Hi all - thought I'd give back to the community that helped me a lot when I was in your shoes by doing a Q&A. Some background on me: BS in Business from top 25 university Worked as an analyst in the M&A group of an EB / advisory shop Currently on the strategic finance team at a late-stage, pre-IPO tech company (Series C+ / $2bn+ valuation) ~4 years of experience across both banking and my current role Open to answering any questions you may have - feel free to ask away. WSO Mentor Want to work with me? Check out my profile here.
24 Nov 2020
Hello - this site has been very helpful in the past when figuring out my career so wanted to help where I can. I came from a target school and spent 2 years as pre-MBA analyst at MBB doing generalist work. Was able to transition to strategy at a major media company about a year ago. Happy to answer any questions about type of work, recruiting process, comp, etc.
08 Jun 2020
Hi everyone, I have been with an F10 company for about a year now as an "analyst". The problem lies in the fact that the accounting component of this role was vastly understated during interviewing. I am trying to get out of CF and go into consulting or even another CF role that has more opportunities to break into CS/BD. I feel as my wheels are turning here and would hope some of you with some pertinent insight could PM me or reply. Thanks you all !
02 Sep 2020
Hey Everyone! I wanted to post a Q&A to share my background, experiences, and answer any questions you may have regarding a career as a Strategic Planner. In short, I graduated from a non-Target with a degree in Finance and Operations and spent a few years at an OFS company in a Rotational Leadership Development Program and subsequent roles before joining another F500 industrial company as a Strategic Planner. For those that may not be familiar with Strategic Planning, my role is to support the President & GM of our region by helping to lay the foundation for our strategy to grow market share
17 Dec 2019
Mod note: Click here to see all of our q&a's and interviews Given the multiple requests I got in another thread I've decided to follow in 10xleverage's footsteps. To give you some background, I graduated from Harvard undergrad in 2008. After graduation I moved to the bay area to join the 2 year finance leadership analyst program at a F500 tech company. The program place analysts in 6 month assignments in various finance and strategy groups across the company. You can be assigned to typical FP&A (financial planning & analysis) groups, corporate development (M&A), corporate or divisional
21 Aug 2013
Been at a F500 since April, working in corporate strategy. Reporting to a director who has significant clout within the company. Director is a bit of an ahole to work for, but has been giving me an increasingly bigger leash as I've tried my hardest to follow all the advice regarding work performance on this site from Day 1. In fact just this week, I presented a new strategy idea to first a set of directors -- had great feedback -- then just today to a few directors from some of our offices in other countries and a couple VPs. Director is hoping the VP convinces COO to invite us to a board
12 Jul 2018
I love hearing about clever strategies developers and investors have employed, especially value-add deals and repositioning of previously underutilized properties!
03 Aug 2015
Hi, I just started my first year at a high-tier MM IB in a well-regarded industry group. I am really enjoying the work so far, how the culture is, and I am happy with where I am at. All the other first year analysts have began discussing the PE recruitment timeline, but I am interested in Corporate Development (CD) and Venture Capital (VC) in my industry vertical (potentially another one as well but I know sticking to my industry is far easier and I am enjoying it thus far). I have four topics/questions I would like to know more about: 1) Any insight around the timeline for CD and/or VC
23 Sep 2020
~15 year career as an investment banking analyst/associate in ECM (SPACs) and leveraged finance/restructuring, hedge fund analyst/portfolio manager and currently as a corporate finance executive for a fast-growing start-up (led $70mm equity raise process). Have interviewed and spearheaded recruiting for investment banking, hedge fund and start-ups. If you're trying to break into investment banking, can give you mock interviews. Love mentoring young professionals and learning from others. Am decent with excel modeling, but am aware why model assumptions are way more important than the actual
07 Jul 2021
Logged back into WSO after half a decade. Not sure where else to turn to for advice. Little bit about me: Did 3 years BB IB and then 2 years corp dev/strategy at F100 financial services firm. Working remote since last March and not interested in going back to the office (asked to go back in September). To be honest, I would like a change. Don't want to be part of the corporate grind anymore. Looking for a mid-senior role (remote, 9 to 5, decent pay based on my type/years of experience) that offers flexibility and is not too finance-y/analytical. Not too keen on going back to B-school in the
08 Jun 2021
Hi everyone. There have been some recent threads on corporate development and strategy, and I thought I would share my own experience through a Q&A and give back to the community. My background is fairly mixed, and I graduated with a technical degree from a non-target/semi-target three years ago and cumulatively gained esoteric investing, PE, and corporate development and strategy experience at a large bank and a lower middle market PE firm. Currently, I'm working in New York at a large private company on a corporate development and strategy team whose scope also includes partnerships and
12 Jan 2019
I'm a recent undergrad who is fortunate to have the opportunity to start off working in a tech company in their Corporate Strategy and Development group. The issue is that Corp Strat and Dev are fairly separated and I have to choose to work with one of the teams. We"re not a huge big name tech company, but we did 10+ deals last year and are fairly active in the M&A space for context.
01 Mar 2015
I got a lot of help reading WSO when I was an undergrad and wanted to contribute somehow. Wanted to drop my 2 cents, as I feel like MBB is overly praised on this forum, while corporate strategy gets very little love. Please note that this primarily applies to those who want to jump to industry and make exec (which what most consultants end up doing anyway), not those who want to go into HF/PE. If you're sure you want to do HF/PE from the start, however, you are MUCH better starting out in banking than consulting. Background: Graduated from a mid-level ivy, had offers at Mck and BCG (did not
15 Dec 2013
Looking to move on from a VC (~2 years as an analyst) into Corp Dev/Strategy. Based on what I've read, the easiest move for me to make is into one of the portfolio companies' teams. Have some questions on what skillsets are needed/valued most on a Corp Dev team depending on the growth stage of the company. Questions for the forum: 1. From some LinkedIn searches, most of the teams are made up of ex-MBB types. Do I have a shot as a VC analyst? 2. How does Corp Dev/Strategy at an Early-Stage startup differ from a Late-Stage startup? (And differ from a public co?) 3. With your answer to #2 in mind
03 Feb 2020
Took a different path to Corporate Strategy and have since exited (see below). Q&A. * Grew up in suburb of tier 2 US city * Underachieved in HS – B student (generous), ~1200 SAT, lazy * Pretty good at basketball, helped me get into top 20 college – WHEW * OMG COLLEGE – GIRLS, DRINKING, etc * SHIT – almost failed out… <2.0 GPA after 3 semesters, no one to blame but myself * Cleaned up last 5 semesters – 3.7 GPA during that period, started a small company ($10k in revenue), got two okay IT internships * Graduated during recession. (Luckily) landed econ consulting gig at a small firm in a crappy
31 Mar 2017
Monkeys - I'm a first year Associate at a MM PE firm in NY, and previously did two years at a top BB. After spending the last ~8 months getting completely grinded (not to mention 2 years in IB) in an all virtual environment, I find myself constantly thinking about the life experiences I am missing, and want to transition to a job that has more reasonable work life balance. I am specifically interested in pursuing strategy / strat. finance type roles at a high-growth tech company in SF or NY (or remote!). This would include both FAANG+, as well as established "hot" startups (Series B/C/D, etc.)
21 Mar 2021
Hi Everyone, Salary check on an offer for a Corporate Strategy Manager role. This would be for a large household name private company in a non-NY city in the consumer industry. I was quoted 120 base + fixed 12% bonus. I have an M7 MBA, with 1.5 years in IB post-MBA. Does that seem right? Thank you!
26 Jan 2021
Hi monkeys - anyone know about companies like Pagaya, Square, Venmo, BlockFi, etc. Have a corp. strategy role lined up (associate level) with the opportunity to be promoted to PM style role within 1-3yrs. Do these types of shops have a good reputation or good exit opportunities if I decide it isn't up my ally? Thinking I want to transition to tech-focused VC in the next few years and not sure if adding this to my background would be valuable to VC's combined with my few years working at tech startups in a strategy/operations role.
07 Jun 2021
I've been a Corporate Strategy manager at a large F100 studio (not Disney) for about a year now (and it's had its ups and downs). Just figured there isn't too much information on here about corporate strategy paths from non-MBB people, so I thought I'd throw my chex into the mix here. My background is 2011 undergrad at NYU Stern majoring in Finance & Accounting: * Started off at a boutique financial services consulting firm for 18 months * Went to join a large, Indian tech consulting company in their management consulting group (but really a lot of change management, business analyst work
24 Mar 2017
Hey everyone - Know this has been discussed in the past but seems most of the information is dated. Curious if anyone has insight into what someone (<5 years of experience), may expect to earn moving into a Corporate Strategy / Development group at a F100 firm. also would be helpful to hear any information on salary progression (from entry level to Director) if at all possible! any information would be helpful here and any information on business school placement from a platform like this would also be great!
22 Sep 2020
Hi everyone, I'm a graduate student in a STEM field and I'm currently debating going to law school next year (I've been accepted to some high-ranked schools), or trying to break into management consulting. If I went the consulting route, my long term goal would be to end up in corporate strategy. Both of these career paths appeal to me since I love thinking strategically. I'm wondering whether anyone can shed some light on what it's actually like working in corporate strategy? Some questions I have: - What's the day to day like? - What do you like most about your job? - What do you like least
23 Feb 2018
Hi WSO - I've worked in big tech (think FAMGA) since graduation ('17). Went to a top 10 US UG, currently working in product, was previously in corporate strategy (got to work on an acquisition in 2019). I would like to transition to the investment side for my next role; ideally in early stage VC, open to Growth Equity. Not super interested in Seed (not a good fit), or in Buyout (not a good fit; not a banker). If anyone has experience making this transition, or has peers who have, I'd love to hear any and all advice. I am just now starting the process. Some avenues I'm considering searching
05 Mar 2021
Hi everyone! Does anyone have any thoughts about the likelihood / how possible it is to move from Corporate Strategy to PE (maybe VC) when I have an IB background? Has anyone made a similar move? For some context, I recently started a role in Corporate Strategy at a high-growth, pretty well-known (at least to millennials/Gen Z) tech company and have been on the job for ~3 months. Before that, I was a first year associate in IB at a top three BB (GS, MS, JPM), having been promoted after my 2 years as an analyst. I also graduated from a top-tier undergrad target school. I didn't do the
04 Apr 2021
WSO users: This is my first post to WSO and I'm looking for a little guidance. Background on me: BBA in Management (trust me, I've heard all the jokes about MGMT majors, I get it, whatever) from TCU and work in sales for a fairly large construction equipment manufacturer. I'm really enjoying my sales role, and plan to probably stay in it for a few years to get some real ground-level experience in the industry. I'm by far the youngest sales guy in the company (24), with most of my counterparts well into their 40s and 50s with 20-30 years of sales experience in the industry. I enjoy the travel
30 Jan 2019
Current sophomore at a target - recently received a 2021 internship offer in corporate strategy at an F20 company. Assuming I cannot get any of my other processes in LMM IB/PE accelerated, will this role put me in a competitive position for junior summer recruiting? Alternatively, should I keep recruiting in the hopes of landing something on the buy/sell-side, given a lot of smaller shops don't open up applications till the New Year? Thanks so much for your help!
21 Nov 2020
Did someone say they needed reasons not to go into investment banking? Well, I have two words for you: corporate finance. Sure, there is the prestige of working at a bulge bracket, then there is the money (which is certainly not as great as it once was), and of course, there is this façade of the damn-it-feels-good-to-be-a-banker lifestyle. Corporate Finance Investment Banking - Difference Between Careers Truth be told, many of us are in it for the money. Many of us also realize that all we want is to put in our three years as an analyst and move on. You see, being an investment banking
17 May 2018
Seen a couple threads on this, but nothing conclusive. What tech companies have internal corporate strategy departments/teams? Bonus points to anyone who knows about getting in as well. Seems like most tech companies have corp dev or bizops teams, but not many have pure strategy teams.
04 Feb 2018
It might be a dumb question, but I was always curious about why large corporations hire multiple investment banks as advisors on deals, especially since many of these companies have corporate development/strategy teams, usually filled with ex-investment bankers. I get that it is good practice to have an outside opinion, but what is the point of having a corporate development team if you are always going to pay banks to serve in similar roles/duties anyways?
14 Jul 2021
Hi All, I'm currently a PM at a PE backed fintech firm, with prior experience in LevFin banking. I moved into my current role about a year and a half ago after doing 3.5 years of LevFin banking, going out as an Associate. Given my mix of PE financing and direct operational experience at a portco of a reputable growth equity firm, I'm trying to get a sense of the possibility of eventually moving into a software focused PE role (not VC, to be clear). All in, I'm 28 with about 5 years of total experience. As interesting as Product Management is, I honestly miss the financial world, and have
08 Jul 2021
Hello! I'm interviewing for a mid-level Financial Strategy role and for the case study, they had me create a financial statement model (mainly just P&L). I have an interview with a hiring manager coming up to discuss my work. I assume that the interview will begin with being asked to walk her through my model and the logic behind my assumptions. Do any of you have any ideas on what questions I should prepare for? For context, the job responsibilities entail forecasting performance & short/long-term trends, providing strategic insights to key stakeholders, guiding investment capacity decisions
22 Jun 2021
I've got to give a presentation to the Corporate Development team of a UK based company for a graduate role and I'm struggling with how I should go about it. The presentation is meant to be on where they should focus their M&A strategy going forward, incorporating how it links to their current strategy and consider the benefits/risks associated with the strategy. How would you approach this? What structure should I use? Do I give an overview of their industry before going into the finer details? Should I include the details of specific targets I'd recommend? The presentation is only meant to
20 Jun 2021
Hi All, I currently have two full-time offers one from PwC Management Consulting in NYC and another for Dropbox's Rotation Program in SF. If I were to go to PwC I would want to try to get get aligned to strategy and TICE(their tech, media, communications, etc group), however there doesn't seem to be any guarantee about placement until a week before you start and I have heard that you might not even get projects within your alignment. Dropbox is more of a operational focused rotation program (sales, user ops, etc).
19 Oct 2014
I'm new to WSO and have enjoyed reading through all the forums. They've been a big help for me in defining my career goals. I am currently in the process of applying to Top 15 business schools. Career wise I am very interested in working in corporate finance at a biotech/big pharma company Post-MBA, more specifically, being hired into a finance LDP where I can work in various roles within the company and get the necessary exposure and experience to transition into a corporate develoment/strategy role at the company long term. Is this a realistic short term to long term goal? I've read that CD is more suited for a former IB or MBB but is it different for MBAs who have moved up within the company? Any advice is much appreciated.
04 Sep 2014
I'm currently looking for a new job due to internal changes at my company that are related to politics which could affect my career progression. I was envisioning staying at my current company until possibly a VP promote but thing have changed. I feel like my career trajectory at my current company will be slowed due to these changes as ownership of my work will now shift to other groups, and I am seeking advice in the search for my next role. There has recently been a reorganization at my company - no terminations - but my team, corporate strategy and development, now reports to the CFO where
29 May 2021
Guys, first time poster looking for some advice here. I'm going back to b-school this year, and I've been researching different career paths. F500 corporate strategy has piqued my interest. On the surface, it looks like a lot of F500 companies have one department for CS and corporate (or business) development…I have zero finance/m&a background (math undergrad, 4 years consulting)…my questions are: 1. Do the people in these departments typically focus on one practice (i.e., either CS or CD) or do they do a bit of both or does it vary by company? 2. During b-school, should I focus on filling skills gaps (finance) or enhancing strengths (strategy)? 3. I'm looking for F500 firms with CS employees in New England. Are there any firms that are particularly prestigious?
28 Mar 2013
What's it like to be in strategy, corp dev, or other strategic finance/business roles at a certified B Corporation like Allbirds, Patagonia, etc.? Does work at a B corp usually mean a very different culture or have different views towards ex IB analysts? Is it that much different than working for any other corporation? If you work in one of these roles at a B corp, how is it? Are responsibilities/comp/politics different?
27 Dec 2020
Hi all, My mentor is hosting a Zoom call on Wednesday 19th 5:30 PDT where he will be talking about his experience as the director of business for the Lockheed Martin Skunkworks (20 years) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (Also 20 years). During his time at both organizations he was responsible for projects including: SR71 Blackbird F16 F35 Strike Fighter U2 C130 3 Mars Rovers And More.. The topic of this discussion will be surrounding how he was tasked with overhauling JPL's financial processes and why his methods were successful to the point that they now serve as the standard for the wider NASA
18 May 2021
Hey guys, I have 3 offers that I'm trying to decide between. I want to base my decision on the type of work and bschool placement. Any insight would be appreciated greatly. 1) Big 4 Financial Advisory- Operational Process Consulting 2) F500 Corporate Strategy- Major airlines 3) Boutique Decision Sciences/Data Analytics Firm I also want to work for MBB eventually so I'd also like to keep that in mind for long term exit ops. Thanks!
21 Nov 2014
I have a summer offer with JPM's Corporate Analyst Development Program. I could be placed in a number of different departments (business management, strategy, analytics, project management or consulting). The full time is a 2 year rotation across these departments. Does anybody have any insight into what kind of work I would be doing in a corporate strategy role and how it's perceived and both business schools and consulting firms? It's a great offer in terms of comp and location, but there's not a whole lot of information on the nature of the work.
10 Dec 2014
Does anyone have any insight into what this group at MacCap does? Seems like some sort of internal strategy group; any work on live deals or internal M&A? Most of the people in this group are ex-IB seniors, i.e. MD of this group in EMEA was ex-COO. How hard is it to get into this group and could you exit into IB after? Also if anyone has any insight into mobility within Macquarie e.g. from IB to MIRA or from this group. Any info appreciated. Cheers guys
14 Sep 2020
Guys, I'm currently in a non-MBB consulting firm and will be promoted to a post-MBA position next year. My question is whether it would be easy for me to get into F500 corporate strategy (non-entry level of course) given that I don't and likely won't have a MBA when I do exit from consulting?....this is of course assuming that I stay for at least 6 months after I get promoted to the post-MBA position.
08 Nov 2011
I posted this in my original corporate development thread (http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/the-other-r…) but figured I would create a separate topic to give this opportunity more visibility. For those interested in corporate strategy / corporate development jobs..I just came across the following posting.
27 Mar 2012
I found it burdensome to scroll through all of the pages in the "The Other Road: Corporate Development Associate Fielding Questions" thread to find harvardgrad08's responses to everyone's questions, so I copied and pasted all of his posts (as of 3/28/13) into one Word document. Thought you all might find it useful. Best, MBA2CS
29 Mar 2013
Anyone know anything about CVS/Caremark's Strategic Product Development group? Exits, how it compares to consulting, etc.? It isn't pure corporate strategy as far as I can tell, but will something like this place well into business schools?
10 Apr 2012
What is the most important engagement you've worked on? I just started one that is redesigning the entire corporate strategy for a large retail bank. The scope of this thing is just massive and covers absolutely every business line in the company. I'm personally responsible for a pretty large workstream and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Any advice on how to handle the responsibility of a project of this scale?
02 Mar 2011
I'm leaving this pretty open so that more people can chime in. Does anyone have insight into how recruiting is done for corporate strategy or development in tech firms such as Google or HP? For instance, have a look at these job postings: 1. http://bit.ly/r2YVZu 2. http://linkd.in/AalBEw 3. http://linkd.in/x9IqDf Or are most of these positions catered towards experienced hires?
20 Jan 2012
Hey Friends, Quick question as I think it is important to pick everyone's brains here. If you look at a company focused on offering social media and customer engagement services, from a strategic standpoint, how would you look at some of the business levers/drivers for the company? From an operating standpoint, as marketing expense is to SaaS for new markets, how would you view the equivalent of CAC and ARPU to this type of business?
14 May 2019
I have an upcoming FT interview with a corporate strategy group at a F500 Media & Entertainment company. I'm really excited about this opportunity, but I'm not too sure what kind of technical questions I should be expecting. I know corp strat interviews vary a lot from firm to firm, but I'd appreciate it if anyone that has been through the process for FT could share his/her insights.
03 Oct 2015