Best areas of corporate finance outside of corporate development/strategy?

For those of us that aren't high enough caliber to get into corporate development or corporate strategy, what is the best/highest paying area of corporate finance? From what I've read, to get into corp dev/strat you have to have either 2 years of IB/consulting experience, a top 10 MBA, or both, so what is the best place to start for people who aren't going down those routes?

I'm guessing an FLDP is my best option, but which division (other than the two I mentioned) is the best to start in once that is complete? Thank you!

Comments (12)

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  • Associate 2 in CorpFin
Dec 24, 2021 - 11:49pm

FLDP will put you in better position to exit into any area of the business, even strategy. 

What "area" will depend on the company. You should be able to gauge pretty quick which parts of the business are handling the most important work / have the highest quality people. Rotate through that area, make a good impression and try to use those connections to exit there once the program is over. In corporate finance, I honestly think its more important to be picking the right boss vs. the right job. Who are the rockstar employees who have their names brought up frequently. Who is known as a good leader at the middle management level? That is who you want to work for. That person will probably run the show someday. Forget the job, it's all corporate finance in the end. 

Dec 25, 2021 - 12:06am

Hi, thank you for the response! That makes a lot of sense as it seems like these things vary quite a bit.

If an FLDP is my best option, do you happen to know of any lesser known FLDPs in tech? I know of Microsoft, Apple, and apparently Google having programs but that's about it. Those three seem super competitive and I'm not sure how much any of them hire outside of their internship programs if at all.

  • Associate 2 in CorpFin
Dec 25, 2021 - 6:48pm

I'd make a list of companies that interest you and search if they have FLPs. A lot of companies have them since it's a good way to recruit / retain vs. normal out of undergrad hiring, in my view. My company usually took a few people who didn't intern but we were not tech. F50, though. 

I'd flag that you can get an FLP offer at a big company (outside of tech) can always leverage the name brand and experience to move to a tech company later. Could probably get a bigger pay bump also coming in externally. If can get into a tech-type finance role at non-tech large company  it could be an easier switch than you think.  

  • Analyst 1 in CorpFin
Jan 2, 2022 - 10:24am

You can probably go through the F1000 list and pick almost any name off of there they will have some sort of leadership development program. With a lot of the list being companies most people have never heard of, you'll be able to find some "under the radar" programs that may be easier to get into. 

That being said, you can't overlook the name brand of some of the more well known programs. Microsoft, GE or some of the other big names can help you transition to other companies down the line. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Dec 29, 2021 - 2:48am

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