Breaking into Corporate Development

Whats the best path to break into Corp Dev.? B-school? Investment banking experience?

JD/MBA joint degree.

I would guess the most effective ways are MBA recruitment or a management consulting background.

management consulting is probably the path of least resistance, especially if you’ve had deal experience. however, every group is going to have it’s own style and process. so, at the lower levels, most groups will just look for someone who’s smart, knows some finance, and can pick things up quickly.

Why corporate development, by the way? Seems kind of random (not that I know anything about it).

CFAdetroit Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Whats the best path to break into Corp Dev.? > B-school? Investment banking experience? yeah - b school or IB but you could come up the back way by working at the company and switching to Corp Dev. it is harder that way. i tried and even had the guy under the ceo vouch for me and they wouldnt take me on because they said i did not have IB experience. but also at that time, we were not buying too many companies, but are buying more companies now.

corp development is actually a great place to be. you get to make strategic moves and see the big picture of the organization.

Kind of what Frank Arabia says. Seems neat and stays fresh as you navigate and position a company for future success. I just have heard good experiences from colleagues that know people in the field. The more I read about it the more I like what I hear.

There are a number of things that people enjoy about strategy/corporate development, namely making potentially impactful decisions on an organization in terms of organic growth or acquisitions while also leading more of a sane lifestyle. I have several friends that transitioned from finance or consulting into corporate development. The finance guys say they like corporate development because of the better work-life balance and also working with the same “client” all the time (i.e. the organization that they work with). The two girls from consulting I know that moved to corporate development also said they enjoyed the better lifestyle, as well as the fact that they could potentially implement their ideas (as opposed to just making recommendations to clients and moving on). In the better economic times (2005-2007), people were able to make the transitions right out of their undergrad experience by way of personal networks or placements from their seniors, i.e. an engagement manager at McKinsey might recommend to one of their client organizations that they should hire you. There’s still some of that going on, but by and large the best avenue of getting into corporate development is through business school simply because so many firms come to recruit on campus. Aside from that, working your own personal networks is as good a bet as any. Corporate development employment opportunities do occasionally go through recruiters, but typically only for pretty senior hires. It’s really more about using your own personal networks (either professionally or through undergrad/MBA) or LinkedIn, in my view.

we typically hire 1) ex consultants - almost any focus will do 2) MBAs 3) people transitioning from finance 4) people with connections to the firm 5) lucky undergrads - this is where i fit in