Global Business Experience Leads to GE Job
For Sri Sekar, the road to Schenectady, N.Y., ran through Bologna, Italy. Sekar, a 2015 MBA graduate of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, is one of two people joining General Electric’s Renewable Energy Leadership Program in upstate New York this year, In July, he’ll be heading to NY as one of two GE fellows, thanks to his hard work, determination, and his Global Business Experience.
In the summer of 2014, Sekar and his classmates in the MBA Evening Program traveled to Italy to deliver a market entry assessment for GE. The students had been working on the project for months as part of their Global Business Experience, having weekly calls with GE’s renewable energy team and developing strategies for six sub-Saharan African countries. In the Global Business Experience, students work together in groups on consulting projects for international companies. The students present their projects in-person to the companies’ leadership during a one-week trip abroad.
“I knew in the middle of working on this project that it was something really special,” Sekar said.
Even before the group’s trip to Italy, he began reaching out to Georgetown McDonough alumni to learn more about GE’s renewable energy efforts.
“We gave the initial presentation in July, then they asked us to give it again via WebEx to the [GE] team in New York,” he said. “In September two of us then gave the presentation to staff at GE headquarters. What they enjoyed more than anything about our report was that we didn’t just stop at ranking the countries, but that we also gave them practical applications of how it would actually look to go into these countries. It helped set us apart.”
Within hours of finishing the second presentation, Sekar searched LinkedIn for the profiles of the GE team members on the web conference. He quickly connected to a human resources representative who got him started on the five-month-long recruitment process for the leadership program.
“I went into business school with a 100 percent intention of getting a job,” he said. “That was the goal. Unless I pursued it with all the fervor I could I wasn’t going to get that job. I had to leverage Georgetown and go out and do it on my own.”
As a fellow in GE’s two-year program, he will spend six-month rotations exploring various aspects of the organization’s renewable energy business, including marketing, product development, finance, and supply chain management.
Sekar, who received a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School in 2007, credits his MBA with both serving as a springboard for his career and enhancing his teambuilding skills.
“It’s real life preparation,” said Sekar, who worked at Ernst & Young throughout the three-year evening program. “I work in teams better. That was immediately apparent to me. I know what’s required to make a group work and how to get everyone on the same page.”
His passion for infrastructure, especially in emerging markets, sparked his interest in business school and fueled him throughout the program.
“The experience of the Global Business Experience was something I wouldn’t have gotten if I hadn’t come here,” he said. “It validated me in front of employers. It was a conversation starter that made a tremendous amount of difference.”