Written by: William Robinson
This is a picture of from my vacation to Portugal last year. Perhaps you have seen me around Fisher!
This past week was pretty interesting. I’m starting to get a better understanding for how everything in Group Traffic and Distribution pieces together. I still feel like when I come to work every morning at 7:30AM, I’m going to Disney World, getting there early to avoid the lines and to get a good parking spot in the sea of cars. This is because Evendale is HUGE. At one time there were 22,000 employees working here. It’s nice because it means I’m bound to know someone who works here, but just like at OSU, with the numbers comes a certain amount of disconnect. It’s a challenge to organize teleconferences with Aviation contacts across the globe and get as many people to attend as possible. It’s also difficult when you need help with technology, for example, not being able to get wifi in the room we hold web conferences in. You’ll probably get the problem fixed the day after the meeting you were planning takes place. Along those same lines, I’ve had to spend a fair amount of time tracking people down and getting passed on to various people along the way just to relay a simple message or ask a question.
Another observation I have about modes of communication:
Emails are great, until you’re having problems reaching someone. In my experience here, emails are a good place to start when you’re looking for information, but you definitely shouldn’t hesistate to pick up the phone and make a call if you don’t hear anything back after 24 hours. Getting the information you need can be easy, or it can be complicated, especially if you don’t even know who you have to get it from. This ties into that whole problem solving theme.
One of the awesome parts about working at a place like GE Aviation is that freight forwards and carriers (typically) appreciate your business. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of important people from other companies, and I even get invites to some events, i.e. the FedEx Open House! What amazed me the most about FedEx was the amount of automation they employed. I bet they’ve got Six Sigma black belts working their ninja operations skills to cut costs and increase service levels left and right.
Also, today I was in a meeting with a group of people from a company in France. It was definitely an experience to watch the meeting play out. I feel like working here is kind of like being in a Da Vinci Code-esque environment with tidbits of international material sprinkled all over everything I work with. I receive emails for a contact in Brazil with several replies in Portuguese before the message gets back to me. The conference room across from mine today had a group of people speaking in Chinese. For being Evendale, OH this job is so international!
Anyhow, these were just some observations that I had about the ups and downs you might experience working in a company of GE’s size.