Kenya’s Mary Arende talks about GE investing in its people with the XLP Programme

The XLP programme focuses on core leadership capabilities, global leadership, business acumen, commercial growth, digital innovation and operations expertise across the company’s critical strategic functions

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GE is playing an active role in empowering and shaping the careers of their employees as future leaders.

Training programmes have been developed to ensure employees receive as much support and education as possible, not just in the designated work roles they are assigned to, but also in other areas of interest. One of these programmes is the Accelerated Leadership Programme (XLP) that has been designed to build global executive leaders at GE.

Mary Arende is part of the XLP  programme.

For her first rotation, she will work on the roll-out of Sub-Saharan Africa’s onshore wind energy market strategy with a focus on Ethiopia. Arende has been with GE for two years, working as a sales manager at GE in Nairobi, covering wind turbine sales in East and West Africa and she is passionate about being part of the solution to Sub-Saharan Africa’s Energy challenges.

“Besides having a great portfolio of products in the energy space, GE has always stood out for me because of the work culture and the kind of leadership brought about by the personalised development through these training and leadership programmes,” says Arende, who holds an MsC in energy economics and finance as well as an MBA in oil and gas management from the University of Dundee in Scotland.

The XLP programme focuses on core leadership capabilities, global leadership, business acumen, commercial growth, digital innovation and operations expertise across the company’s critical strategic functions. Arende says that in the nine years that she has worked with four companies in the energy space – GE being the fourth – GE comes out on top with regards to investing in the development of employees

One of the core pillars of the programme is to stretch participants out of their comfort zone. “As an example, my first  XLP project, which is scheduled for six months, is to work on a digital thread for one of our business. We are a team of six and none of us has an IT  Background …  XLP is not without its challenges. It literally  defines delivering results in an uncertain world,” says Arende.

When asked what advice she has for students who may want to work for GE in future, Arende says that GE has good programmes to develop talent, however, “it’s necessary to show your passion and the will to make a difference”.

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