Strategy & Marketing Development (SMD) Program

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3M Strategy and Marketing Development Program for MBA candidates
Introduction to the Strategy & Marketing Development (SMD) Program

3M’s Strategy and Marketing Development (SMD) program is a two-year, non-rotational leadership development program designed to hone your business skills and provide opportunities to accelerate your career in a company where we apply science to improve lives daily. As an internal consultant, you’ll work on projects aligned with 3M’s corporate and business group priorities, with opportunities to work on behalf of executive-level clients. Through your projects and the development curriculum, you’ll gain exposure to a range of industries while working with cross-functional teams across 3M's key businesses. ​


  • What sets this program apart from the others?​

    With SMD, you're part of a cohort based at headquarters in St. Paul, MN. While your projects change, home base doesn't, enabling you to build a network at 3M and a life in the Twin Cities. ​

    ​As an internal consultant, your projects will align with the company’s corporate and business group priorities. Our projects are all vetted for their impact, and many are conducted for executive- and senior-level clients, offering the opportunity to develop close ties to leaders and teams across 3M. Within this structure, SMD is designed to allow you to pursue your interests, from influencing your project selection to the function and industry where you take your next role. ​

  • How long is the program?​

    The SMD internship is designed to give you a taste of the SMD experience in 11 weeks, starting in late May and ending in August. On average, full-time strategists roll into their next 3M role after two years. ​​

  • Where will you be located?​

    The SMD program is located at 3M’s global headquarters in St. Paul, MN.  

  • What kinds of roles are candidates hired into?​

    In SMD, you're empowered to own your career. As you prepare to pursue your next role, SMD provides training and career coaching to help accelerate your success.  Common post-SMD paths include: ​

    • Marketing management​
    • New product development​
    • Business strategy​
    • New business development​
    • Lean Six Sigma ​
  • What activities are provided during the program?​

    In addition to your projects, SMD takes a holistic approach to developing you as a leader, building on your education with a robust training program. This curriculum is designed to span three pillars: ​

    • Exposure to the businesses, structure and careers at 3M ​
    • Skill-building in project management, content creation and people development​
    • Expertise in marketing, business development and strategy ​

    ​You’ll have opportunities to network and learn more about building your career at 3M through executive panels, an annual alumni/executive gathering, and department- and strategist-driven team building activities. ​

    ​Finally, you’ll have opportunities to hone your coaching and development skills by supervising an intern and a first-year strategist over the course of your tenure in the program.​

  • How can you begin the recruitment and application process?​

    SMD primarily recruits at the following schools:​

    • Harvard Business School​
    • Indiana University, Kelley School of Business​
    • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management​
    • University of Chicago, Booth School of Business​
    • University of Michigan, Ross School of Business​
    • University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management​
    • University of Virginia, Darden School of Business​​

    SMD recruiting also takes place at the following conferences: ​

    • Consortium Orientation Program (June) ​
    • National Black (September) ​
    • Reaching Out MBA (October) ​

    First-time conference attendee? Check out our tips on how to effectively prepare for these conferences here.

    While the internship is SMD's main talent pipeline, there may be opportunities to recruit for full-time roles. Internship positions will be posted as early as December. Full-time positions will be posted as early as September. Search key words “Strategy and Marketing Development” here.​

    Successful SMD candidates possess a demonstrated track record in the following areas:​

    • Proven leadership experience​
    • Strong project management skills ​
    • Global business acumen ​
    • Relevant functional experience ​
    • Comfort managing ambiguity ​
    • Ability to structure and execute on qualitative and quantitative analysis​
    • Strong interpersonal, written and oral communication skills​
    • Self-driven, motivated and able to work collaboratively​


  • David Otero, business development strategist and former SMD program participant

    "I loved both of my projects because I was able to interact directly with the people who use our products. It was extremely powerful to learn how we are impacting our customers’ lives." David Otero, business development strategist and former SMDer

Future Opportunities

  • Chrissy Bell, global business manager and former SMD program participant

    "I was able to learn the tools that full-time employees use during the SMD program, as well as bring new tools into the organization that I learned in business school and from previous experiences. By being in the program, you have people that want to hear your perspective and value your opinion." Chrissy Bell, global business manager and former SMDer


  • Brian Coleman, environmental stewardship manager and former SMD program participant

    "In the SMD program, you are a part of the company that you are consulting for. That means that you are more tied to the results of your work and can see if things are implemented. It’s much more fulfilling work in my opinion." Brian Coleman, environmental stewardship manager and former SMDer

Learn how your skills might be a fit at 3M.