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Wednesday
May142014

Unexpected turn of events…

My second attempt at writing a blog, I begin toying with the idea that perhaps I should provide some information useful to other CLPs beyond the immediate short term humor I hopefully provided last time (my last blog was regarding TV series). My thoughts linger on recent events, and take a turn to perhaps divulge some key information that may prove to be instructive and comforting if reoccurrence of these proceedings were to happen to another CLP associate. 

The year was 2014 and I had experienced change at its best in GE Oil & Gas. Coming to an end of a full rotation (my first), I felt the pressures of wondering whether submitting my project on time was going to be a truly realistic and achievable goal. My first rotation was with a team of five (5) x individuals serving as the ITO team in Subsea Services in Australia. Already knowledgeable that one of our members decided to leave and take up an offer she/he couldn’t refuse; our team was down to four (4) x competent individuals all mourning the loss of a great team member. However, as we all learn, GE marches on and harsh words are struck and ring on the ears of the remaining crew: “no individual is indispensable”. Not sure how much of this is the aftermath of Jack Welch, however, it is ingrained in the culture that although GE relies on the people to get things done (due to lack of processes), we rally on even in their absence.

To an extent all of this was kind of senseless, no relevance in everyday duties, and I continued learning and contributing to the team as if nothing had changed – I was not experiencing anything that I didn’t expect or did expect since I was new. My thoughts, this is the process, this is how things work at GE.

Unsure of so many things, as we all are in a new environment, there is no formal process in place for everything (maybe some things). To my surprise, new revelations came to light when I arrived at the office one day, completely startled to hear that my assignment leader had just resigned, and luckily for me, right at the end of my rotation. This proved a challenging task. The new requirement was to quickly find a new temporary assignment leader to help out with end of rotation EMS close outs (not that I knew I had to find a new assignment leader, just what I had gathered). With a freeze on headcount, our team was down from five (5) to two (2), and the potential for people to focus on EMS was at its lowest. Work did come to a stand-still as much as we dislike or refuse to admit it – my assignment leader was a key player in the whole team. Of course, being GE, it was only for a couple of hours, till team members stepped up and meetings were held, new ideas were formed, new processes were discussed and agreed.

As a meeting with Visal Leng, Senior Executive GE Oil & Gas Asia Pacific Region, proved my first instincts, you cannot expect to have all the information provided to you and there is definitely times where you will need to figure out your own process. There will be situations that arise where no-one tells you what to do or what is required... you have to find that out on your own. GE offers positions where no manual is provided, but in the end, the positive message is that a lack of instruction means a lack of restrictions on what you want to do and how you want to contribute to GE. And that sums up opportunity right there, you can push yourself in the various directions that you wish. The option is there for you to grow where, how, and in what you want.

 

Written by: Castaldi Meili (O&G, AUS)

Sunday
Apr132014

Make the decision to retire a millionaire today

*Disclaimer:  I am simply sharing the actions I have taken in my own life, and how an outstanding GE career accompanied by some investment real estate can transform your life!

Ask 10 people on the street what “Cash Flow” is and it is likely 10 people won’t have a clue. That’s why none of them are millionaires.

Cash Flow, of course, is the tide of money that flows in and out of your financial life. When you have more money going out the door than coming in, you have the average debt-burdened American.

To be rich you need POSITIVE CASH FLOW, the 3 most powerful words in the English language (or any other language you translate it into.)

“Positive” cash flow means you are just the opposite of the average American: you have more money coming in than going out. Reaching this point was the definitive game changer in my life. You ought to write “Positive Cash Flow” on your bathroom mirror because this is the ultimate prize. It sets you free.

Now if you’re job brings in more money than you need, that’s great. However you are still trading dollars for YOUR hours. With real estate, the cash comes in whether you work or not.

Here’s how positive cash flow creates effortless wealth with real estate…

Say a tenant pays $1,100 a month in rent for Unit 101. And this unit’s share of the mortgage and other building expenses is $600 a month. That’s gives you $500 a month in positive cash flow. You’re making $500 while the tenant pays off every penny of your investment.

Multiply $500 by every unit you own… a 3-unit building gives you $1,500 a month is extra cash… a 6-unit gives you $3,000. Life is good.

The money doesn’t end here. Your building is increasing in value. And there are big tax benefits. I hope you’re starting to see why owning an apartment building is better than a goldmine. During the Gold Rush days more than 99.99% of the prospectors went bust. But the entrepreneurs who sold them picks and shovels made millions. They had tapped into the real Mother Load: cash flow.

I want you to be the rich young professional offering a basic service everyone needs: a roof over their heads. It’s a great trade off… you provide people with a place to live… and they provide you with Total Financial Security.

I am happy to answer questions you may have regarding real estate; at a minimum, it’s a terrific way to beef up your retirement, while excelling your career at GE.

Written by: Corey Kendig (Transportation / Erie, PA, USA)

corey.kendig@gmail.com

Sunday
Mar232014

CLP … broaden your experience

I joined GE as a Business graduate from Cardiff University, looking to build a career in Financial Services. Following a challenging but enjoyable 5 years at GE Capital, working in different Commercial roles within our Equipment Finance UK business and the Capital EMEA HQ Commercial Excellence team, I joined the Commercial Leadership Program in July’2013.

In GE it’s important to be confident in your own abilities, and start developing your skills in advance of when they might be needed. I had heard people talk about ‘owning your career’, and over the last few years this has been my philosophy (and its paid off!). I took the role in HQ Commercial Excellence, which pushed me completely out of my comfort zone, gave me broader exposure to different leaders, and work with people from different cultures. It was during this time that I first became aware of GE’s leadership programs, so I made the effort to spend time with people ‘on program’, understand what the benefits are of leadership programs, and whether this was something I would be interested in

The CLP (as affectionately known) is a 24 month program that is designed to develop the Commercial and Marketing skills of an individual through a strong core curriculum of training and challenging assignments. I will be undertaking three very varied 8 month rotations within different GE Capital UK business, as well as attending valuable training courses, and gaining exposure to experienced Commercial mentors. The program is designed to help accelerate my career and develop talent to be future Sales Leaders, General Managers, P&L Leaders and CCO’s within GE.

My first rotation is within the Risk/Underwriting department of the GE Capital UK Corporate Lending team, supporting the team throughout the deal underwriting and execution processes. My tasks have included working on detailed credit documents with the Senior underwriters, preparing detailed Collateral analysis, analyzing business financials and meeting face to face with prospective customers to understand the strategic plans for their business. Whilst I have also had the opportunity to work on and run some strategic projects across the Commercial lending business to ensure we have simplified process to enable us to attain our goal to “grow and be safe and secure”.

For me, the benefits of CLP are clear; it provides me with exposure to senior leaders, significant development and the opportunity of an accelerated career path…..if you think you might be interested in one of GE’s leadership programs, make the time to find out about them….its hard work, but worth the effort! Whilst broadly speaking it is a very exciting moment to be on the CLP now as APAC and EMEA are merged together as GE Capital International Cap International and we look towards further growth in ‘14.

Written by: Simon Hoskins (GE Capital/ United Kingdom)

Wednesday
Mar052014

Travelling: Food + People + Culture = A good fattening life experience!

Travelling is often a very interesting activity to do, whether it’s solo travelling, backpacking or even via tour packages. Being an avid traveler myself, my all-time favorite way of travelling is backpacking with my friends.

Why travel? I can use the money for savings, say some. But there are certain things in life that money can’t buy, one of it is EXPERIENCE. By going places, we would open up our mind to exploring new experiences ranging from cultural differences to delicious food. FOOD is something that I will not miss when I travel. I recall trying “exotic” food like Balut (duck embryo that is boiled and eaten in the shell) which is a hot delicacy in the Philippines.

Not to mention, for all you spicy food lovers, Indonesia has a lot to offer particularly in the Java Islands where their famous “sambal” can bring tears to your eyes, but you will never stop.

Here are some tips that will be very useful if you plan to travel (backpacking):

  1. PLAN your trip. You can save $$$ by planning ahead. In the era where flying can sometimes be way cheaper than taking coach, ferry and etc, budget airlines has got a lot to offer. Lookout for cheap fares from Ryan Air, Air Asia and other budget airlines.
  2. Utilize websites which offers cheap accommodation packages like agoda.com and booking.com. If you are backpacking traveler, you will realize that most of your time is spent on the move exploring places. So places like backpacker’s lodge will give you a good value for your money and if you are lucky, you can save up to 80%!
  3. Be Prepared: Study the culture and understand how to be safe. This will help you to be alert of your surroundings and always keep an eye on your belongings. Keep the embassy’s number with you just in case you need it. Watch out for the rain if you are planning to head to Asian countries. Bringing a “poncho” with you is highly recommended.
  4. Stay healthy, stay hydrated: Some countries can be really hot during summer and throughout the year. It is important to stay hydrated and bring a bottle of mineral water with you. Also, if you have medical condition like Asthma, be sure to carry your inhaler with you.
  5. Respect: Respect the local culture wherever you go. In places like Malaysia for example, it is important that you take off your shoes before you enter the house and there are many other cultures that you may find very different from what you normally see. Avoid getting into any kind of trouble with the locals, and say thank you as a simple “thank you” from you will bring a big smile to their face.
  6. Spend less on shopping, spend more on exploring : I know a lot of us cant resists the urge to shop particularly some fancy souvenirs when we travel, but if you are on a budget travel reconsider your shopping plan. Shopping too much not only adds your bag weight, but also drills a hole in your wallet!
  7. Wifi : Gone were the days when we have to either switch on our expensive telco roaming or get a local simcard to call back home. Nowadays, you just need a smartphone, some good apps and a hotel/lodge with WIFI. Apps like Viber, Skype, and LINE does the trick!

Last but not least, BARGAIN! You will be surprised on how much you can save by bargaining. Some things are just overpriced because tourists come and go, but your bargaining skills will tell you how far you can go. This is something I have been trying to improve on as well.

I hope the tips above will be helpful and happy travelling!

Written by: Pravin Nair (GE O&G/ Newcastle, UK)

Wednesday
Feb192014

A Rotation in a GE Hub: Houston, TX

When I found out that I was moving to Houston for a rotation, my first thoughts were to become immersed in as much American culture as possible, especially with all things Houstonian and Texan. After some research, I found out that Houston is the 4th largest city in the US (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are bigger since I knew you were all curious), that Houston is also the O&G pole of the country, that it is known as the largest group of healthcare institutions worldwide, and of course “Houston, we have a problem” – it’s home for the NASA Mission Control Center. Boots, cowboys, guns, the southwest feeling, and a touch of Mexico… All things that make Texas Texas!

From my experiences, I've found all of these things to be true. All of usual aside, I also learned that Houston has many museums, is a very young city (with many of those being professionals in O&G), has Latin American culture everywhere with typical grocery stores and “taco trucks” on many corners, as well as terribly annoying traffic.

Walmart, outlets, the car-culture, big families, red velvet cupcakes, churches, war veterans begging for money in the streets, trucks… All these American dreams (or nightmares) are here.

What I didn’t know was that it wouldn’t be just an American experience but also a very international one. Since the biggest energy and O&G companies in the world are centralized in Houston, it’s a common location for expats and of course, CLP rotations. I was able to meet people from all around the world: India, Canada, Russia, Spain, Algeria, various South and Central American countries, China, etc.

Florence is another popular location for O&G rotational programs, and in a short while London will be as well since we’re moving headquarters there.

Let’s take this opportunity to learn more about “GE geography”: Where else do we see these hubs in GE?

Written by: Fernanda Danielle Rodrigues (Oil & Gas / São Paulo, SP, Brazil)