Business Development Academy

Applications for our third cohort, to join the Academy in September 2023, are now closed

Business Development brings together commercial acumen with creative thinking and that has never been more important than in the current environment.

What is the Business Development Academy?

The Business Development Academy is a two year programme designed to give a thorough understanding of business development within a professional services environment and provide experience across different marketing-related disciplines.

Business Development is about bringing commercial acumen together with creative thinking and our team exemplifies this. We advise some of the world’s largest and most complex businesses and work alongside some of the best lawyers and the most astute professionals across the business services teams, who will challenge and stimulate you to be your best.

Our purpose, as a BD team, is to support the development of valued client relationships, to champion Slaughter and May and enhance its market standing.

How does it work?

During the programme you will undertake four rotations, of six months each, from the six different areas of marketing and business development:

  • Communications and PR – responsible for shaping and enhancing the firm’s messaging and profile, internally and externally, while protecting its brand and reputation
  • Digital Marketing – responsible for the firm’s digital strategy and marketing technology stack
  • Global Client Development – helping the firm win work and grow client relationships on a global basis
  • Pitching – the frontline of winning work, responding to pitch opportunities 
  • Events - delivering firm-wide and client events with the aim to maintain and grow relationships
  • Research and Insight – providing information and data in a way that best supports strategic decision making

During each rotation you will be taught key skills unique to that discipline, whilst also developing the more general skills essential in today’s business environment.

What training will I receive?

During your first few weeks with us - you will complete an induction training programme that provides an overview of the firm, our businesses and the industry. We will create networking opportunities for you to begin meeting colleagues across the firm and to hear from senior leaders. You will also be given specific training for your first rotation.

We deliver regular training sessions as a BD team which forms part of our commitment to continual improvement and upskilling in order to meet the evolving needs of our clients. Training is also an integral part of our graduate scheme. Each rotation requires a different skill set so you will receive a lot of bespoke one-to-one training at the outset of each rotation as well as participating in our wider team training sessions.

Our Learning and Development team provide key business skills training and coaching throughout the year (including personal impact, performing under pressure and managing time and others) which you will also benefit from. Overall, you will receive training opportunities to increase your technical BD and marketing understanding, widen your market knowledge and enhance your people skills.  We will continuously monitor your training needs, as we do across the team, and will develop and implement further training as required.

Who are we looking for?

In order to qualify for this programme you must be a graduate or final year university student with three good A levels (or equivalent) and a 2:1 degree (or equivalent work experience). We also look for proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

We will consider all qualifying applicants, irrespective of their chosen degree discipline, and we are open to more experienced graduates as well as those who have completed their course of study more recently.

The rationale for our flexibility regarding background is simply that we aim to employ those with the brightest minds, regardless of what or where they have studied. Background, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religious beliefs and age are all irrelevant to our application process.

We have thought hard about the kinds of people that work well in our team and the kinds of colleagues we enjoy working with, and we have settled on the following team values:

Value Description In practice
Curious I am intellectually interested in the world in which Slaughter and May operates. This allows me to think dynamically and challenge the status quo. Always learning and developing.
Tenacious I am committed and strive to overcome challenges. This allows me to get the job done well. Excellence in everything I do.
'Above and beyond' I do not accept ‘just good enough’ because it is the easiest solution but always strive for the best possible outcome. This allows me to exceed expectations. Simply ‘above and beyond’!
Ownership I take ownership of challenges and projects and lead from the front. I am not afraid to do what is right. I am prepared to give and accept recognition. This allows me to learn from my mistakes. Being a good team player and having respect for each other.
Skilled communicator I am self-aware and honest with my colleagues. I communicate clearly, effectively and concisely. I can relate to those around me. This allows me to keep my sense of humour! Being a good ambassador for BD.


How do I apply?

Applications are now closed.

How do I find out more?

To find out more, please read the Business Development Academy Brochure which provides more detail about the structure and content of the programme, who we are looking for and how we will invest in you once you join.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the programme please contact Elana Wicks (Business Development Programme Manager) or Laura Bissell (Senior Pitch Manager). For queries about our recruitment process please speak to Nina Galliano (Recruitment Adviser).