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Featured ECLP Alumni: Elizabeth Kurfess ... thoughts on Sponsorship

Elizabeth Kurfess, Director of Strategic Consumer Partnerships (GE Ventures)I have multiple supporters, some that I actively cultivated and some that developed more naturally. I think of them as my Board of Directors … they help me guide my strategic direction with an objective view as to what is best at a macro level. Sometimes they present opportunities to me because they know me, my strengths, my development needs, and my passions. And they give me feedback … positive and negative.

“I guess I believe in ‘supportership’ more than ‘sponsorship’…”

The term sponsorship does not really resonate with me, so I looked up the definition: “one who assumes responsibility for another person or a group during a period of instruction, apprenticeship, or probation.” I personally believe in taking responsibility for one’s self, but I know and appreciate that I have obtained some of my best roles (including the one I am currently in) due to my network of supporters.

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MBA Grads Critical to General Electric’s Growth

The Director of GE’s prestigious Experienced Commercial Leadership Programme tells us how MBAs are helping to lead the firm into the future.

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GE ECLP Recruiting Webinar - MENAT Region

GE ECLP has opportunities for high potential candidates for commercial roles in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region!

Please join the webinar on Thursday, March 19th, 2015 to learn more about exciting career opportunities with GE ECLP: 

Date: Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Time: 16:00 pm, Arabian Time (Abu Dhabi, Muscat, GMT+04:00).
Duration:  1 hour
Link to Webinar
Link to PDF 

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Joining the ECLP ...

Who: Scott Peever, ECLP class of 2017, Power & Water, Canada

School: Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, MBA 2015

Scott Peever: From the ski slopes to the ECLP (incoming P&W class of 2017)


I have been somehow connected with GE for most of my career, from optimizing GE water treatment equipment as a Process Engineer with Suncor Energy, to considering GE as a potential acquirer of cleantech startups as a Summer Associate with Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital. Yet, I didn’t consider joining GE until about half way through my MBA.

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Meet Ian Forrest: General Manager of Commercial Sales & Marketing 

Ian Forrest, General Manager of Commercial Sales & Marketing at Corporate, oversees the program and is responsible for its vision, strategy, and structure. Ian wants you to be successful and shared with us how he would approach the program if he were an ECLP.

In his own words, if Ian were an ECLP he would:

1.       Learn. Learn. Learn.

The first is a realization is I’m here to learn.  Most of our ECLPs are new to the company and so you not only have to learn a business, a marketplace, a region, but you also have to learn a culture. It’s probably something we don’t spend enough time on but if I were an ECLP, I would be deliberately thinking about this.

2.       Find Work that Matters.

Think about things that are important to the company and what I’m working on and be able to make a connection between the two. Try to work on things that are as close to that mission as possible. It’s not always the case that you can but I’d want to try to do that to the greatest extent possible.

3.       Work with Great People.

I would really focus on finding great people to work for and to work with. Look for people who are not only going to try and develop you through the assignments that they lead and the projects that they have you working on but also help you up the learning curve by giving you exposure to the business and the leadership that you wouldn’t necessarily have. 

Contribution by Anne Wu

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Day 5: Ending on a Strong Note ... with Customer Visits

The final day was capped off with a visit to the GE Technology Park in Shanghai.

Followed up with 3 unique customer visits:

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Day 4: Olympic Performance In The Workplace: A Day With Two Olympians

On Thursday the ECLP crowd at the Shanghai commercial conference was in for a treat as @Steve_Backley and @RogerBlack400, former British Olympians, pushed us to all think about how we too can achieve our own version of Olympic performance in our careers. Bottom line: it takes hard work, clarity, dedication, toughness, and above all – passion for what you do.

Olympians Steve Backley (L) and Roger Black (R) take a ‘snap’ with ECLP Christina Waters.Facilitated by Paul Mallinson, Team @BackleyBlack walked us through their Five Performance Traits for personal effectiveness and success.

  1. Find Your Passion
  2. Create Empowering Beliefs
  3. Power Through Clarity
  4. Surround Yourself With Talent
  5. Deliver Your Maximum

ECLPs, as well as anyone in the 5-10 year range of their career, work in rapidly changing business environments wherein performance is pushed to reach ever-higher heights.

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Day 3: Getting Back to Listening - The Art of #SocialSelling

On Wednesday, @Jill_Rowley spoke to several hundred ECLPs from around the world in Shanghai to discuss #SocialSelling – on why it is crucial for everyone to use social media to market and sell to the modern buyer.

But what can a room full of millennials learn about using social media?  Didn’t we invent this global phenomenon?

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Day 2: It's All About Trust

Professor Juliet Zhu took the ECLPs to ‘school’ on marketing and consumer behavior in China On Tuesday’s morning, Rui (Juliet) Zhu, Professor of Marketing at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China brought an impressive speech about the landscape of Chinese marketing and consumers. As an expert of consumer behaviors and brand management, Professor Zhu analyzed traits of the Chinese consumer and how merchants win in this unique environment. 

A few highlights that resonated with me during her speech:

It’s All About Trust …

Trust is a critical component to doing business in China and it is a heightened challenge for an e-business.

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Day 1: Arrogance doesn't work – Curiosity & Listening to our customers drives growth

After 6 months of anticipation, Shanghai conference was finally here! Time passes so quickly in our rotations that it seemed like yesterday that we were all in Greenwich, CT, so it was great to catch up with our peers, learn about their work, and share travel stories.

Ryan Wheeler: Exploring the Humble Administrator’s Garden (a little cold and jet-lagged) in SuzhouAfter reuniting with everyone on Sunday, we had the pleasure to hear from Ian Forrest, John Rice, and Penny Shone on Monday. All three had impactful messages, but John Rice’s stood out:

  • Don’t be arrogantwe don’t always know what’s right for our customers, and have to be willing to listen to their pain, the way they make money, and the way they interact with GE. Actually listening and responding to their needs (not just adding features, performance, etc.) is crucial for GE to maintain our customer relationships and grow our business.

A few other highlights from Monday’s speakers:

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