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Strategic Planning, anyone?

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Joined: 17 Sep 2010
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Schools: USC, UCSD, UCI, Olin, HBS
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Strategic Planning, anyone? [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2010, 11:19
Of all the typical MBA career paths (post-graduation), strategic consulting appeals the most to me. Taking on a big picture role, working with metrics, getting to problem solve/think outside the box, spending time across numerous roles, and all the while having a lifestyle slightly less time demanding in work than consulting.

Problem for me is, I feel like I'm the only one! Looking at MBA programs websites to see where grads are placed, most don't have a statistic for strategic planning. Harvard does (5% of grads), but that's the only one I've seen. Is strategic planning a common, or realistic career path for a 28 year old coming out of a top 25ish MBA program?

Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Strategic Planning, anyone? [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2010, 06:10
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mikekennyb wrote:
Taking on a big picture role, working with metrics, getting to problem solve/think outside the box, spending time across numerous roles, and all the while having a lifestyle slightly less time demanding in work than consulting.


What you describe as "strategic consulting" sounds a lot like the management consulting that firms like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc. do. You would get to do the things you describe, but would naturally be working like a consultant.

On the internal side, I think you'll find few companies that have a dedicated "strategic planning" group, and if they do it's usually comprised of pretty senior people in the organization doing navel gazing and thinking big thoughts. Most organizations I've experienced have a more fluid approach, with teams being pulled together from different parts of the organization to address specific projects initiated by executives. You'll also find bits of strategy in different departments, so if you're on a brand team you'd be working on strategy for a specific product, if you are in operations you may work on supply chain strategy, etc. I think the best way to get at some of that strategy work early in your career while getting some experience in different areas (other than doing consulting), is through a general management rotational program, or if you know what functional area interests you most a rotational program focused on that area.
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 17
Schools: USC, UCSD, UCI, Olin, HBS
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 2

Re: Strategic Planning, anyone? [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2010, 10:12
Jerz wrote:

What you describe as "strategic consulting" sounds a lot like the management consulting that firms like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc. do. You would get to do the things you describe, but would naturally be working like a consultant.

On the internal side, I think you'll find few companies that have a dedicated "strategic planning" group, and if they do it's usually comprised of pretty senior people in the organization doing navel gazing and thinking big thoughts. Most organizations I've experienced have a more fluid approach, with teams being pulled together from different parts of the organization to address specific projects initiated by executives. You'll also find bits of strategy in different departments, so if you're on a brand team you'd be working on strategy for a specific product, if you are in operations you may work on supply chain strategy, etc. I think the best way to get at some of that strategy work early in your career while getting some experience in different areas (other than doing consulting), is through a general management rotational program, or if you know what functional area interests you most a rotational program focused on that area.


Thanks for the info. Is what I've described (big picture, working across teams, etc.) similar to corporate development? Looking at what I've read about it, corporate development seems to be along those lines (although it sounds like a few, non sales oriented, business development positions are as well!).

I'm trying to put clarify my short term goals (what kind of position I'm shooting for) for my essays, and strategic planning/corporate development/business development being cleared up helps a lot!
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Re: Strategic Planning, anyone? [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 13:38
mikekennyb wrote:

Thanks for the info. Is what I've described (big picture, working across teams, etc.) similar to corporate development? Looking at what I've read about it, corporate development seems to be along those lines (although it sounds like a few, non sales oriented, business development positions are as well!).

I'm trying to put clarify my short term goals (what kind of position I'm shooting for) for my essays, and strategic planning/corporate development/business development being cleared up helps a lot!


Unfortunately there's not much clarity on corporate development or business development as different companies use the terminology differently. In some companies, corporate development is sales, in others its more strategic, in still others its licensing and acquisition focused (what still other companies call business development). You get the picture.

Rather than try and put a label on the group you wish to join, you may find it better/easier to just describe what you want to do for the company.
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Re: Strategic Planning, anyone?   [#permalink] 20 Sep 2010, 13:38
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