. manager). The place where you can get "stuck" is usually at the director/sr. director level. Once you are there your prospects are really to wait it out until the head of the group decides to leave and try to get the promo, lateral to another smaller company where you could be head of corpdev, move into a junior exec non-corpdev role in another part of the company basically putting you into more of a CFO path, move to a smaller company in an executive type role, move to VC/PE usually at the VP or principal level. That said, if you are at the director/sr director level you are usually pulling in on somewhere around $300-500K all in comp (usually base is ~$180-200K, bonus of ~40-50%, stock options of ~ $100-350K) so it's still a pretty cushy job in terms of comp to work (40 hr weeks) ratio. One of the directors in my group, for example, works 7am-3pm every day of which 1-2 days a week he works from home, pulled in ~$420K last year, is very well respected by the company's c-level execs, and spends his afternoons coaching competitive soccer and spending time with his family, etc. (i.e. so even if you top out around that level and have to wait years to move up it's still not a bad gig).

12/17/10

Hey harvardgrad08, thanks for the great topic. It really clears up some misconceptions about F500 corporate finance that I had beforehand. Here's my question - I'm a finance/accounting major, a junior at a non-Ivy target and not too interested in investment banking. Between the work-life tradeoff and the fact that I really want to work closer to the technology (I wanted to be an engineer as a kid), I feel like I'd be better off in a corp fin role at a large tech company. Ideally, I'd actually want to work at Tesla. My question is, what are some ways to really try to get a jumpstart right into a corpdev type of role? Is networking really the only way?

Also, this might be an odd question, but do you enjoy what you do? I know so many people go into banking really for the exit ops, but is corpdev something you could see yourself doing for years?

12/17/10

53. I'm a finance/accounting major, a junior at a non-Ivy target and not too interested in investment banking. Between the work-life tradeoff and the fact that I really want to work closer to the technology (I wanted to be an engineer as a kid), I feel like I'd be better off in a corp fin role at a large tech company. Ideally, I'd actually want to work at Tesla. My question is, what are some ways to really try to get a jumpstart right into a corpdev type of role? Is networking really the only way?

Keep checking job sites like linkedin or simply hired and for corpdev job posting and apply...sometimes even without the banking experience that some require you may be able to land an interview. Other than that networking is really the only way to land one of thes jobs out of undergrad. You could also try to follow a path similar to mine (finance leadership program -> corpdev).

54. Also, this might be an odd question, but do you enjoy what you do? I know so many people go into banking really for the exit ops, but is corpdev something you could see yourself doing for years?

I love what I do. I get to work on exciting and high visibility projects, I love the fact that I am in the driver's seat - I get to identify interesting opportunities, present them to the senior leaders of the firm, and then make them happen. I could definitely see myself doing this kind of work at least for the next few years. However, I would eventually want to move to other areas of corp finance in order to learn other skills that will set me up well to eventually become a CFO.

12/19/10

Thanks for the response. I was looking at the IB subforum and there's a thread by someone whose staffer is making him work the 24th. In most internal corp fin roles are holidays recognized and given as days off?

12/19/10

55. In most internal corp fin roles are holidays recognized and given as days off?

Yes. Most corpdev groups follow the vacation & holiday schedule of their company. At most F500 you get anywhere from 3-4 weeks of vacation + sick days + 8-10 holidays. As long as you give enought notice you can usually take vacation whenever you want.

12/20/10

Harvardgrad08 thank you for this great thread, it is very informative! Post MBA, I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of doing consulting (MBB) then moving to corp strat at F500 vs. going straight into a corp strat group at a F500. Do people who come into a corp strat group from consulting tend to leap frog to more senior positions within a group in a shorter amount of time than guys who are moving up internally? I'm guessing this varies on a case by case basis, but I'm wondering if you have seen any trends on this? Thanks for your help!

12/21/10

How are the interviews like? Thanks for all the information Havardgrad08.

12/22/10

56. Post MBA, I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of doing consulting (MBB) then moving to corp strat at F500 vs. going straight into a corp strat group at a F500. Do people who come into a corp strat group from consulting tend to leap frog to more senior positions within a group in a shorter amount of time than guys who are moving up internally?

Like you said this will depend on each company. At my company, it is rather rare for our corpstrat team to make any consulting hires since the main hiring point seems to be at the post-MBA level. Those hired tend to have very quick velocity (generally faster than most employees across the company). For the most part these hires are promoted to positions that would normally be filled with consultant hires as opposed to hiring externally. The rare more senior consulting MBB hires that do come in, from what I've seen, tend to have a slightly slower promotion velocity. I don't think you can go wrong either way. I honestly think my company is an exception since we generally dont hire anything other than post-MBAs for corpstrat. So you may be better off going to consulting and moving into corpstrat later since most companies would definitely hire at the director+ level for someone post-MBA with a few years of MBB under their belt.

57. How are the interviews like?

We generally have a 1-2 phone screens for candidates. These tend to be both technical and fit. Then we bring in candidates for a super day where they have anywhere from 4-7 interviews in a day...again a mix of both types of questions. The process is very similar to banking. However, even if it is for corpdev you will probably get some industry questions, cases, etc. just to gauge your knowledge of the industry or space that the company operates in.

12/22/10

Thanks for the quick response. As a follow-up question, if I am currently working as an analyst in an coverage group at a BB but ultimately want to move into another industry in a corporate development role after my program is over, would I still be expected to know a lot about that industry, or would interviews/recruiting focus more on my financial knowledge instead?

Thanks once again, this is a great topic.

12/22/10

Does CS/CD put heavy emphasis on GPA & coming from Ivy league/Target schools like IBD and Consulting does?

"Do whatever it takes to keep the legend of Wall Street as it was truly intended live on. When you think back on investment banking of the early 21st century, remember the heat--remember the passion. But mostly, remember the titans. " - LSO

12/23/10

58. if I am currently working as an analyst in an coverage group at a BB but ultimately want to move into another industry in a corporate development role after my program is over, would I still be expected to know a lot about that industry, or would interviews/recruiting focus more on my financial knowledge instead?

Interviews/recruiting would focus primarily on your financial knowledge, etc. They want to make sure you can do the work. Having the industry background is very helpful and being in a coverage group for that specific industry would open more doors for that industry. If however you are able to show some basic knowledge and lots of passion for the industry then you could definitely land a job in an industry outside your coverage group. That said, most of the hires i've seen (for my company at least) have either come from an M&A group or have come from the specific industry coverage group. I've very rarely seen a healthcare banker, for example, move into tech corpdev, etc.

59. Does CS/CD put heavy emphasis on GPA & coming from Ivy league/Target schools like IBD and Consulting does?

Les emphasis is placed on academic background and a lot more of the focus is on work experience, fit, career goals (i.e. why CS/CD, etc.) as generally most of these groups recruit people with a few years of experience at top BB, boutiques, or MBB consulting (i.e. since most are coming from these types of jobs then the academic background was pretty much already "vetted" - if you landed one of these jobs then you probably had a pretty solid academic background).

12/26/10

harvardgrad08,

This has been an incredibly informative thread (I just took the time to read through the whole thing). Gives some great perspective on a very large and very appealing job market that is difficult to research. To the extent you're still responding to questions, I am a bit confused about how you addressed compensation. You said that a Director/Sr. Director generally makes $100-$350k in stock options. I'm assuming the company you work for is public and therefore all stock options granted must be priced at / above the stock price on the day the options were issued. Given this, how are you able to assign a dollar value to the stock options?

Did you mean to say that the company offers stock grants --- aka: free shares of the company's stock (that typically come with a time-based vesting schedule)? Stock grants can have actual values attached to them, for example: If you worked at Google you could be granted 500 shares that vest 20% per year. If not I'm still confused and would love some clarification!

Thanks again -- I shared this thread with a few people I know that are looking to get into Corp. Dev.

CompBanker

12/27/10

Hey harvardgrad08,

Many thanks for this great thread...This info. has been extremely helpful.
I would best describe myself as a rather confused MBA Applicant. I currently work in KPMG's Mgt Consulting Division (Performance & Technology) and would have been there for roughly 22months by the time I plan to start my MBA in Wharton in 2011.
I genuinely love finance and modelling but I've discovered I don't love it enough to work 100hrs a week, lose my girlfriend, family and friends and watch my health deteriorate all for a fat pay check.

In the light of this, I have three questions.

(1) Given my background ~2yrs (22months by August 2011) in Consulting + the MBA from Wharton I hope to get, do you think AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT, I could land a high paying Corp Dev job as a Manager in a TOP company (e.g CISCO, Google etc) right after my MBA without having to suffer on Wall Street for a couple of years?

(2) How feasible is VC as an exit opp if u've done Corp Dev...Does it happen frequently?,

(3) I'd ultimately like to start my own enterpreneurial venture...In your opinion, does this happen in the Corp Dev world or do folks just rise up the corporate ladder, grow old, retire and die?

Thanks in advance pal !!!

12/27/10

Harvardgrad08,

You are awesome for doing this. I just have two quick questions:

1. In terms of internal career advancement within corp. dev within the shortest amount of time, would you recommend going into banking in an M&A group (2years) --> corp. dev as a senior analyst --> MBA --> Manager/Senior Manager back into corp dev? Or would you recommend banking in an M&A group (2years) --> MBA --> Manager/Senior Manager? What are the pros and cons of both?

2. Is the path to CFO from Corp. Dev. more common than the other finance departments

Would really appreciate any insight you have

12/27/10

Sorry to deviate off topic, but are you in at Wharton with 22 months of work experience at a big 4 / is there something here that I am missing??

12/27/10

Run for Run...yep you should be sorry for UNNECESSARILY deviating off topic....If you had bothered to pay attention to detail...you would have seen that one of my first statements was that: "I am a rather confused MBA APPLICANT"...Key word: APPLICANT

My 22 months at KPMG is the portion of experience that I feel would be relevant for my desired Corp Dev role POST MBA....Doesen't mean thats all the work exp I have...Will have approx 4yrs WE by Aug 2011. I'm not in at Wharton yet. Will submit my app by the round 2 deadline in just over a week.

In the event you have any other potentially deviating questions or advice or still think I'm not good enough for Wharton, stating your case via a PM would be much more appropriate...cheers

12/27/10

Relax COKER, maybe you should demonstrate a bit more clarity in your posts -- one statement implies you're an applicant, the other implies you're in at Wharton. CLARITY my friend.

In reply to JimBeam69
12/27/10
COKERDI:

I was built to be the best, Number One and nothing less!!!

Sorry to deviate off topic, but..... baaaaahahahahahaha.

12/27/10

Hey Hgrad, I gotta another question:

Let's say that you don't qualify for banking or top shop strat consulting right out of undergrad (and thus probably don't qualify for corp dev at top companies right off the bat either). Are there any other areas such as public accounting or even plain old vanilla financial analysis at a large/medium cap company that would give relevant skills for corp dev and would allow one to make the jump later? Its gonna be tough for me to get into i-banking/consulting, but if I get some experience in a big 4 accounting firm with a CA/CPA or just start in regular financial analyst and get an MBA, is it possible to move to corp dev after that?

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.

12/28/10

60. I am a bit confused about how you addressed compensation. You said that a Director/Sr. Director generally makes $100-$350k in stock options. I'm assuming the company you work for is public and therefore all stock options granted must be priced at / above the stock price on the day the options were issued. Given this, how are you able to assign a dollar value to the stock option? Did you mean to say that the company offers stock grants --- aka: free shares of the company's stock (that typically come with a time-based vesting schedule)? Stock grants can have actual values attached to them, for example: If you worked at Google you could be granted 500 shares that vest 20% per year. If not I'm still confused and would love some clarification!

So i was a bit vague on the stock comp portion as the type of plan my company has might reveal where I work :). That said, there are generally a few types of stock comp programs I've seen: 1. pure options where you are given a certain number of shares with a certain strike price (i.e. you get 1,000 shares with a strike price of $5.00 but the company's stock is currently worth $10.00 and you have a certain lock out period - some have a certain kind of vest schedule). 2. stock grants as you called out where you are given X number of shares that vest over a certain period of time (therefore you can calc total $ from the share price despite the fact that you cant touch them until they vest). 3. stock awards where you are given a certain $ amount in stock comp and then the company uses that awarded amount to purchase shares on the given date of the award but then these also have a vesting schedule (i.e. you are granted $250,000 in stock award...the stock price is $15 on the award date and therefore you are given 16,667 shares which then vest over whatever designated vesting period meaning you cant really sell those shares until they vest). Hopefully that clears things up.

61. Given my background ~2yrs (22months by August 2011) in Consulting + the MBA from Wharton I hope to get, do you think AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT, I could land a high paying Corp Dev job as a Manager in a TOP company (e.g CISCO, Google etc) right after my MBA without having to suffer on Wall Street for a couple of years?

Management Consulting + top tier MBA would definitely help in landing a CD job. Most post-MBA CD hires that I've seen come from banking, consulting, VC, PE, or engineering backgrounds (this is probably baised on my side though since I'm in tech). Try to get an IBD internship while at your MBA so that you can prove that you have some good deal experience, particularly if your consulting engagements haven't been deal oriented.

62. How feasible is VC as an exit opp if u've done Corp Dev...Does it happen frequently?

VC is very feasible and is probably one of the most frequent exits. From conversations I've had with VCs (and also from just looking at associate/principal backgrounds on major VC firm websites) I've come to realize that VCs prefer to hire industry people and/or consultants as opposed to bankers as most of the work they do is not on the investment/deal piece (where a banker would be quite useful)...most of the work comes in adding value to your portfolio companies, etc. where deep industry and strategy knowledge is much more helpful than just dealmaking experience. CD folks usually also do a fair amount of strategy work at a lot of companies and also develop quite deep industry knowledge & contacts (also very beneficial for portfolio companies) - hence CD folks are quite attractive as they can usually easily handle the deal + post-deal portfolio co work and also have deep industry knowledge and contacts.

63. I'd ultimately like to start my own enterpreneurial venture...In your opinion, does this happen in the Corp Dev world or do folks just rise up the corporate ladder, grow old, retire and die?

As I've mentioned in prior responses - the startup world is also a very common exit for CD folks. I've seen various folks move into management roles at startups and/or start their own companies.

64.In terms of internal career advancement within corp. dev within the shortest amount of time, would you recommend going into banking in an M&A group (2years) --> corp. dev as a senior analyst --> MBA --> Manager/Senior Manager back into corp dev? Or would you recommend banking in an M&A group (2years) --> MBA --> Manager/Senior Manager? What are the pros and cons of both?

In all reality I would say that in path #1 you are actually pretty unlikely to go and leave for an MBA (if you are good). If you perform well and get promoted you can quickly get promoted to post-MBA roles which make going back to MBA less and less attractive. If you are dead set on an MBA I would go with path #2 (IBD to MBA to CD) as that way you actually get your MBA and then move up quickly in CD post grad - I would say though that if you are good and are not set on an MBA path #1 may provide you the opportunity to get to a higher level more quickly than just going from IBD to MBA to CD.

65. Is the path to CFO from Corp. Dev. more common than the other finance departments.

Again as I mentioned in this thread and in a few others at most F500 companies the CFO tends to come from more of an FP&A background since the vast majority of the work a CFO does revolves around FP&A, treasury, tax, investor relations, etc. and less around strategy and M&A (these usually take up very little of a CFOs time). That said, in my opinion FP&A at the junior levels is quite boring and the promotion velocity is slow compared to CD/CS... you will see that a good amount of former CD folks that are now CFOs have taken the following path - go into CD move up rapidly and then transition to more senior FP&A roles where the job is a bit more interesting and they have a bit more decision making power. At my company, for example, a few of the current divisional CFOs (who are really young) started in CD where they were promoted rapidly then moved into FP&A and then got promoted a few times tor reach CFO.

66. Let's say that you don't qualify for banking or top shop strat consulting right out of undergrad (and thus probably don't qualify for corp dev at top companies right off the bat either). Are there any other areas such as public accounting or even plain old vanilla financial analysis at a large/medium cap company that would give relevant skills for corp dev and would allow one to make the jump later? Its gonna be tough for me to get into i-banking/consulting, but if I get some experience in a big 4 accounting firm with a CA/CPA or just start in regular financial analyst and get an MBA, is it possible to move to corp dev after that?

I would say the best path, if you can't get into banking, consulting, or corpdev directly, would be to go into a F500 analyst type role where you are focused on competitive intelligence, FP&A, etc. where you may get to occasionally interact with the CD team....if you make a name for yourself and network you could possibly try to move into CD after a few years...if not then this experience may still be good enough to get you into a decent MBA program which then could set you up to get into CD post graduation.

12/28/10

Thanks Harvard Grad,
Quick additional question.
A company like Cisco Systems apparently has MBA Internship opportunities in its Corp Dev department; I assume other tech companies may also have such opportunities.
Do you think it would make more sense to pursue an IBD Internship as opposed to a Corp Dev Internship during the summer?
Which do you think would carry more weight when it comes to recruiting for full time Corp Dev Positions?

12/28/10

Hgrad, I'm curious as to why FP&A is considered to be more boring? Is it just because most of the work at the entry level is mostly accounting or does it not have any relevant skills to any besides just FP&A positions? Also, why is the senior level work in FP&A markedly more interesting relative to other finance divisions and their senior analysts?

12/29/10

67. A company like Cisco Systems apparently has MBA Internship opportunities in its Corp Dev department; I assume other tech companies may also have such opportunities.Do you think it would make more sense to pursue an IBD Internship as opposed to a Corp Dev Internship during the summer? Which do you think would carry more weight when it comes to recruiting for full time Corp Dev Positions?

Both would help to land a CD job...if you are dead set on CD after your MBA then a CD internship which leads to a CD FT job may be a safer path. That said, an IBD internship can also very easily translate to CD.

68. I'm curious as to why FP&A is considered to be more boring? Is it just because most of the work at the entry level is mostly accounting or does it not have any relevant skills to any besides just FP&A positions? Also, why is the senior level work in FP&A markedly more interesting relative to other finance divisions and their senior analysts?

I would that for most people who are looking at CD/CS jobs (where the work is more focused on whitespace analysis, investment analysis, deals, long term strategic thinking, etc.) tend to find FP&A work at the junior levels boring because it mainly revolves around reporting performance (i.e. this quarter we missed budget by x% because of x,y,z), setting budgets & targets, forecasting, etc. It is generally quite simple work that doesn't get as much visibility to senior management. For example, at a place like Google, Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, etc. the even the junior CD/CS guys are in meetings with the most senior leaders - presenting, helping to think through strategic issues, etc. helping to frame up decisions, etc. while the junior FP&A guys will probably never be in a meeting with Eric Schmidt, Larry Ellison, Steve Ballmer, etc. The senior level work in FP&A is generally more interesting because you have full P&L responbility for a certain product or group or division, etc. You are the one making decisions, supporting the senior leaders in your division, helping to think through some strategic issues, etc.

In reply to harvardgrad08
12/29/10
harvardgrad08:

67. A company like Cisco Systems apparently has MBA Internship opportunities in its Corp Dev department; I assume other tech companies may also have such opportunities.Do you think it would make more sense to pursue an IBD Internship as opposed to a Corp Dev Internship during the summer? Which do you think would carry more weight when it comes to recruiting for full time Corp Dev Positions?

Both would help to land a CD job...if you are dead set on CD after your MBA then a CD internship which leads to a CD FT job may be a safer path. That said, an IBD internship can also very easily translate to CD.

68. I'm curious as to why FP&A is considered to be more boring? Is it just because most of the work at the entry level is mostly accounting or does it not have any relevant skills to any besides just FP&A positions? Also, why is the senior level work in FP&A markedly more interesting relative to other finance divisions and their senior analysts?

I would that for most people who are looking at CD/CS jobs (where the work is more focused on whitespace analysis, investment analysis, deals, long term strategic thinking, etc.) tend to find FP&A work at the junior levels boring because it mainly revolves around reporting performance (i.e. this quarter we missed budget by x% because of x,y,z), setting budgets & targets, forecasting, etc. It is generally quite simple work that doesn't get as much visibility to senior management. For example, at a place like Google, Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, etc. the even the junior CD/CS guys are in meetings with the most senior leaders - presenting, helping to think through strategic issues, etc. helping to frame up decisions, etc. while the junior FP&A guys will probably never be in a meeting with Eric Schmidt, Larry Ellison, Steve Ballmer, etc. The senior level work in FP&A is generally more interesting because you have full P&L responbility for a certain product or group or division, etc. You are the one making decisions, supporting the senior leaders in your division, helping to think through some strategic issues, etc.

OK, so I take it then that even FP&A DOES eventually turn into strategic work then? The reason I got confused is because I always thought that no matter what job you do, entry level work is going to suck and will mostly be monkey work. For example, even in corp dev/strategy, I'd still bet that, while they may sit in board rooms with the big shots, their job on the team will be more elementary and involve doing the research, data gathering, etc. and will play a smaller role than seniors in the strategic vision (I may be wrong though). That's why I'm surprised that people will hate FP&A entry more than corp dev entry since I thought entry level work was universally hated. However, I just want to make sure, because I, like Immelt, am concerned about breaking into corp dev, that even FP&A eventually becomes strategy/more interesting since I don't think I could bear to just do reporting/simple grunt work for the rest of my life and would need some sort of mental stimulation.

1/3/11

Homeboys,

scroll to the bottom og this page and read the PDF file. Its solid.
http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Services/Fin...

1/3/11

i'll agree that fp&a at the entry level is pretty boring...trust me

1/3/11

harvardgrad, mad props on all the time you've put in here. +5 SB's

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

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