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Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?

 
#1 Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
27/09/2009 18:16

Jennifer

Hi,

I've been working for the strategy arm of a Big 4 for 2 years now (joined them straight out of uni), but have always wanted to work within an in-house strategy team.

I've been lucky enough to get an offer to become a Strategy Analyst at a TV production company.

Best thing about the role is the level of responsibility, I would report directly to the CEO, and take the lead with managing any corporate strategy projects.

My only concern is that it is a small company (c.30 employees - but I think it is a nice office environment), and that I would be the only member of the strategy team (no fellow Managers/Analysts).

Would such a job reduce my chances to eventually working in a strategy role at a larger corporation (e.g. BBC, BSkyB), or rule out a return to a consulting firm in the future?

Would appreciate your thoughts, thanks very much

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#2 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
27/09/2009 18:38

anon to Jennifer (#1)

sounds like a good opportunity but don't kid yourself into talking about the "strategy team" when there's only 1 person in it (i.e. you).

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#3 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
27/09/2009 20:21

Bnon to Jennifer (#1)

I agree with anon - sounds good, but be wary that the role is as described. It may be more of an EA or dogsbody role for the CEO - and, not to be rude, but who in the media business is going to listen to a 23 yr old "Head of Strategy" without media experience.

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#4 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
28/09/2009 11:44

anon to Bnon (#3)

go for it, it sounds like a great opprtunity, you will learn loads working for CEO

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#5 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
28/09/2009 11:52

anon to anon (#4)

Hold it right there!!!! How can you be sure she will earn loads working for the CEO? Reporting straight into the CEO doesn't necessarily equate to high salary. I bet the CEO has a secretary who doesn't earn much, for example!

J-Lo, please could you detail the package on offer please? Thx!

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#6 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
28/09/2009 20:41

Jennifer to anon (#5)

Hi guys,

thanks for your advice so far, really appreciate it :)

Just to give you some further info. on the job, I will be the first person this firm has hired to work in a "strategy" role, but another ex-consultant is working there (leading their Marketing team).

Fortunately, the salary is higher than what I'm currently on, and from what I've been told so far, my first few projects will be very interesting e.g. helping the firm expand into new international markets, reviewing their pricing strategy etc.

My only concern is whether this role would make it difficult for me to move into a Strategy Manager role at a larger firm (e.g. BSkyB, ITV) in say 3 years time vs. someone who's been a Strategy Analyst at a big firm (but who may have had less responsibility as they'd be reporting to a Strategy Manager/Director)

would really appreciate your thoughts on this, as I only have 2 weeks to decide whether to take up the offer or not

thanks!

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#7 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
29/09/2009 13:41

skills to Jennifer (#6)

As long as you don't forget how to use Powerpoint you'll be fine.

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#8 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
29/09/2009 14:37

conor to skills (#7)

& don't forget to bring the document templates you've been using.

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#9 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
29/09/2009 19:48

Jennifer to conor (#8)

hi guys,

would appreciate any thoughts from anyone who's made the move from a strategy consulting firm to an in-house role....

although I've got an idea of the some of the initial projects I will work on, I'm curious to learn what kind of differences I can expect in the day to day role e.g. access to research sources, personal skills development etc.

thank you!

Jennifer

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#10 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 10:06

anon to Jennifer (#9)

Jennifer,

I made the move in-house to a strategy role about 3 years ago and it has turned out to be a great decision. Your experience will no doubt depend on the company you move into, some thoughts below

Differences you may see in the day to day role:

- Greater autonomy and accountability to deliver

- Faster turn round for analysis and projects

- Generally less research support, though depends on team size

- Lack of 'off the clock' time between projects, I tend to be very busy all the time

- Long term involvement in initatives and projects which can be rewarding and frustrating in equal measure

- Obtaining training and establishing personal development plans more up to you and not a regimented process

There are a number of similarities to consulting, for example building and maintaining a network etc.

I found if you are good at your job you can achieve rapid promotion and reward based on your ability, for example I am now head of strategy for one of the divisions.

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#11 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 10:16

anon to anon (#10)

If you're the head of strategy, then what does the CEO/MD/divisional director do?

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#12 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 10:32

Dreamy to anon (#11)

CEO coordinates all the divisions and conflicting demands, and is accountable for the strategy that you propose.

Even if you develop the strategy, the CEO still has to deliver it.

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#13 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 11:07

anon to anon (#11)

"If you're the head of strategy, then what does the CEO/MD/divisional director do?"

Perhaps you should try studying for a business degree or even a business studies A-Level, they do them at most schools and major universities in the UK. Courses you take in the first term/semester can be very helpful with difficult questions such as this.

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#14 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 11:31

anon to anon (#13)

'head of strategy' sounds to me like it could be a pumped-up job title.

is it a leadership role or does it just involve churning out research so that the real big-wigs can make the decisions?

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#15 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 12:12

anon to anon (#14)

The team I manage works up detailed options and proposals which are then taken to the SMT/Shareholders, we debate them and decide which course to take.

Unlike a lot of consulting assignments I then manage the project team to deliver the commercial framework/customer contract in line with the business plan.

In summary greater responsibility, exposure and reward. I am 27 and took home <£100k last year plus worked on some really interesting projects. You are welcome to call it whatever type of role you like.

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#16 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 13:00

Anon to anon (#15)

Good for you. Most of us took home <£100k last year

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#17 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 13:17

Singapore to Anon (#16)

Brilliant!!!

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#18 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 14:49

anon to Singapore (#17)

Fair cop.....should have read >£100k, good job I don't work in the payroll department :-)

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#19 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 14:55

Anon to anon (#18)

Thanks - nice to see a bit of humility. No wonder you're paid shedloads :)

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#20 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 14:58

Inquisitive to Anon (#19)

Please can you break down the exact package you receive into the following elements:

1. Base salary

2. Bonus

3. Pension

4. Car allowance

5. Health benefits

6. Other bonus/benefits (please specify)

Thanks!

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#21 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 15:06

anon to Inquisitive (#20)

Base = £60k

Car = £7.5k

Pension = £4.8k

Bonus (uncapped) = £38k last year

Health = Full BUPA cover etc

Holiday = 25 days, increases to 28 next year

As you can see fairly reliant on bonuses, but does provides you with incentive to deliver.

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#22 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
30/09/2009 21:12

Onn to anon (#21)

What kind of company do you work for?

Can you recommend any with similar positions?

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#23 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
01/10/2009 07:42

Anon to Onn (#22)

Can you tell us in detail how you went about finding your current position and the key things you do in order to demonstrate success and obtain that lucrative bonus?

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#24 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
01/10/2009 08:20

Anon to Anon (#23)

While I agree it's a very good package, and good for you for getting it, it's just that - a package - so you can't really claim to "take home >£100k". Salary, bonus and car are all taxed at 40% plus.

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#25 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
01/10/2009 12:04

anon to anon (#5)

learn not earn!

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#26 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
01/10/2009 12:38

anon to anon (#25)

What kind of company do you work for?

- Telecoms

How you went about finding your current position

- Extensive research of market

- Relevant client experience from consulting

- Detailed research into individual firms, their shareholding, funding and future ambitions

- Rejecting jobs offers that didn't offer the potential for rapid progression

Key things you do in order to demonstrate success and obtain that lucrative bonus?

- Securing high value and very complex contracts (e.g. last one >£600m total value)

- Leadership of acqusition projects

- Facilitating innovative discussions that have market sector changing implications

- Being able to prove beyond doubt you have made a difference to profitability / long term revenue security / etc

- Recruiting and managing a team that exceeds expectations and performs well above organisational norms

You can't really claim to "take home >£100k"

- Agreed, if only I lived in a tax haven :-)

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#27 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
01/10/2009 12:59

Anon to anon (#26)

This is extremely useful. I have some further questions:

- What are your top tips for work-life balance?

- How do you ensure you succeed at an interview?

- How do you manage to get so much done?

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#28 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
01/10/2009 17:03

anon to Anon (#27)

What are your top tips for work-life balance?

-Enjoy your work, you will spend a lot of your life doing it, so select the right role

- Treat it like a bank account, you make deposits and you make withdrawals

- Accept that if you are going to paid a lot and progress your career you will have to put the graft it

How do you ensure you succeed at an interview?

- Basic stuff like homework on company, role

- Answer the question but also ensure you are insightful / expand you answers

- Thoughtful pauses and tailor you answers

- Ask open questions to the interviewer to give you a real insight into the organisation and role

..this is based on my recent experience of recruiting graduates and what impresses me.

How do you manage to get so much done?

- Bit of a cliche but do what is important not necessary what is urgent

- Rigorous prioritisation, I do this regularly this with my team and we cut out low value stuff

- Coach and empower others, otherwise you become the constraint

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#29 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
01/10/2009 17:50

Anon to anon (#28)

This is all extremely useful and I too want to add some questions.

What sandwich should I eat to be as successful as you? Do born winners eat egg and cress, or stick with meat for business winning protein?

What underwear do you recommend? I'm trying to be a big swinging d1ck so need a good banaa hammock.

Should I vote Lib Dem?

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#30 RE: Strategy Analyst in a small company? Good career move?
01/10/2009 18:02

anon to Anon (#29)

thanks for you input....wouldn't want to recommend a sandwich as not sure you should be on solid foods yet.

BTW there is no such thing as a born winner, sucessful people tend to work hard for things and have some luck on the way.

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