Why Corporate Strategy?

JSonDx's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 16

What are some of the reasons people would want to work in this F500 function? From my reading on here, some people claim its a good alternative to IB given the fewer amount of hours worked..

Is Corp. Strategy something consultants would prefer and ex-bankers would opt for Corp. Dev? Can someone give me some insight on the Corporate Strategy group

Comments (6)

May 23, 2013

I've interviewed for at least 5 corp strategy positions and here are my thoughts:

-Interesting work: I think the work itself is pretty interesting. You are learning about the ins and outs of the company and industry.
-Not crazy hours: sure there are deadlines to be met and what not but you're not doing 100 hour weeks while being compensated a bit less.
-Looks good on resume: it's a great stepping stone onto MBA. Where I work once you're in the corp strat group you're pretty much going to the top MBA schools afterwards.
-Wanting to learn the operations and thought process of running a company: this is a great answer for your interview :)

This is the most informative thread I've read on this subject. Take a look

May 23, 2013

For large firms; corporate strategy is like the internal consultants in the company and corporate development is like the internal IB division for the company. Depending on industry it will vary quite a bit what they actually do.

The hours are less than IB and consulting, as is the pay. It all depends on personal preference and what you value whether one is better than the other.

A similar parallel can be found in the legal field. Being in-house counsel for a large company has the same sort of plusses/minuses trade-off relative to working for a law firm. All depends on what you want to do.

May 23, 2013

Btw, "corp strat" and "corp dev" are not strictly defined terms; so be sure you know what the job actually entails as it may vary a lot from firm to firm.

May 28, 2013

After working in F500 corporate strategy, I can give you the following insights in addition to the whole "work-life" balance consideration, which should be noted is a pretty big factor as the majority of those I've worked with have families and highly value their time with them. I should also state that many of those in F500 corp strat do so after a stint in consulting with one of the big name firms; hence here are some of their big reasons for moving over:

1) Senior Managment potential - Managment consulting (specifically McKinsey) has been called "CEO bootcamp" for the amount of people they "feed" into leadership positions. As such, I've seen several individuals lateral with the desire to one day become a CEO, CFO, etc.

While I don't have any data points, my intuition tells me it's probably easy and more likely to become CEO of an industry firm than to become CEO of any particular consulting firm.....hence the move over.

2) Industry focus - after working at a consulting firm, some really like a particular industry (e.g. automotive) and therefore want to work only in that area. When you work at a firm it can be hard to specialize as you go where the client need is. Even if you have established a focus area (usually in when you become more senior) you still can be put on any project (I've seen it happen many times). Lastly, you could also be put on projects in the "periphery" which you're not really interested in..........for example, I know lots of health care/life sciences people being put on Financial Services engagements on the rationale that it was a healthcare insurance client.

3) Selling ability - once you move up the ranks in consulting you're expected to sell more projects. Some people don't like to and/or aren't very good at it therefore they choose the F500 CS route.

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May 28, 2013


May 29, 2013
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