International Consulting Practicum, taught by Mr. Richard Coyle, Executive Director of the Emerging Markets Institute (EMI), sent three students to Shanghai as part of a semester-long project for GE
by Boon Hoe Chin MBA’14, Cecilia He MBA’14, Ginger Ku MBA’14
On Sunday October 20th, 2013, the three of us from S.C. Johnson School of Management at Cornell University – Boon Hoe Chin, Cecilia He and Ginger Ku – boarded the airplane and headed to Shanghai, China. Preparing for almost 2 months, we were all very excited for the week-long trip to Shanghai as part of a semester-long project for the International Consulting Practicum (NBA 5760), taught by Mr. Richard Coyle, who is also the Executive Director of the Emerging Markets Institute (EMI) at Johnson. All the students enrolled in the class have the opportunity to partner with students from the renowned Indian Institute of Management Bangalore to work on real world consulting projects, sponsored by global companies. Working together with the Emerging Markets Institute, General Electric (GE) China had the three of us work on a project that required us to travel to Shanghai for a week to conduct field-research, supplementing additional secondary research.
We had the opportunity to visit GE China Technology Park in Shanghai,where we had a rare glimpse of their facilities for research and development in China. Mark Hutchinson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of GE China, greeted us in person. Mark has been with GE for 19 years and started his career with GE Capital in 1994. He rose up the ranks and eventually became the CEO and President of GE China in 2011. We had the privilege to join Mark for lunch at the company cafeteria and speak with him about his experience at GE and the company’s strategy in China. Mark reiterated his beliefs about the growth of China and how GE is excited to be contributing in the aviation, healthcare, energy and transportation sectors. He also advised us to be mobile and open-minded in order to have successful international careers and continue to be bold to explore ideas which may seem unconventional.
With Mark’s encouragement in our mind, we gathered and synthesized the data needed for the presentation to senior managers of GE China on the last day of the trip. The senior managers were very delighted with our presentation where we brought up several key issues from a different angle to help them address difficult local business issues. After a day of hard work we rewarded ourselves by exploring what Shanghai has to offer at night. We had the pleasure to sing to our hearts content at the local Karaoke place, enjoy a delicious dinner at the famous Hai-Di-Lao (???) (Chinese hot pot) where patrons cook their own food in a simmering broth and stroll the Bund along the Huangpu (???) river with the neon-lit Shanghai skyline as the backdrop. As we ended our night with live jazz music, we almost forgot that we were in a Far East country!
This experience was undoubtedly educational and unforgettable because we had the opportunity to interact with senior managers at GE China, learn their best practices and recommend solutions as independent consultants from Johnson at Cornell University. It is far from easy for any global conglomerate to expand into a new market, especially in a country such as China where the market is very segmented and localized. As a successful global company, GE is constantly looking internally and externally for sources of innovation as demonstrated through its investments in the GE Experienced Commercial Leadership Program (GE-ECLP) and partnering with Johnson at Cornell University. The GE-ECLP aims at hiring, training and promoting entry-level talent into future leaders at GE.
We are proud to be MBA students at Johnson at Cornell University because of the opportunities to experience diversity and collaborate with people from different cultures. We are trained to be open-minded, humble and audacious in being creative; qualities essential to achieving excellence in our career and life. In addition, these values not only benefit us in the short term during our tenure at Johnson, but also in the long term as we graduate into the competitive business world that is becoming more global. We would like to thank Mr. Richard Coyle and GE for their guidance and the opportunity to work on this project.
For more information on:
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University – https://www.johnson.cornell.edu/
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore – http://www.iimb.ernet.in/
Emerging Markets Institute (EMI) at Johnson – https://www.johnson.cornell.edu/emerging-markets-institute/
General Electric (GE) – http://www.ge.com/
GE China Technology Center – http://ge.geglobalresearch.com/locations/shanghai-china/about/
GE Experienced Commercial Leadership Program – http://www.ge.com/careers/culture/university-students/experienced