Top MBA Recruiters: General Electric

General Electric logo

In an age of start-up culture and hip, millennial driven neo-corporate American companies like Google and Facebook, General Electric (GE) has become a bit of an afterthought in the minds of some younger business students and MBA candidates. And that’s a shame, really: This is the company that Edison founded, and one that helped launch radio and television, propelled airplanes into the sky and rocketed astronauts into space. GE innovated everyday items such as the refrigerator, dishwasher, toaster, washing machine, and air-conditioners, as well as complex machinery that saved lives and won wars, such as x-ray machines, radar, lasers, nuclear power, plastics, and fiber optic cables. Point is, if innovation is your thing, GE is right up your alley.

GE is No. 8 in Diversity MBA Magazine’s 2015 rankings for 50 Out Front Companies for Diversity Leadership: Best Places for Women & Diverse Managers to Work. GE is also recognized in Glassdoor’s Top 10 Best in Class Category for: Recruitment, Succession Planning and Board Diversity. This is a significant recognition that showcases GE’s long-standing commitment to inclusive diversity as a corporate leader.

What does it take to work at General Electric?

According to Steve Canale, a manager of recruiting and staffing services at GE, the company is “looking for individuals with high integrity, intelligence and energy.” Like most companies hiring MBAs, leadership is an important quality to exhibit.

As for past schooling, GE is looking for candidates with technical undergraduate degrees, particularly those who have experience applying those skills before completing their MBA.

Experience in analytics and database decision-making is also a plus. As we’ve mentioned in past articles, the need for data specialists has greatly increased. Gartner, a technology advisory group, estimates that big data created 4.4 million jobs last year.

How can I get a job at General Electric?

Like many companies, applying for an internship at GE is often the best way for an MBA to end up with a full-time job at the company. They are test runs for companies — a three-month trial where graduate students gain real-world experience by working on major projects with paid professionals in actual industries. If you succeed in your internship responsibilities, projects and goals, there’s a good chance you’ll be rewarded with a job.

Last year, the company brought in 3,200 undergraduate and graduate interns, with 70 percent to 80 percent of its hires coming from the internship ranks. Approximately half of the company’s MBA interns are ultimately hired by GE.

GE selects all of its summer interns during the fall. In a recent post, we outlined a few different ways to find an internship, including:

  • On-campus career fairs and networking events: These types of events offer students the opportunity to meet potential networking contacts.
  • Former colleagues, fellow students and MBA alumni: Contacting someone with a shared background or interest can get you great internship leads. What internship did they apply for when they were in your shoes? Could they help introduce you to their former supervisor? What was the interview process like? Inside information like this can give you an advantage over the competition.
  • Career Services: Business schools are creating new internship opportunities for their students. In fact, Yale University recently spent $100,000 creating in-house internships. This makes sense: your school needs you to succeed. Lean on the career-services folks at your school to help you with whatever you need.
  • The Internet: There are plenty of websites that list internship opportunities of all varieties.

If you have the opportunity to attend an on campus career fair, be sure to seek out the GE table. Strike up a conversation with whoever is there, all face-to-face time with an admissions representative is a good thing.

What’s a General Electric internship look like?

If you’re looking to take the next step in your career and think GE is the place to do it, the company’s Experienced Commercial Leadership Program (ECLP) could be the stepping-stone you’re looking for. According to GE, to apply for the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program, you’ll need:

  • An MBA/post graduate degree with sales and/or marketing experience.
  • Demonstrated leadership, communication and analytical skills.
  • Expertise that is aligned with a particular GE business.
  • Willingness to travel anywhere in Australia.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Unrestricted work authorization.

The ECLP is a two-year rotational program designed to develop sales, marketing, strategy, and leadership skills. ECLP gives you the opportunity to differentiate and accelerate your career through exposure to senior leadership, working on high impact assignments and access to world-class marketing and leadership training.

The two-year program includes:

  • International training. Held in a range of locations, this training is designed to help you develop key marketing and sales capabilities, and strengthen your leadership skills.
  • Leadership opportunities. You will have the chance to help shape the direction of the program itself by assuming significant leadership responsibility. You will also have the chance to lead change initiatives within GE, in a wide range of areas.
  • Evaluation. Every four months, to help gauge your development, you will be required to complete a self-assessment, and be evaluated by your rotation assignment leader and Business Program Manager. This also helps you reflect on your accomplishments, development needs and career interests.
  • Committee participation. All program members are encouraged to engage in committee participation – to improve your profile within the business, and your interaction with other senior business leaders.

And involves the following:

  • Three high-impact sessions (each of eight months) in a sub-business of GE.
  • A comprehensive, four-week global training curriculum.
  • Two commercial excellence projects – designed to help you grow your leadership abilities and develop commercially relevant skills.
  • Opportunities to participate in and lead community engagement programs.
  • Exposure to senior leaders and other ECLPs through conferences, committee work and projects.

Many of the individuals who complete the ECLP program have been hired into industries such as energy, transportation, oil and gas, and capital. GE does most of its hiring for summer associates in the fall, so don’t wait until the spring.

So why should I be excited about working at General Electric?

That’s the easiest question to answer. GE is a company that’s saving 3,000 lives a day with its groundbreaking medical innovations, and they are responsible for the engines that launch an aircraft every two seconds. GE is a large, diverse company that does many things in so many industries. If you’re looking for an opportunity to contribute to the next century of human innovation, think General Electric.

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About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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