Financial Management Program: GE
Alumnus Michael Hird enjoyed his undergraduate degree at Loughborough so much that he decided to stay for another year to complete a Masters’ in Finance and Investment in 2016. He is now on a graduate program with GE, enjoying learning about various elements of the company across different countries.
I was really attracted to Loughborough due to my Undergraduate course offering a placement year, I felt that work experience would be really important in getting a graduate role. After the open day, I knew I wanted to study here, the campus atmosphere was amazing, and it really made me feel part of the community.
I always had intentions to go into the Banking industry, which is why I chose to continue my studies in Finance and Investment, I thought this would be a great way to further my understanding of Finance and differentiate myself from other prospective Banking graduate scheme applicants.
The Loughborough community has been great to learn from and develop, whether this is from my peers or the lectures, there is a clear desire from everyone involved to improve and further themselves, it’s a great atmosphere to learn and develop in! Of course, you can’t overlook Loughborough’s sporting success as well, seeing professional athletes on campus as well as the alumni Loughborough has produced is a great motivation too.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
You definitely have to get involved with the Loughborough lifestyle, whether it’s competing in a sport, charity work or being part of the Students’ Union, all of these experiences can really differentiate you from your peers for potential employers.
My favourite part about Loughborough was the campus feel; I remember my open day and students talked about the ‘Loughborough Bubble’. After spending 4 years at Loughborough I definitely understand it now. You always feel part of a community at Loughborough and it’s a unique experience!
I started at GE in January 2017 as part of their Financial Management Program (FMP), this is a 2 year program with four, 6 month placements within the different businesses and finance functions within GE Healthcare.
I started out in the Life Sciences business, based in Amersham, there I was a FP&A analyst within Core Imaging - this is a business which sells contrast media to improve the quality of MRI and CT scans.
My second role was based in Budapest, Hungary where I was part of the Commercial Finance team for Central Europe, which was responsible for selling Imaging equipment, such as X-ray and Ultrasound machines. I was involved in looking at market trends to determine the different go to market strategies in a variety of countries, ranging from Germany to Kosovo.
I’m currently based out of Milwaukee, WI, USA, as part of the Inventory Finance Team, this team is responsible for managing GE Healthcare’s Inventory, I’m heavily involved in the Finance IT side, building Tableau dashboards providing the Operating teams more visibility. In August, I’ll be moving back to Budapest, doing a Controllership rotation for Baker Hughes, a GE Company.
My current role is within the Inventory finance team, this team is responsible for managing GE Healthcare’s Inventory balance. My role involves working on Finance transformation, moving processes away from Microsoft Excel and Access towards new software like Alteryx and Tableau - I’m currently working on producing dashboards within Tableau to provide the business with more visibility into the movements within Inventory. I also work alongside regional teams to provide Inventory estimates for the quarter as well as understand how any changes to the sales estimate will impact Inventory.
I love the variety that my job brings, every day is a new challenge for me and when I start to feel comfortable in a role, I move onto the next one and have to start learning all over again! I also enjoy the community aspect to the program, there are around 350 FMP’s globally, we all work on common projects and get to meet different groups of FMP’s once a year for face to face training, I’ve got to meet new people in Budapest and Atlanta, it’s great getting to build a global network!
I’m coming towards the end of my time on FMP so I’ve got a lot of decisions to make, I’ll either look to settle into a full time role within GE Healthcare or I’ll move onto the Corporate Audit Staff - GE’s internal audit function.
Getting an “Above and Beyond” award during my first rotation for the work I had done implementing a new Business Intelligence tool, Qliksense, for the Core Imaging business. It was great to be recognised for the impact that I had made in the role and really showed me how GE has a very open and rewarding culture.