F500 Strategy Recruiting

helpinghand's picture
Rank: Baboon | 169

I know about some of the interviews out there, but I wanted to make a thread that might answer some lingering questions about the F500 recruiting process (namely strategy and finance roles, but since a lot of roles' names are interchangeable, F500 in general).

For strategy internships/FT:
Are interviews case-based, except a bit less rigorous than consulting interviews and maybe more industry-specific?

What sorts of prior experiences are HR looking for in applicants?

For finance interships/FT:
Are they mostly just gauging an interest in finance?
Will there be any technical questions? What type?

What sorts of prior experiences are HR looking for in applicants?

In IB and to a lesser extent consulting, aggressive networking seems to be the norm. Would reaching out via Linkedin be overkill for F500? Especially considering the specificity of roles?

Would it help to network with someone at a company in a different role that you're interested in? (for example networking with a corpfin guy when you're interested in the strategy internship)

How do these firms view candidates applying for multiple positions? Would it look bad for someone to apply to marketing, strategy, and finance roles?

What advantage or disadvantage, if any, comes from attending respectively a target or non-target?

I apologize in advance for the barrage of questions, but hopefully someone with significant F500 recruiting experience could use the questions above just get their minds remembering.

Comments (4)

Jun 12, 2013

I'll take a stab since I've held a variety of your aforementioned roles.

F500 Strategy FT:
In my experience at a F500, I didn't have a case study per say, but I received a bunch of "what if" and "how would you" questions. Example, "what if we wanted to expand into Europe, what kind of factors would you consider in your analysis" or "how would you go about modeling XYZ and what do you think would be your primary drivers" or "what if we wanted to open a new retail location in ABC city -- do you think it's better than XYZ city?" I enjoy these types of questions over cases because they're less formal and more of a conversation whereas cases seem to have a specific answer and you have to follow a pre-determined path to get to that answer. I assume F500 strategy interviews are very different from company to company.

F500 Finance FT:
Very difficult to say because finance can mean a lot of different things but let's assume you're referring to FP&A & strategic finance roles. In my opinion, these groups are looking for very similar characteristics as Corp Strategy and tend to be filled with ex-bankers, consultants, Big 4, and ex-FLDP program employees. Some companies ask more technical questions depending on how much prior work experience you have (ie little finance experience = more technicals), but more often than not the interview discussion revolves around the type of work you've done in previous roles, whether or not you have a genuine interest in the company/position, and whether or not you're a good fit for the group.

General FT:
Reaching out to employees directly at F500 is extremely helpful. Don't think networking is just for banking and consulting because it's not. As I mentioned before, F500 is littered with ex bankers, consultants, and MBAs who have been networking since undergrad. Actually, I've found that people at F500 are more willing to have a meaningful conversation after a cold e-mail -- perhaps because they're less stressed / sleep deprived? Regardless, F500 resume drop boxes get tons and tons of resumes and HR may not always be able to distinguish between the good/bad candidates and which roles they're best suited for -- espcially in finance roles which are less obvious than Big 4 --> F500 Accounting.

Jun 15, 2013

Does anyone know which F500 companies hire undergraduates into their Corp. Strategy group? I know of AMEX, Disney, and Liberty Mutual (except they all apparently only take 1 a year). I've also heard Carmax has one as well. Any others?

Jun 28, 2013

Liberty Mutual is small, but definitely takes more than 1.

Capital One BA program is sort of a strategy position. I've seen OCR postings for EBay and BlueCross BlueShield. Pretty sure MasterCard and AA do as well, although I'm not sure what happened to AA with the merger and all.

Jun 15, 2013