Marketing: The Most “Creative” Investment Banking Exit Opportunity?

8 Comments | Corporate Development & Corporate Finance - On the Job

Marketing vs. Corporate FinanceMarketing?!!

Probably not the first department that springs to mind when you think of “investment banking exit opportunities.”

But if you’ve ever dreamed of becoming Don Draper and continuing to hone your Level 99 Excel skills at the same time, it might be right up your alley.

In the 1960s, marketing actually resembled Mad Men: a bunch of “creatives” coming up with magazine and TV ads for clients, and then drinking martinis at work while having an affair or three.

Today, though, marketing is ruled by numbers – and in the digital realm, spreadsheets are king.

And as traditional finance opportunities have become less appealing over time, former bankers and consultants have been hopping on the marketing train and using their analytical skills and creativity to make a mark.

Marketing gets overlooked because it’s seen as “less sexy” than alternatives like corporate finance, corporate development, and business development.

But that’s a huge mistake since it’s arguably more of a front-office role than some of those – and a more creative one as well.

Here’s how you can become Don Draper:

Marketing 101: What Is It? And Who Gets In?

General Electric’s Financial Management Program: An Insider’s Guide on How to Break In

19 Comments | Corporate Development & Corporate Finance - Recruiting

General Electric FMP InterviewNicolas is the founder of 300 Finance Gurus and has advised more than 100 clients on their cover letters and resumes. He also provides strategies on networking, LinkedIn and interview preparation for clients in Investment Banking, Corporate Finance and Private Equity (full bio at the bottom of this article.)

Have you ever found yourself applying for a job, but also having no idea why you’re applying?

I’ve seen it a lot.

Sometimes, if the company is seriously understaffed and needs people ASAP, you can get away with it.

But you really can’t get away with it when you apply for corporate finance rotational programs, such as GE’s Financial Management Program.

Unlike banks, which largely have the same set of “values” (make money!), normal companies have different values and cultures… and they prefer different candidates.

You can learn the process of applying for a job perfectly, but if you’re not the right person for the role, none of that matters.

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at what it’s like on the job in the GE Financial Management Program, including pay and exit opportunities.

In Part 2 today, you’ll discover how to break in, including:

  • What the “perfect candidate” for FMP roles looks like, and how to figure out if it’s for you.
  • What the recruiting process looks like, and why assessment centers are even more critical than in IB interviews.
  • Why making corporate finance your “Plan B” if banking doesn’t work out is a recipe for disaster.
  • Insider information on the recruiting process from someone who went through the whole thing successfully (me!).

These tips are intended for the Financial Management Program at GE, but the criteria and the process are very similar for corporate finance graduate programs at other F500 companies.

So if you’re interested in corporate finance at Apple, Exxon Mobil, Wal-Mart, or any other company that size, here’s what you need to know:

General Electric’s Financial Management Program: The Most Prestigious Corporate Finance Gig Around?

34 Comments | Corporate Development & Corporate Finance - Groups & Regions

General Electric Financial Management ProgramThere’s a lot of debate around the “best” place to start your career: Investment banking? Private equity? Corporate finance? Equity research?

But if you go the corporate finance route, there’s no debate over the best, or at least most “prestigious,” option within corporate finance: General Electric’s Financial Management Program (FMP).

It has been around for almost 100 years (created in the 1930s), and 75% of GE’s Chief Financial Officers went through it!

The only problem is that if you try to read about it online, you run into corporate speak and buzzwords galore, but little real information.

I actually graduated from the program and then left GE to start my own business, so I want to give you a realistic, non-sugar-coated version of what you do, what a “rotational program” in corporate finance means, and just how lucrative / prestigious it is.

Plus, we’ll take a look at how it compares to IB roles and answer the #1 question on your mind: is there any reason to forget about IB and become an FMP instead?

What Exactly IS a “Financial Management Program” (FMP)?