Entering business school, I wanted to pursue a career that would help me develop as a leader. I had always thought of GE as a bastion of leadership. You just have to walk through your local book store and you will find the business section littered with books about the GE way, or the greatness of Jack Welsh. Pick up a copy of Forbes and you will find GE ranked among the world’s most admired brands, and listed among the top companies for leadership. GE is certainly on most people’s radar entering school, and most definitely was on mine.
As much as I knew and admired the GE brand, I did not become aware of the opportunities at GE until I attended the GE ECLP case competition. I was lucky enough to represent the University of Michigan Ross School of Business at the Midwest Regional in Chicago. The competition was engaging and did a great job of highlighting the value of GE products to global innovation and development. The question revolved around solutions that would benefit Brazil with its healthcare, energy, or transportation infrastructure prior to the country hosting the upcoming Olympics and World Cup. The research our team did prior to the competition raised my awareness about important GE solutions, i.e. smart meters, rural health initiatives, and solar products.
Aside from the case being interesting, the competition provided an opportunity to meet current and former ECLPs from throughout the organization. I was really attracted to the diversity of experiences and opportunities available at GE and the responsibility given to ECLP participants. One ECLP I spoke to was charged with getting an initiative off the ground in South Africa. Another was in a business development role within Commercial Real Estate at GE Capital. There were even more senior leadership members available to discuss projects with. I spoke to the Chief Economist of GE Healthcare about his organization and their role in supporting the growth of the business by communicating the efficacy of GE products to regulators and insurers.
The case competition raised my interest in the program, and I have been very excited about the opportunity ever since. I came back to Michigan smitten with the ECLP program and a role with GE. My only complaint about the process is that after the case competition I had to wait more than a few months before I could interview formally. On more than one occasion I had friends and family tell me “enough already about GE!”