What is it like to start in CorpDev right from undergrad?

From what I gathered on this forum and other websites, it seems like this is very rare, since most corpdev analysts come in after 1-2 years in IB/consulting. But for those of you who did go into this kind of role right from undergrad, did you ever feel that you missed anything or face some career limitations by skipping IB/consulting?

I'm deciding whether to do this right now and would greatly appreciate any input people have.


Comments (10)

Dec 19, 2018

Hi AutisticChimp, hope I can help. Do any of these links cover what you're looking for:

  • AMA: Non-target--> 2x SA at BB--> FinTech Corp Dev--> Corp Dev at a large company interested in S&T, so decided to accept a Corp Dev gig. It was a small team doing lots of tech stuff, and ... join their M&A / Corp Dev team in a relatively senior position. Now, this company had grown to ... I found myself at the hottest corp dev team in
  • Corporate Development: My Experiences and Background Corporate Dev M&A- One of the core responsibilities of Corp Dev is to drive and manage the acquisition ... and PPT skills are needed to be successful in a Corp Dev role (similar to banking), although I find ... materials you need in timely manner. There is
  • Exiting Investment Banking to Corp Fin / Corp Strat / Corp Dev of places have some crossover between groups. Is there a good way to tell what it'll be like ... what I should be looking for or if it even matters. With respect to CF / CD / CS, it seems like a lot ... others from my group lateral in what seems like a c
  • Corp. Dev. Vs. IBD analyst? What do you guys think? Thanks. Corp. dev ... Hey everyone, How similar do you think are both roles, as an analyst? Right now, it's my ... second week and already I feel like they are both very similar and almost the same at the Analyst level. ...
  • Corp. Dev and/or Corp. Strat Role with a non-finance/accounting background? has all been in post-merger integration work (operations focused)-A generalist as it relates to ... a BA/history & a JD) To you corp dev/corp strategy professionals:-Do you work with folks with similar non ... finance/accounting backgrounds in your role? I hear corp dev. is especially mod
  • Lifestyle: NY IB vs. SF Corp. Dev. jobs in NYC, but as a student, I'm just wondering if I should explore the corp. dev. path. ... less rewarding than that of IB? STRESS- I would imagine the stress level in corp dev is less than that ... That's why I'd love to hear anyone's experience (your own, or what you've heard from ...
  • Is Corp Dev (Biopharma/Biotech)-> FP&A (Tech)-> Corp Dev (Tech) a Reasonable Path? company. However, in the past year, the corp dev team has been de-prioritized relative to the R&D team, ... I graduated from a target school and was hired into an analyst role in the corp dev team at ... industry. I've been interested in breaking into a corp dev role in
  • Stepping Stone- Ideal role prior to Corp Dev/ Corp Strat? in? what about a non-tech F500 company? If I go to a top MBA program is it simple to switch from ... I decided to transition this question over from the business School forum because I think it is ... considering the above, If I was to try start applying for positions
  • More suggestions...

Hope that helps.

Dec 21, 2018

Do you have an offer to join Corp Dev? Is it a highly acquisitive company or are you going to be working mostly on organic strategy? Large company?

The biggest miss is that the training programs at larger banks for IB analysts are fairly rigorous. So you would likely lose out on that. And depending on deal flow you are or may not get enough modeling exposure. You will learn the deal process from a more elevated level though.

Dec 21, 2018

It's a mid-cap company, and it seems there will be both M&A/private placement deals as well as organic projects (which I don't mind). I wouldn't say they are 'highly acquisitive', it's been around 1 per year recently. I think it does come down to, as you say, the amount of live deals I can be exposed to, although I did want to go into corpdev eventually anyhow. Overall, I know I will be lacking compared to bankers in the first two years, but will I eventually be able to catch up in experience/credentials by staying in corpdev/going to bschool? Thank you.

Jan 3, 2019

I worked in Asia but I am also interested in hearing corp strategy/dev experiences in the US / Europe

Here are some experiences I heard from my colleagues who worked in MNCs (comparable to F100 in the US) in Asia doing corp strat/dev. Note that they are experiences in general though (not specifically for fresh graduates)

Strategy - It is more or less a supporting function to the CEO office. strategy decisions usually come from CEO or other senior management. So the work usually comprised of doing market updates for them or conducting research based on their ideas. You will get decent exposure in the process of listening to regional teams / different business functions reporting their businesses but the chance of crafting a strategy and advise the senior management is very limited

Corp dev - Depending on the industry, M&A in some industries is mainly driven by corporate decisions rather than pitches from bankers. Corp dev team is quite involved in many processes. analysis is quite detailed as they have more skin in the game and they can leverage their internal resources (materials from other similar transactions, in-house intelligence, etc.). The due diligence process done by them is rigorous given the resources and they have much more time conducting preliminary analysis compared to bankers. Ultimate decision is done by global teams / regional senior management. Deal sourcing is mostly done by corp dev though

Careers - It is hard to make to the top (regional C-suites / global head of a function) from both departments. The skill set is way too narrow (lack of operational experiences from strategy + M&A itself is very narrow and not transferable to other functions). You just cannot lead the fp&a/marketing/ops guys coming from purely strategy/M&A. So you most likely be a head of corp strategy/dev if you are lucky and report to the CEO/CFO. For juniors/mid-level managers, it is possible to transfer to a business function though and you can move up from there leveraging your network inside the firm. Prospect versus joining business function directly (via programs similar to FLDPs in the US) is debatable though

Jan 3, 2019

Started in Corp Dev right out of undergrad from a non-target. The biggest things I feel like I missed out on are a formal training program, working on multiple deals at a time (all depends on company), collaboration and commodore with other analysts (as I am the only junior person), and the certainty of exit ops/career progression.

However some positives I feel to working in a Corp Dev setting are; hours are great (40-50) with minimal weekend work, ability to manage entire deal process from sourcing to closing/operating, deal team typically consists of C-level executives, can specialize in certain industry and become an industry "expert".

Happy to help and answer any follow up questions. Best of luck in your decision!

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Jan 3, 2019

If you don't mind me asking what has your comp evolution been like? I am in a hybrid corp fin/strategy job right now and I've got a review coming up... having another data point would be helpful!

Jan 3, 2019

Absolutely don't mind at all. In a tier 3 city at a small-med size healthcare operator. Started with base of 45k (wish I negotiated when I started) and bonus of 15-20%, dependent on how well company does and # of deals closed. Second year base should move up to 50-55k with similar bonus structure. Hope this helps!

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Jan 3, 2019