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Why a MBA / Leadership Development Program (vs. direct hire)?
In almost every MBA course I did, GE was presented as a best practice. Really a top choice employer for an ambitious MBA. The ECLP program is probably the best Leadership Program available in the world, with one of the most international, most successful and largest companies in the world. GE offered a well paid, multi country, 2 year program and the opportunity for development, broadening my scope, experience and knowledge and an international career. Who wouldn't want to sign up for that?

What are the key advantages / disadvantages of being on a MBA / Leadership Development Program?
During the ECLP you have the chance to submerge yourself in your new employer. In a combination of training, presentations by (senior) leadership and six sigma project work in several businesses, you get to know everybody and everything you need to be successful in the company. You start adding tangible value from your first day, through black belt projects. If you have a relationship, family and children, GE is very accommodating, but still it will be hard to combine two careers.

How does the MBA / Leadership Development Program fit in your career goals?
Thanks to the ECLP program I gained international experience. I had not worked outside of The Netherlands before, and thanks to my MBA I was hired by GE and worked in 3 foreign countries in 2 years.

How strongly did you weight the location of the program?
To me the international rotations during two years, the possibility to expand my experience and the reputation of GE were the biggest benefits of joining the ECLP program. You can influence the location where you will be assigned, to some extend.

What to look for in a MBA / Leadership Development Program?
Things I would look for is how long the program has been around, what is the profile of people, the company is looking for. Does that match your experience, salary expectations. How international is it and have a look at linkedin to see where program alumni have ended up.

Can you summarize the recruiting process you went through and how long it took?
There is a very thorough selection process in place to ensure high quality candidates. Once you are selected the world is at your feet. I worked in very different businesses, at many locations, travelled a lot, gained loads of experience and fast tracked my career.

What were the required skillsets and prior experience and how were they evaluated (behavioral interviews, case studies, assessment center, panel interview, etc)?
First step was an online application form, where you could also attach your resume.
Then a telephone interview after which I was invited a few weeks later to take part in an online assessment.

Next step was a session of face to face recruitment interviews in Brussels, Belgium.
Lastly a day of interviews at the hiring business (for me in Cologne, Germany).

What advice and tips can you share with those interested in MBA Development Programs?
Have a look at mba-exchange and other sources what kind of programs are available. Reach out to program alumni in your network and ask them for their experiences. Investigate your future employer, and see if there is a match with your requirements.