Engineering was my first love when I was thinking about a career, and I worked in the industry for some years before returning to University for a change to Finance. GE’s core as an industrial company was a strong proposition for me due to the company’s ability to manufacture big machinery across many industries, including Aviation, Power and Healthcare. This, combined with the prospect of building operational and strategic business skills, made it the perfect company to join as a graduate.
The idea of working for a company that produces life saving devices in healthcare and leading-edge technology in power and renewables, versus working for a company that sells non-material products or a company that services only one market, made it an easy choice for me in the end.
Yes. The program is a strong foundation for building business acumen across multiple finance elements, including controllership, commercial finance, financial planning and analysis, and supply chain. The breadth of skills you develop enables the graduate to see the business from deal initiation through product sale and final delivery.
Obviously, being in an entry level role, there will be times where you may not feel you are making a meaningful impact to the business you are working in. Instead you will be building critical financial skills to serve later in your career or graduate journey, some would call this soft skills or business acumen.
The highlights are the international trips for meeting, networking, and training with other graduates at conferences and development days. There is also a high regard from senior leaders for those who are on the graduate program, meaning you can engage with senior leaders either as mentees or learn from them during informal and formal interactions.
The expectation to perform can be challenging at times. As a graduate, you will periodically pick up and move to a new business in a new location in a different field of finance. The need to get up to speed in this new role can take time, and by the time you are comfortable you must pick up and move and start all over again. To adapt to the various managers, businesses and roles experienced while on program, you must be flexible and quick to learn.
The CFO and other senior leaders also expect a lot from you regarding presentation and communication, with formal and informal projects testing your financial acumen and business knowledge.
If you are OK with a huge learning curve for finance and all things business related, if you are up for a challenge and lots of travel, and if you are keen to accelerate your career, the program is 100% worth it.