Non-MBB S&O vs. Fortune 50 Corporate Strategy

Hi all,

Looking for some direction on a career decision I'm struggling to make. Want to make sure I'm considering all the inputs as I value my two options – sticking around at Deloitte S&O or pursuing a Corporate Strategy Associate position with a Fortune 50 Global Insurance company.

My evaluation of the options is based on two criteria: 1) supporting a better 2016 MBA application and 2) carrying better branding and skillset, particularly for work in the start-up sector. For discussion purposes let's assume salary is held equal.

My Profile: Graduated from a non-target school 4 years ago, high honors, Econ & Math. Worked for a Fortune 200 insurance company as an analyst/associate manager for 3 years. Moved to Deloitte SO as a consultant a year ago.

Deloitte: Been with the firm for a year, up for promotion to MBA level (Sr. Consultant) next year. I work largely in the Financial Services space, mostly Operations work with one Strategy project and M&A due diligence mixed in. As an industry hire, I was fairly pigeonholed into my area of expertise and see little breadth from an industry perspective. Also, being Deloitte, we do a lot of Operations work, which is not the most stimulating (or as valuable as other competencies).

Offer: client offered me a role in a corporate strategy group, with the chance for exposure to M&A work, which is relatively new to me. The group is about 30 people, looking to grow to 40 by year end. They are split into two groups – Strategy and M&A, with junior practitioners allowed to participate in both roles.

Leading Issues:
1) It seems the value of consulting in large part is the breadth of experiences. As an experienced industry hire, I see little of this benefit. Furthermore, the Corporate Strategy gig offers focused exposure to strategic programs as well as M&A. But I don't have many friends or family who have been in Corporate Strategy/Strategic Planning, so I'm not sure what the day-to-day is really like. Is it comparable to consulting work?
2) I'm confused as to which experience and brand is valued more. I was under the impression Deloitte was more valuable in the marketplace/grad schools, but the majority of the Corporate Strategy folks were top 10 undergrads and/or worked at elite investment banks … so it must be attracting high-quality individuals for a reason
3) I'm a little worried an opportunity like this won't pop up again – most people I know that leave Deloitte S&O for industry exit into Operations roles (finance, etc.). I don't want to squander a unique opportunity to be in Strategy, but I also don't want to overvalue it.

If anyone who has comments, from a consulting/corporate/MBA/start-up perspective, please provide, especially if you think I'm neglecting an important part of the equation.

Thank you

Comments (6)

Jul 15, 2014 - 12:37pm

I am actually in a corporate strategy role with a fortune 100 insurance company. however, we haven't had any m&a deals recently, my work is heavily focused on IT investments (database, infrastructure, etc...). so don't get fooled by job description. on the other end, working in an insurance company is...pretty easy. great benefits and relatively easier work. most people get off by 5/5:30 every day. If you have kids, I will definitely recommend you to take that offer.

Jul 15, 2014 - 4:17pm

I dont know a whole lot about B-school admissions, but I would think having a F50 industry name on your resume would help more compared to just another couple years at Deloitte. Sounds like a good opportunity, I would probably take it in your situation as hours and lifestyle tend to be pretty nice, especially if you've been traveling a lot in consulting.

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