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Entries by [CLP Blog] (111)

Wednesday
Oct292014

"Routines"

As I look back on my ~18 months on program, a few things that I’ve learned stand out – how to work well inside the giant that is GE, project management across multiple teams, the value of networking, patience and the importance of having routines. The CLP program gives you the opportunity to move out of your hometown and to temporarily move your entire life is an amazing experience. But no matter who you are, moving brings stress, anxiety and challenges your comfort levels. With so much to organise to actually do the move, just enough time to settle into your role and then to prepare for another move, you find 6 months flies by pretty quickly. Throw in some extra work trips between the moves and you quickly lose that stability that we love.

Human beings love routine, we’re wired to enjoyed them because our brains like being efficient. Routines can help you beat stress and many successful people routinely do a number of things before their work day begins. Routines bring comfort and security because we know what to expect. Successfully executing a routine also feels like a small victory each time. We become experts at our routines and that can prevent making mistakes.

When you arrive at your new role on program, you need to spend time learning new faces, making connections and working on the goals that have been set. Now, throw in apartment hunting, finding a new gym, trips to the embassy for a visa, endless administrative paperwork, multiple tax filings, and no longer knowing where the best grocery stores are, and your routine can quickly go out the window. You start to have a few sleepless nights, probably get a little grouchy and don’t quite feel yourself. It’s at this point when you must make sure you have some go-to routines to help you relax through the craziness that is moving.

My favourite and most consistent is taking a morning walk/jog. There are very few places you can’t execute this routine. It wakes you up, gives you a chance to see your area and makes you feel great for the rest of the day. The familiarity of this will quickly ease any anxiety you might have and support you in your new location. Other popular routines are as simple as reading the morning news, having a tea/coffee at a certain time each day, watching a TV show at a certain time, going out for dinner on a particular day of the week or routinely phoning home.

So if you’re about to move or have moved and you’re wondering why you’re not enjoying it, develop a routine that isn’t bound by location. It could be the difference between loving your travel experience or feeling completely overwhelmed by it. Feel free to share any routines you have that have worked for you!

Written by: Andrew Polasek (Oil & Gas/Johannesburg, ZA) 

Monday
Aug182014

International Traveling Tips!

Hey guys!

The 2014 CLP Global Summit is coming up, and it seems like everyone is planning on exploring China or the nearby countries either before or after summit.

The first thing that needs to be done to get ready for traveling is to make sure all of your papers are in order. Make sure your local ID is up to date with your current address and that it is not expiring within a month or two of your trip. Most foreigners will need a visa to enter China, and Meili has taken some time to write a nice post regarding the visa application process here.

It’ll probably be difficult to communicate with each other in China since most of us won’t want to pay for international roaming, but there are many ways around that. One of the most popular messaging apps, WhatsApp, uses data to send messages so you can use it anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. It automatically detects which of your contacts currently have a WhatsApp account and lets you chat with people from all over the world for free. Other great apps for messaging are Viber, Kik, and Telegram. They all provide similar features, and Viber will let you call people over the internet as well.

If you’re planning on driving at all while outside of your home country, don’t forget to try to get an international driving license. They’re generally pretty cheap and can be gotten through your local auto club or insurance company. Some places in Asia may let you by with your local driver’s license, but most will request an international driver’s license. Also, be sure you know how to drive a manual/standard/stick car before trying to rent a car in Asia, and try to book your car in advance through a travel website such as Kayak for better deals.

For traveling in between cities in China there’s a great railway system, and in between Shanghai and Beijing, there’s a high speed rail that takes about 5 hours to get from one city to the other. You can book tickets a few weeks in advance here, and here’s a fairly comprehensive train schedule with prices.

If you need to fly, any type of travel website will help you find cheap flights. My favorite by far is CheapOAir since I generally will find the lowest prices on there. Most airlines in Asia don’t charge you to check bags, and while there is no limit to the number of bags you can have, they usually have a maximum weight limit of around 20kg or 44lbs.

While you are looking for lodging in China, don't forget you have many other options outside of expensive hotels. Airbnb is a great place that offers cheaper options through locals that are renting out their properties for much lower rates than hotels. It's also a great opportunity to meet the locals and get their advice on what the must see places are! Hostel World is also a great place to search for cheaper lodging as well. Couchsurfing is a great community where you can meet up with locals in most cities around the world, attend events in those cities, and possibly even stay with locals for free. I've had a lot of experiences with Couchsurfing in multiple countries, and the people I've met through it are some of the best people I know.

Once you’ve finalized your travel plans, don’t forget to post them on the Colab page so people can meet up while traveling!

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions during your trip planning process.

Written by: Yifei Li (Oil & Gas/Houston, TX)

Tuesday
Jul222014

First global CLP summit will be in Shanghai this year!

The 1st CLP global summit will be in Shanghai, China this year and it’s scheduled in September. It’s such an exciting event to be in a small earth village. CLPs from all over the world will be gathered together to enjoy the 5-day training.

Recently CLP digital tools team initiated a discussion on linkedin to ask CLPs to describe the reason why they want to be on board in 3 words. We received a very warm feedback. Among all the diverse and genuine answers, we see the word “training” and “networking” are mentioned most. This year’s CLP summit is a perfect time to combine training and network at the same time. We can both strengthen our ability and expand our connections with CLPs from other countries. Even though we all in commercial functions, our roles are quite different. We have CLPs in commercial operations, engineering, sales, marketing, OTR etc. Just thinking about the diversity and experience sharing has already made it a memorable event. Plus these CLPs are from all over the world, speaking different
languages and having different cultural background. Isn’t it great?!

Shanghai is one of the most convenient and vivid city in China. For foreigners you won’t even feel lonely walking around in the street. Night Shanghai is the most beautiful time of the day. Like any other big cities in the world, Shanghai has modern and fashion elements everywhere. While unlike these cities, Shanghai has her unique side. There is a river running through the whole city and naturally divides it into 2 parts, the east and the west. The west part of shanghai is more of an old traditional lady with stories to tell, while the west is more like a young, energetic girl enjoys herself in an international environment.

Beijing is another cool city in China. It enjoys so many years of history for being the oldest capital city in the world and so many traditional buildings. It is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies, while Shanghia is home to the headquarters of most of foreign companies. Guess that’s why our GE China’s headquarter located in Shanghai. CLP Digital tools team will share more shanghai & China’s stories and even will teach some Chinese words on our Facebook page. Please go and check it! If you have any questions about the summit, the location etc, just leave your message on our facebook page!

Last time when we had CLP summit in Shanghai, even though there are only CLPs from Asia, Europe & Africa, the summit is already unforgettable. I believe this time it’ll be even more interesting and great. Looking forward to it!

Written by: Jessica Cheng (GGO/Shanghai, China)

Friday
May302014

GREAT CHALLENGES OUT OF COMFORT ZONE

“Out of comfort zone” - every time I hear this expression I start smiling.

If I look back to my career path since I joined GE, I see a continuous numbers of requests that sound like “Annie, it’s imperative for you to continue to take on challenges and push yourself outside your comfort zone!” and I always ask to myself “Is really that point such important for my career development?” But –honestly- it was anything but clear that each and every step, each and every “pushing”, has been a pillar for my development.

1st PUSHING - I joined GE in 2011 as a Commercial Support for Equipment Finance. My previous job-experience was in the Marketing field, so it was such a huge challenge for me to start leveraging my skills in Financial Services! I supported all the businesses within Equipment Financing - IT, Office, NAR, Healthcare…, with the aim of increasing and maximizing Partners satisfaction by efficiently managing and resolving their requests (early terminations, relocations and lease-end management).

2nd PUSHING - After 6 months I was asked to support Healthcare Financial Services team, and since the beginning the question was “how can I support this kind of business? I got used to a flow-business and HFS is a structured one”. I had the opportunity to stay close to HFS Account Managers and Segment Leader, deepening into each commercial transaction, and I immediately understand that I had the desire to deepen my knowledge in commercial and structured transactions. 

3rd PUSHING – In October I had the opportunity to replace HFS Account Manager during her maternity leave. Useless to say how I felt it an enormous challenge. Completely (here we go again!) out of my comfort zone. This opportunity allowed me to start working side by side with Customers and Partners. I managed the relationships with GE Healthcare and I start managing structured deals… and I immediately understood that it was kind of…electrifying me. When the AM came back I was asked to definitely skip into a Sales role in HFS and this was the first great opportunity for me to face with “authentic” sales job and targets. Definitely awesome.

4/5th PUSHING - In Q1 2013 I was asked to stretch my experience again… and I moved in Capital Markets, firstly as a Sales Representative – from July as a CLP member. So far, I can definitely say it has been the most challenging “pushing” of my career in GE. Because it gave me the opportunity to really understand first-hand the GE SLT 2013 imperatives: Customer focus and Simplification

And it is worthy of a separate paragraph J

These are 3 takeaways from my 1st CLP Rotation:

- GROW WITH THEM. Where them means Customers.  As I was saying, at the beginning of the year I was asked to follow and develop two relationships that in the previous year were completely passive. In 2012 they generated € 8MM together. I start working hard with them, trying to follow the challenge that GEC SLT give us at the beginning of the year: customer focus, customer alignment. Thus, I start reshaping the relationship, letting feel them that I was there to help them growth. I worked hard on reviewing the contact strategy: more calls and f2f meetings to understand their needs; reports, analytics and pipeline reviews to maximize business opportunities. And the output was amazing: doubled CV & Volume results vs previous year.

 

- MAKE IT SIMPLE... TOGETHER. The other 2013 GE imperative was simplification. When I joined Capital Markets team I was impressed on how much work on that point could be done. For that reason I started working on some projects with the aim of simplifying processes. And I added the word together because I realized that this process it’s not possible without the participation of each and every function. I would also like to underline the engine of these simplification processes: the Customer. Every action was about bringing the customer advocacy point into the business.

 

- STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE, THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. In my platform almost every process is designed on a flow business structure. Thus, it has been a huge challenge to work in the Capital Markets team, where anything could be taken for granted. Neither the processes, nor the relationships. For that reason we decided to start working on that point, pretending for our processes the same excellence we had for the flow business. And this initiative started from writing a Commercial Operation SOP and from organizing some internal meetings to let our colleagues know each and every detail of our daily job and reshaping together our business. It was incredible to realize how could be powerful working together with passion and persistence. This could not bring anything but excellence.

 

Oh… I forgot… 6th CHALLENGE: 2nd CLP Rotation in Risk…this is COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone… I’ll keep you updated ;)

 

Written By: Annalisa Valerin (GE Capital, Italy)

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)