Dell Finance Development Program Spotlight

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September 7, 2017 by texasbbacareerservices

dell maxMax Zimmerman
MSU 2014
Finance major, Economics minor
Corporate Development Advisor

Please tell us about your career path and how you found your way to Dell.

I began my journey to Dell when I interviewed with Dell on the campus of Michigan state my junior year of college. Dell was high on my list of companies to explore for a number of reasons: Austin headquarters, technology industry leadership and attractive corporate environment. Dell also seemed to be recruiting only high caliber candidates, which was big draw for me.

After receiving the internship offer, I moved to Austin and experienced a summer that was second to none. And at the end of the summer, I was fortunate enough to receive an offer for a full time position in Dell’s Finance Development Program (FDP). This is an accelerated 2 year rotational program for future finance leaders – more on the FDP below.

What does this job/internship entail?

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Learn more and apply for a Dell position in RecruitMcCombs: Financial Analyst Internship and more! Deadline: September 21, 2017.

The FDP consists of 4 different rotations across the finance organization aimed at giving you a breadth of experience. The program helps you decide which path of finance you would prefer to go down after you finish the program. Almost more importantly, it helps you decide which roles you don’t want to pursue in your career after the FDP. After going through my 4 different jobs, I had my sights set on a project based role that was in an area of Dell I hadn’t rotated through. That’s when Corporate Development came onto my radar.

My roles within the Finance Development Program were:

  • Financial Planning & Analysis for Dell’s facilities spend
    1. In this role I supported global facilities Opex FP&A, advised on targeted areas for headcount growth, and lead the consolidation and maintenance of Dell’s comprehensive global Capex file
  • Pricing analyst supporting our Preferred Commercial Sales organization
    1. Partnered with Dell’s preferred commercial and corporate North American accounts, effectively pricing enterprise and client deals in excess of $50M
    2. This role gave me the opportunity to work with our sales organization on a daily basis and gave me responsibility to directly impact the pricings of hundreds of hardware deals
  • Global operations finance dealing with Vendor Funding from Intel and AMD
    1. Managed Intel Joint Innovation vendor funding totaling several million dollars a quarter while supporting Dell’s processor procurement teams with Intel & AMD rebates
    2. This role gave me an understanding of how monetary relief from rebates and vendor funding flow into Dell’s financial statements
  • Financial Planning & Analysis for the IT function in our former software group in California
    1. While in California, I acted as the direct finance support for the CIO of our former software group. Some of my responsibilities included building the yearly budget, market & industry benchmarking, management of software capitalization and variance analysis

Some of my current responsibilities in corporate development include:

  • Identifying and evaluating product and segment strategies, using qualitative and quantitative research
  • Conducting acquisition and alliance diligence
  • Identifying growth options and recommending investments (both organic and inorganic) to enhance Dell’s capabilities
  • Following emerging technologies and business models, and anticipating and evaluating the effect of these on Dell’s business
  • Developing and implementing growth and profitability improvement initiatives in collaboration with business units

While in the Finance Development Program, participants take classwork, exams, and participate in case competitions alongside their day jobs to help increase their knowledge on various finance and accounting topics. The significant academic curriculum helps build finance and business skill that helps with foundational skills needed to succeed in a business career.

Some of the coursework included: Advanced Finance/Accounting Business Concepts; Corporate Valuation; Financial Services; Business Strategy; Critical Thinking Skills; Controllership; Influencing Skills; Business Communications; Executive Presentations; Virtual Teaming; Global Skills; Audit Engagement Simulation

Dell also offers global rotations across every organization. It is not uncommon for employees to be offered international and domestic assignments. Each year as part of the FDP, a handful of participants are given the opportunity to do their last 6 month rotation in a different part of the world. I for one was offered the chance to do my last rotation in Southern California in Dell’s former software group.

In addition, the FDP invests heavily in training and development of the participants. During the 2 year program participants will attend 4 week-long conferences aimed at developing both soft and hard skills. Regional Conferences (held in Austin and Boston) are for 1st and 2nd semester FDPs and Global Conference are for those in their 3rd and 4th rotations. My last conference was held in Amsterdam while FDP participants this year were afforded the opportunity to go to Penang, Malaysia for Conference. This is a great opportunity to network with peers across the globe as well as learn from leaders in our company.

Work / life flexibility is a strong recruiting tool for Dell as well. The exec leadership team is committed to letting employee’s balance the way they work best, whether that be by working from home, remotely or on-the-go as hours permit. This is also part of Dell’s workplace transformation that encourages employees to work wherever they are most effective and most comfortable.

What do you like about working for Dell?

Dell offers a variety of new experiences for entry level employees out of college. Within such a large company, there’s a wide range young professionals who are eager to learn and have fun. Dell is also an extremely transparent company from top to bottom. Executives and Directors are more often than not willing to lend some of their time to meet with you regarding career advice, mentorship and coaching. All of this makes for an easy transition and integration into the brave new world of corporate life.

I also enjoy that Dell maintains its leadership status within the technology industry year over year, which is forever evolving and moving at breakneck speed. Dell stays on the forefront of the new tech wave through new releases of emerging tech, such as IoT, AR/VR, machine learning, big data & analytics, gaming, etc. Working for Dell puts you ahead of the curve for tech industry releases and news.

Having Michael Dell as the CEO of Dell is a strong motivator for me. I’m inspired by his vision for the company that he founded and built into the power it is today. Dell is self-branded as the world’s largest startup, which in some aspects, is largely true. This is in large part due to MSDs vision as a founder which began in a dorm room in 1984.

What skills make a person successful in this position?

  • Communication
  • Work ethic
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility

Upcoming Events

  • September 22nd – Resume Drop Deadline
  • October 2nd – Finance and Accounting Internship Interviews @ McCombs

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