MBA to Corp Strategy

I've seen a few good posts on WSO about the pros of corp strategy over consulting. I've been in a client service industry (auditing) for the past five years and think the lifestyle of corp strategy may suit me more than consulting at this point. My question is - if I have no previous consulting experience, will corp strategy jobs at say Disney, Google, Apple, Amazon, etc (popular companies to work for) be reasonably possible? My gut feeling is that I'll need to shoot for management consulting after my MBA for a few years before I can transition, but I'd like an outside opinion.

I'll be attending a UVA,Michigan,Duke school as well if that helps.

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Comments (6)

Best Response
Jun 6, 2016 - 11:01pm

Those companies: probably not unless you are a special unicorn. Same with next tier down.

Fortune 500 is probably a reasonable shot IF you present well during your interview and do exceptionally well in your MBA program.

Too many people from real consulting roles or with deal backgrounds will be competing against you upon graduation. Better bet if you don't want to do consulting is Fortune 500 strategy group and going bigger from there.

Alternatively, several Fortune 100s have internal consulting groups and corporate strategy can be an internal lateral for the highest performers after 3/4/5-ish years. They're usually open to audit backgrounds for at least some staff and you can navigate within from there. Hours are long and you do need to deal with a lot of internal politics when maneuvering yourself but at least the travel is usually less than management consulting.

Jun 7, 2016 - 11:05am

Alright, so it sounds like a few years in consulting first is the most logical path with an internal consulting group within a F100 as another option. 2-4 years is really not the end of the world and a pretty small fraction of an overall career.

As far as the F100 route goes - I know of Fidelity and Liberty Mutual having decent internal consulting programs. Could you recommend a few others to look into?

Alternatively, what about careers in product/project management or business development? Both seem to have a lot of similarities to or at least commonalities with auditing. I realize its a bit of a different path an strategy, but at this point I'm trying to pin down the opportunities reasonably available if I want to go straight to industry.

Jun 7, 2016 - 11:46pm

In addition to those: J&J, IBM, Wyeth, American Express, Motorola, Comcast, and Dell. Some people also try to spin GE CAS as an internal consulting group and they do take people with audit backgrounds since they are technically corporate audit staff.

I can't speak to the latter since I don't know anyone who has made those particular moves, but I can see how you would get valuable skills from those types of roles - I'm just not sure how it translates in the job market.

Jun 8, 2016 - 1:49pm

My answer is healthcare delivery specific, so take it for what its worth:

Even the large healthcare systems are moving towards ex-MBB/Deloitte/other mid-tier consulting groups for their strategic planning and network development groups (with a mix of a few internally-developed high potentials out of the fp&a groups).

I know a few who have come through internal consulting arms at companies mentioned by Managerette (namely J&J, but again -- I'm in the healthcare delivery world...)

I can't speak to the non-healthcare industry groups, but I'd look to a few years in consulting first -- especially if the "lowly" non-profits are going after ex-consultants.

Director of Finance and Corporate Development: 2020 - Present Manager of FP&A and Corporate Development: 2019 - 2020 Corporate Finance, Strategy and Development: 2011 - 2019 "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
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Jun 12, 2016 - 3:53pm

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