Last week, I had the very unique opportunity to attend a Q&A session with Jeff Immelt – the CEO of General Electric. Fisher hosted an event last week, the “National Middle Market Summit”, in partnership with GE Capital, dedicated to discussing ways to grow middle markets. Although the session was during the workday, my manager understood how rare an opportunity like it was, and granted me permission to attend. I was one of the few WPMBA students in attendance – the vast majority were full-time – and boy am I glad I went.
First off, Jeff Immelt was an extremely likeable speaker. He spoke easily, with a friendly, non-intimidating tone. Of course, when I mentioned this to my Dad, he did point out, “well, you don’t get to be the CEO of one of the world’s top companies without being the entire package”. He also had some great advice and insight for us (somewhat) young students; most of us just at the start of what will hopefully be long and successful careers.
Mr. Immelt’s “4 Big Things for College Grads” are as follows:
1. Think Global: Embrace globalization, think inside of it
2. Be a Systems Thinker: Make breadth your strength
3. Have Courage: Don’t be afraid to make decisions
4. Compete: “Like to Win”
I feel very lucky to have spend 60 minutes in the same room as Jeff Immelt, head of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and the CEO of GE. Thank you, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!