Whilst our lawyers may be the face of the firm in the global marketplace, behind them sit a range of highly talented individuals who make up our Business Services function. Our Business Development department is a key part of our success story, so we are delighted to offer the opportunity for talented individuals to join our Business Development department as part of an exciting new graduate scheme in September 2021.

The Business Development Academy is a trailblazing two year programme, designed to give participants a thorough understanding of business development and experience across a range of marketing-related disciplines. The programme is supported by a comprehensive range of coaching and training, all designed to support your professional development on your journey to becoming a well-rounded marketing professional with a broad business skillset.

Hear from Pippa Hogan, a Business Development (BD) Executive who talks about her experience working in the team, outlining how no two days are the same and her hopes for the BD Academy. 

About Me

I work in the firm’s Global Client Development team, looking after North America and Asia Pacific relationships and projects, and have been at Slaughter and May for almost 2 ½ years. I studied History and Political Science at the University of Birmingham, and joined the firm in October 2018 after graduating that summer.

Can you give an outline of your responsibilities at Slaughter and May, and what a typical week looks like?

As an executive, I work with a Senior Manager to support on the firm’s strategy in all jurisdictions covered by North America and Asia Pacific. This involves client targeting and relationship management along with various other BD and marketing initiatives to help the firm win more work internationally. I also work specifically on client targeting in the pharmaceuticals/life sciences and industrials sectors, ensuring that the firm is best placed to advise clients in these sectors.

One of my favourite things about my job is that no two days are the same, and I’ve had the opportunity to work on all sorts of really exciting projects. For example, over the past year I’ve been supporting a BD Manager on our tech incubator programme, Fast Forward, where I have helped create a marketing campaign, been involved in the selection process of applicants and worked with fee earners to build relationships with the companies who were successful.

What are some of the key skills you’ve developed since joining the firm?

Since joining Slaughter and May, I know that my overall confidence has greatly improved. This is largely because I’ve learnt to ask as many questions as I need to fully understand a situation or question that I’m faced with. It ensures that I always have as much context as possible, which in turn means that I’m more confident in my decision making and approach to problem solving.

I am also always writing notes. One of the first pieces of advice I got after joining the firm was to take a notebook with me everywhere I went, and jot down everything from things I’d noticed to questions I had. It was some of the best advice I’ve received, as it means I’ve got a log of everything I’ve learnt, everything that I’m working on and pretty much any conversation I’ve had. This also helps me provide context for others in the firm that I’m working with, and helps me to join the dots between various projects.

Hopes for the BD Academy

The BD Academy is such an amazing opportunity, and one that I wish I’d had the chance to be involved in! Legal BD is a really exciting and diverse career, with the chance to work on projects with outcomes that you will see play out in front of you. I hope that the successful applicants will develop a broad range of skills from across the different teams in BD, and learn how to utilise these skills in ways that aren’t immediately obvious. Creativity and innovative thinking are such important parts of BD, so if you’re able to utilise a skill from one team whilst working with another that’s going to be a really great attribute to have going through your career.

Finally, I’m really excited for the successful applicants to start building their network within the firm. I feel really fortunate to have joined a firm where catch ups and getting to know people is actively encouraged, as it’s really beneficial to your working life. Having a wide network definitely helps you to learn and develop when you’re at the start of your career, but it also makes the working day so much more enjoyable when the faces in your meetings are friendly ones!

If you are interested in applying for the BD Academy, please click here. Applications will close on Sunday, 28 March.