AMA: Non-target --> 2x SA at BB --> FinTech Corp Dev --> Corp Dev at a large company

LukeWarmBanana's picture
Rank: Baboon | 109

Hello everyone,

A few months ago I came to this board with a really tough dilemma and you guys helped me see it through. I now want to pay it forward as I know that people are getting increasingly interested in corporate development/ corporate finance.

Here is my story:

I studied at a non-target school in Europe and partied throughout most of my undergrad. During the time I spent there, I did 4 internships in completely different industries, with 2 being at American BBs. I got FT offers for both, but was not interested in S&T, so decided to accept a Corp Dev gig.

It was a small team doing lots of tech stuff, and I found myself at the hottest corp dev team in town, getting lots of responsibility and running more deals than any IB/PE shop around. Calls poured in from various headhunters, and they were tempting as I still wanted to try the M&A advisory side of things. Eventually an offer came in from one of the hottest EBs and I decided to accept. Since I never had any formal training in corporate finance, this was my chance to leverage my deal experience and to really strengthen all the training I forewent.

While serving my notice, I got a call from a former boss (one of the 4 internships from undergrad), asking me to join their M&A/ Corp Dev team in a relatively senior position. Now, this company had grown to $200bn+ in market cap, and the overall package was really attractive vs what the EB was offering.

It was such a tough choice as I was so proud of landing the EB gig, and also I did not want to ruin my chances of getting the PE job I knew (thought) I would get at a megafund or leading VC. I was also afraid of the reneging process, what not being in IB would do for my learning/ career, and that I would create an even larger skill gap for myself. With the guidance of this board and my mentors, I chose the Corp Dev gig. Hands down the right choice - I could not be happier in my current role.

Please feel to ask me any questions about the prep process, recruitment, job specifics, reneging, adapting to a role you are not qualified for... I will try to answer to the best of my ability.

LWB