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Corp Dev/Strategy At A Fortune 100

Corp Dev

Are you feeling burned out? On second thought, don’t answer that – I know you are. Listen, I get it, consulting/banking/private equity – these fields are GRINDS. You suddenly wake up and find dark circles under your eyes; your blood pressure skyrockets, and suddenly you can’t even fathom the idea of a “protected weekend” anymore. Trust me, I’ve been there. Last year, I made the transition that a lot of people dream of—working at one of the biggest, most prestigious corporations in the world, with fantastic WLB and comp. Below, I’ll run down what I consider to be the best benefits and experiences working in my field, specifically compared to “high finance” and consulting, and what expectations to have in order to get the most out of the job.


  • No More Late Nights – This is probably the most immediate difference that I noticed after leaving “high finance”/consulting. Since you are no longer at the mercy of a client (or, in the case of private equity, peer pressure), you can consistently make weeknight plans, allocate time for more than 6 hours of sleep per night, and/or have consistent professional endeavors outside of your main job. Many finance professionals might scoff at the idea of free time, but the benefits it presents to your mental and physical health can be well worth the tradeoff. All I can say is that my hair loss “suddenly” stopped once I left IB/consulting, so take that for what you will.


  • Set and Follow Realistic Compensation Expectations – As you have probably heard before, coming from consulting/banking gives you the most career optionality you can have right out of college – and with this optionality comes a great deal of leverage in compensation negotiations. My rule of thumb when going through these negotiations was to never ask for less than the IB/consulting base – and this was usually a fair starting point. However, the compensation is MUCH more variable when going to corporate as compared to the “Street standards” than are present across IB and consulting. You should always set your first compensation offer within a reasonable range, but always ABOVE what you think the company will actually offer. No organization, whether buyside, client service, or F100, will EVER offer you more than your requested salary, but asking far above the standard pay grade is often viewed as “disrespectful”, so it’s best to ask for salaries within 10-20% range of what your desired compensation is.


  • High Visibility Across the Globe – This is perhaps the most professionally rewarding aspect of F100 corp dev/strat; perhaps with the only exception of MBB, most of your clients will be corporations that you have never heard of, and even in the case of MBB, you’ll often find yourself doing the work that everyone else doesn’t want to do. However, when you finally are the illustrious client, a lot of the in-house work is high-impact and affects millions of individuals across the globe, rather than just a few hundred, giver or take some shareholders. The amount of “busy work” is cut down 10x on the corporate dev/strat side, and you’ll find yourself becoming less jaded towards work compared to your pre-corporate self.


Is the pay cut worth it? That’s for you to decide, but the transition to corporate can open a world of personal professional opportunities that one might not even dream of on the client side.

Best of luck!


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