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Experiencing Both Sides of Recruiting

This past week has been quite a whirlwind! I just came back from campus recruiting last night, where I spent some time meeting prospective CLP candidates at my alma matar, Boston University. I was joined by the Capital CLP Program Manager, Melissa Schoennagel, and two summer interns and current BU seniors, Pooja Sahani and Cindy Szeflinski who were both extended full time offers. We kicked things off with an info session where Melissa presented the program and highlighted candidate criteria and the application process. Following that, Pooja, Cindy and myself spoke about our experience with CLP and answered student questions. The BU students were very engaged and wanted to discuss a full range of topics, everything from life at GE to program specifics, relocation assignments and the transition from school to working. We wrapped things up with a one hour networking reception where students spoke with the GE team one-on-one to learn a bit more about what we did.

Although I graduated in May of 2012, I’m still not using to calling myself an “alum.” It was so strange to be on the other side of recruiting, since I have such vivid memories of attending career fairs and info sessions from not so long ago. I had grown accustomed to asking alumni for career advice when I was still a student and it was surreal being the one offering guidance now. However, getting back in the classroom allowed me to reflect a bit on how I’ve changed since graduation, and although I miss waking up at noon on Fridays, I have absolutely no desire to relive those all night study sessions. Overall, I had a blast catching up with professors and old friends and it’s great to meet current students who are interested in a career at GE.

Go Terriers!

Written by: Surbi Luhadia (Capital - Real Estate / New York City, NY, USA)


I was thrilled to learn about the opportunity to ...

I was thrilled to learn about the opportunity to tour the GRC. I have been living in Schenectady, NY working for P&W for the last year and have been over to the GRC numerous times for volunteering events. However, they really don’t let you past the cafeteria when you’re in your purple “GE Volunteers” shirt.

My rotations have been aligned to the wind business. Although we were not touring any of the wind specific labs, I was excited to see if there were any technologies being developed in these other labs that could also be implemented into a wind turbine power generation system.

Our first stop on the tour was at the Dual Cool Jets lab. This was extremely interesting technology that could be scaled up or down for various applications. A synthetic jet is created through applying voltage across to piezoelectric plates that are sealed on 3 sides with steel plates.  When voltage is applied to a piezoelectric material it expands and contracts. This allows movement of air creating a billowing or breathing effect that pulls in cool air from the room and exhales hot air. This equates to a synthetic jet. 

The application that the team was working on was specific to LED lights. By using the synthetic jets the tea, was able to reduce the number of LED’s needed leading to a cost decrease by a factor of 2 all while increasing brightness by a factor of 3. Talk about efficiency!  The team is also in talks with tech companies to license this technology in both laptops and mobile devices such as, tablets.

Next, we stopped at the Active Flow Control lab. This will change how you think about every flight you will ever take again. When taking off or landing in a plane the flow of air creates an angle of attack. Currently, you will see vortex generators on the wings of planes to control the airflow and adjust the angle of attack. Vortex generators are a passive system. Dr. Saddoughi’s team was working on active systems also using piezoelectric based solutions. These billowing systems act in the same way as described in our Dual Cool Jets lab tour reducing or preventing formation of drag, however they are scaled up.  They have been developing these synthetic jets for 10 years trying to understand how thick and large the plates need to be. Currently, they are using 5 layers of material. They have run one for 1 year straight and had another run for only two hours. So they still have some development to do in order to understand failure. This is a great solution to control the airflow however, it is very loud. We even had to wear big headphones while the system was running.

The final lab we visited was the Additive Technology lab. This is a lab I think most people of our generation are familiar with … 3D printing. However, the Maker Bot was old news here. The Maker Bot utilized plastics to make models, but cannot be used in industrial applications for much more. The ceramic and metal 3D printers add much more value to these applications. Using additive manufacturing for a metal application could reduce tooling and operator mistakes as you have much more control and precision over the part you are making.

The tour was completed with a panel of GRC researchers. It was great to hear about their experiences. They highlighted not only the technological developments occurring at the GRC, but also how they design manufacturing processes to mass produce the advances they have come up with and which technologies they want to license or keep as trade secrets. 

Overall, this was a great experience that I am very thankful for. I greatly appreciate Sandy, Dan and Greg’s hard work to make this all come together.  I think we all have those moments on program where we realize how awesome GE is and how blessed we are to be a CLP… this was one of those days.

Written by: Elizabeth Krall (Power & Water – Wind Business / Schenectady, NY, USA)


Remember the Mayonnaise Jar & Two Cups of Coffee

Buenos días! 

I’d like to share with you a story that some of you may have already read, but it never hurts to read again for a little perspective. My current rotation in Miami (far away from my home!) is also a daily reminder of the importance of sharing coffee with friends—especially when the coffee is Cuban!

“When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him... When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and filled it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. 

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured the pebbles into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. 

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES.” 

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - faith, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff” he said.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you...” he told them.

“So, pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, “I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.””

Written by: Brittany Goff (Energy Management / Miami, FL, USA)


"Big GE"

I’m excited to have the chance to explain how the GRC (GE’s Global Research Center) ties together with “Big GE”.  As many of you know, GE is known for being one of the top engineering companies in the world.  The GRC is the essence of GE, and only a select group of people in the CLP program had the chance to visit.  This building is equipped with some of the most high-tech equipment and some of the leading scientists in their respected fields.  These scientists have the chance to develop a brand new technology and tie it together across the broad spectrum of GE businesses. 

Two of the labs we toured used the same basic knowledge to solve two completely different markets.  The technology is called synthetic jet actuators.  These jets are made of two sheets of metal (size depends on the application) and an electromagnetic charge to create the two sheets of metal to fluctuate continuously. The material is piezoelectric, meaning it contracts and expands when it is electrically charged, creating the fluctuation.  The first lab we went to uses this technology to cool electronics, while the second lab used this technology to reduce drag and optimize flight efficiency on planes.  Why is this so amazing, you ask?  The reason for the development of the technology was based on optimizing flight efficiency and was the first lab to start using this technology at the GRC.  The scientists at the GRC then translated the use of this technology at a much smaller scale to solve another problem.  The scientists took one technology used on large aircrafts and shrunk that down to work on small electronics.  You can read more about this here,

This to me is amazing!  At GE we get to bring some of the smartest people together under one roof and let them work on the bleeding edge of technology.  From doing so, they come up with solutions to be used across all of the major GE businesses.  Most of the technology we help produce is used to increase our foothold in the market by teaming up with other large players. The technology developed at the GRC will not only be used in our technology, but also be used in a lot of our partners’ technologies.  Larger companies ask us to make their technology better… that is what makes this company so great.

“I find out what the world needs, and then I proceed to invent it.” – Thomas Edison

Written by: Daniel Smith (GE Energy Management – Intelligent Platforms / Raleigh, NC, USA)


Some Advice

As some of us are approaching our final months of the program, I thought it would be beneficial to collect advice from some of the veteran CLPs for the incoming CLP classes. This is more of a collaborative blog entry as I’ve asked several of my fellow soon-to-be-graduating P&W CLPs to share their advice on anything they wish they would have known or lessons learned throughout the program:


“When you think about career development at GE, keep the PIE model in mind:

P – performance

I – image

E – exposure

Strong and impactful performance comes first.  Do not expect to excel at GE with performance taking a back seat to image and exposure. Worry about your image second, determine how you would like to be perceived, and be genuine about it (Ashley Haynes Gaspar, CMO O&G had a great presentation at CLP Summit on this topic).  Worry about exposure last, but take advantage of every opportunity.”

Lauren Johnson, Power & Water, Greenville, SC


“Don’t be afraid to push for what you want. If there’s a particular experience you want to have while on rotation or a certain skill you want to develop then don’t hesitate to make it known. People won’t have any idea what you’re interested in unless you tell them. Just be sure that you’re doing it in a tactful and appropriate manner.”

Andrew Phillips, Power & Water, Exton, PA


“As Jack Welch said, ‘Control your destiny or someone else will.’ In other words, be sure to actively manage your career while at GE and on the Commercial Leadership Program. This means staying in regular contact with people like your assignment leader, program manager, and any other stakeholders who have the ability to guide/influence your career path. Know that your voice matters and has the power to change your time on and off program.  Remember that if you’re not telling your story, then someone else is.”

Blaine Veal, Power & Water, Atlanta, GA


And last but not least, the one piece of advice I would like to share (which seems simple, but always a great reminder), is to leverage the program to build your network. One of the great advantages of this program is the opportunity to build and expand an incredible, ever-growing network within GE. Throughout a short period of time, we are given the opportunity to travel to new places, collaborate with new people, explore new businesses and organizations, and learn new technologies and processes. Throughout this time, take every opportunity you have to meet everyone, whether it’s the CEO, the region executive, CLPs from different businesses, or someone you don’t know that you come across in the break room. Your network is invaluable and every person you meet will add to it in some capacity.

Wishing the best of luck to all the current and incoming (class of 2015) CLPs!


Written by: Kasha Kultys (Power & Water / Chicago, IL, USA)

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