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Krannert Summer Intern - Elizabeth

Elizabeth Landis - MSHRM 2015

MSHRM Student

Pre-Program career: Held no full-time work experience between undergrad and graduate school, although had two HR internships

Previous Degrees: B.S. Psychology

Tell us about your internship 

My HRLP internship with GE Healthcare has been a rewarding experience thus far. My internship is with the Business Development department focusing primarily on M&A activities involving current acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures. I am involved in HR activities pertaining to the M&A process, which includes conducting external benefits analyses for new business ventures, driving due diligence processes for current acquisitions and dispositions, and analyzing retention scenarios for current divestiture projects to determine the need for employee retention packages. I also sought out a project external to my department to gain an even larger exposure to the business. This project involves conducting an internal research project to understand why employees do or do not give to a local GE-supported charity campaign.

How did you best prepare for your internship experience?

The MSHRM and MBA core curriculum helped prepare me to speak the language of the business. HR is a valued strategic function at GE and HR employees are expected to understand the business. Additionally, I did some individual research about GE Healthcare and kept current on GE news.

What are some outcomes the organization will have from your internship experience?

In addition to delivering on my assignments, I am developing several tools and resources for the HR team relating to M&A matters. One such toolkit involves creating a communication plan for how to launch the GE Learning modules at newly acquired sites as part of the integration process. This toolkit will serve as a template for sites to modify according to their organizational needs and will nonetheless make the communication process faster and simpler.   

What will you take away from your internship experience?

My major takeaway will be a thorough understanding how HR plays a strategic role in impacting GE as a company, and more specifically the M&A process.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

The most challenging part of my internship has been maintaining a balance between networking and my projects. GE encourages the project to networking ratio to be 60:40, which means that in addition to working on your deliverables; you need to spend a considerable amount of time building your network. This requires a considerable amount of time management, which can be challenging in the face of deadlines and daily meetings.

What do you enjoy about your internship?

Aside from the challenging and fulfilling nature of my projects, I enjoy GE’s company culture and networking with executives and leaders in the business. In my first two weeks I had 1:1 meetings with the majority of the Business Development team and had met with a handful of senior HR leaders. In my second two weeks I built my network past the organizational charts I was given as a resource past 40 senior HR leaders. Company leaders are more than willing to get to know you and offer their advice and help throughout the summer. I enjoy being part of the HRLP family and participating in HRLP and business-wide seminars. In just a short amount of time I had learned a lot about the business, and where GEHC sees the industry going in 5+ years.

How did you find your internship? What drew you into this company?

I connected with GE through the on-campus interviewing process and was invited to a second-round interview at their Learning & Development center in New York. I was drawn to GE’s leadership culture, HR’s competitive advantage, and the HRLP program, which focuses on providing graduates with globally diverse challenging experiences in addition to leadership development training.

What has surprised you the most about your internship experience?

I was most surprised by my summer assignments. On day 1, my assignment leader immediately caught me up to speed on all our current M&A deals. I did not expect to be brought in to such integral parts of the M&A process, and I have been given assignments that are challenging and rewarding. GE clearly trusts its interns by giving us big meaningful projects, and provides support along the way.

What courses from the MSHRM program have you found beneficial?

One course that I have found to be most beneficial to my current role is Strategic Management. This course gave me the tools to analyze complex business situations, including an introduction to the M&A process.

What courses do you plan to take upon returning to Purdue?

I am planning on gaining practical experience through participation in an ELI project and an interviewing practicum. I will continue to build my HR acumen by taking Organizational Development, Training & Development, Managing Human Capital Globally, and Negotiations.

Advice for someone looking to work at the company you are interning at?

I would encourage interested students to research the company and have an idea of which business unit they could see themselves in. This is especially important if they were invited to GE’s second-round interview at their Learning & Development center in New York as each business will present themselves in a separate fashion.