From Community College to Fortune 500 Investor Relations: How to Defy the Odds Even When Everyone Tells You “No”

20 Comments | Case Studies & Reader Success Stories - From Non-Target Schools and Low Grades, Corporate Development & Corporate Finance - Recruiting

From Community College to Fortune 500 Investor RelationsThe “path.”

It never seems to die.

And neither does the assumption that you need to follow a certain “path” to get into the finance industry.

It’s like a cockroach: no matter how many times I drop nuclear bombs on it, it just won’t stay dead.

That’s why I wanted to share this story of a reader who did almost everything wrong in the beginning…

…But still managed to win a highly competitive offer in the corporate finance / investor relations team of a Fortune 500 company.

Forget about being from a “non-target school” – he originally attended a community college.

Forget about the recruiting process taking “months and months” – it took him almost 2 years.

And forget about being “discouraged” by your networking contacts – one guy actually told him: “You didn’t go to Harvard, so I don’t know what to tell you.”

But he overcame all that to break in anyway.

And here’s how he did it, along with a detailed explanation of investor relations interviews:

From Community College to CFO Consigliere

If a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Managing Director (MD) Fight to the Death, Who Comes Out Alive?

26 Comments | Corporate Development & Corporate Finance - On the Job, Investment Banking - The Hierarchy & Promotions

Chief Financial Officer vs. Managing DirectorThe deathmatch.

It’s fun to play in first-person shooters, but it’s even more fun in real life.

And it’s most interesting when you put 2 high-level executives in the ring and ask them to toss aside the spreadsheets, the assistants, and the support teams, and simply throw down.

Today, we’re going to look at a match-up between 2 positions that you’re interested in reaching one day: the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the corporate finance team of a company, and the Managing Director (MD) at an investment bank.

Chances are that you don’t even know what a CFO does – so we’ll start from there and then go through everything else, from how you add value, to how you get promoted, to how much you get paid, to the best and worst parts of each job.

At the end, only one will be left standing.

Well, assuming it’s a knockout rather than a boring victory by points…

Who is a CFO, and What Does He / She Actually Do?

From Big 4 Transaction Advisory Services to Corporate Development at a Large Financial Institution: Half the Audits and Twice the Money?

24 Comments | Big 4 - Recruiting, Corporate Development & Corporate Finance - On the Job

Big 4 Transaction Advisory Services to Corporate DevelopmentIf you want to work in corporate development and have a reasonable lifestyle, solid pay, and hang out with Ron Conway and Ashton Kutcher while turning down multi-billion dollar acquisition offers (just kidding – read the article I linked to), one option is to suffer your way through investment banking and break in after working 80-90 hours per week for a few years…

…or you could just skip that altogether, work in Big 4 transaction advisory services, and leverage that experience to break in – like our interviewee today did.

He did what most consider “difficult to impossible”: moving from traditional audit/accounting at a Big 4 firm into the advisory group, and finally into corporate development at a well-known financial institution.

And today, he’s going to explain the entire process – from his story and how to make all these moves to what corporate development at a Fortune 500 company is like.

From Chartered Accountant to Chartered Acquisitions

Q: You know how this works.

Give us your story and the overall timeline for what you accomplished.