3/16 edit by Artshep: Added "Leadership" section
3/19 edit by Artshep: Added "Compensation & Career Progression" section
I'll start off the board. Here's some information on my soon-to-be-former employer, General Electric (resigning to attend B-school full time). This is just a start, I'd be glad to add more sections as requested.
I've copied the business descriptions from the websites. Feel free to ask some detailed questions...I'll answer what I can as accurately as I can.
-- Industry Presence --
GE has its hands in various industries and its intention is to be a market leader (or close to it) in each one of them. I'll list the major "businesses" within the GE Corporation and brief descriptions.
- Commercial Finance -
After the recent divestiture of the Insurance component, this business unit is one of GE's strongest. GECF is involved in various areas including lending products, growth capital, revolving lines of credit, equipment leasing of every kind, cash flow programs, asset financing, and more.
HQ: Norwalk, CT
- Consumer Finance aka "GE Money" -
Offers various B2C financial services including savings accounts, credit cards, various loan products, retail memberships, and even health-related discount programs.
HQ: Stamford, CT
- NBC Universal -
NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.
HQ: Major global locations are concentrated around either Los Angeles, CA or New York City, NY
- GE Infrastructure -
GE Infrastructure is one of the world's leading providers of fundamental technologies to developed and developing countries, including aircraft engine, energy, oil and gas, rail and water process technologies and services. GE Infrastructure also provides aviation and energy leasing and financing services.
HQ: Major global locations exist in various areas
- GE Healthcare -
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad range of products, service and expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease.
HQ: Chalfont St. Giles, United Kingdom
- GE Industrial -
GE Industrial provides a broad range of products and services throughout the world, including appliances, lighting and industrial products; factory automation systems; plastics, silicones and quartz products; security and sensors technology, and equipment financing, management and operating services.
HQ: Louisville, KY
-- Rotational Programs --
GE has, arguably, the most recognized and prestigious leadership development programs around.
Typically, coming out of undergrad, high potential candidates are given two years in a leadership program in one of several areas (operations, IM, Finance, among others). These 2 year programs are often broken up into 4 6-month rotations. The objectives of these programs are to develop future business leaders for GE within their particular function. Particular attention is given to project management, presentation skills, and executive interaction. Almost immediately, program members will be required to pitch project status to C-level executives on a monthly basis.
I am a graduate of one of GE's leadership programs and can attest to the fact that they put a tremendous amount of effort into providing you with the best training possible within the company. A significant investment is made in each program member and, as such, you will be tested early and often.
Rankings and peer comparisons are routine, and the atmosphere is highly competitive among program members.
Due to the high competition and rigor surrounding the programs, attrition rates can be around 30%.
-- Culture --
Very process driven. Six Sigma and LEAN still play a big role in execution at GE. These methodologies are driven formally from within the company and employees are encouraged to become familiar with them, achieve certifications, and utilize them to subsequently train others.
Somewhat formal. GE will never be confused with Google in terms of workplace attitude. The level of formality is higher, and that is reflected in everything from workplace language to dress code. I prefer to show some individuality in my communication style and, if done right, that can be an effective tool.
Team oriented. Very strong focus on finding a place within the team, rather than becoming a stand-out or superstar. Consequently, the places within GE for motivated, aggressive, and ambitious people might be tough to find - especially for those early in their career. I've just described the typical MBA applicant, so I'll have more on that in the next section.
-- Opportunities for MBAs --
GE has a strong presence at some of the top B-schools. However, for those MBAs looking for high salaries, this is probably not the best place to go. In addition, MBAs are not as highly valued within GE as they might be at other firms. This goes back to the tendency at GE to stress a team-focused environment and downplay individual talent.
Nevertheless, GE has opportunities for MBAs that can be extremely rewarding. A typical post-MBA position might be a "Black Belt" role, which is basically an internal consultant to the business. Typically, black belts work very closely with sub-business CEOs to manage the high-priority initiatives within their business and manage them at a cross-functional level.
-- Reputation/Public Perception --
Very strong reputation. This company has been the "Most Admired Company" in the world for a few years running. Having GE on your resume (especially leadership program experience) is a big gold star and will definitely lend some weight to your b-school application.
-- Leadership --
CEO - Jeff Immelt
- B.A. Applied Mathematics, Dartmouth, 1978(?)
- MBA, Harvard Business School, 1981(?)
CIO - Gary Reiner
- B.A. Economics, Harvard, 1976
- MBA, Harvard Business School, 1980
CFO - Keith Sherin
- GE FMP Graduate
- Notre Dame, 1981
- MBA, Columbia University, 1991
-- Compensation & Career Progression --
Careers, and subsequent compensation at GE, are determined by an employee's "band" level. I won't use the actual band names, but will instead use abbreviation.
Entry-level positions start at a "P" band level, where salaries have an approximate range of 30k to 80k.
An exception to this is the leadership program members. They are considered entry-level, as they are typically college grads, yet are grouped into the next highest band - "LP". Leadership program members such as IMLP and FMP typically have starting salaries in the low- to high- 50k range. I think some businesses have started nudging starting salaries against the 60k range now. After the 2-year stint in a leadership program, typical "off-program" salaries fall within the low 60k to high 70k range - usually depending on performance while on program.
The next level we'll call "SP" band. This is basically a middle management stage. Salaries have a wide range, but we can use an average of about 110k for SP roles - that seems accurate. A typical SP role would be leading a small COE (Center of Excellence) at GE. For example, the IT Leader that supports a business function such as Marketing would be an SP. SPs are often "Assignment Leaders" for leadership program members - managing their performance, giving feedback, and ranking them against their peers.
The next level is "E" band. This is basically the executive level, and folks at this stage typically report to a C-level leader, such as a CIO or CFO. I would make an educated guess that "E" band employees that are not at the C-level are making around 150k or so.
The top level is "SE" band. These are "E" band employees who have achieved a C-level position, or very close to it. Many "SE" band employees eventually become GE Officers. The salary range at this stage is extremely wide. Jeff Immelt's base salary (which is public info) is about 3.3M, while some business-level CIOs may make around 200k.