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iSchool students explore energy plant, careers at GE facility

November 12, 2008

Margaret Costello Spillett

Margaret Costello Spillett

GE Tour

Students in the School of Information Studies’ (iSchool) Women in Information Technology (WIT) organization recently visited the General Electric plant in Schenectady, N.Y., to tour the facilities and learn more about opportunities at the company. GE is one of the iSchool’s top employers, and the visiting students had the opportunity to network with a number of iSchool alumni currently employed by the plant. The event was also supported by the GE Women’s Network.

A number of undergraduate and graduate students from various backgrounds attended the event, which included a tour of the turbine manufacturing plant, networking opportunities with industry professionals, and presentations by GE representatives. The presenters discussed different aspects of the company, including the affinity groups at GE such as the Women’s Network, African American Forum, Hispanic Forum and Asian-Pacific American Forum; job opportunities available; and the GE Leadership Programs available to students at the corporation.

GE’s Undergraduate Leadership Programs provide students with a broad overview of their options at GE by allowing them to rotate through several assignments in one field. Students from information management, communications, engineering, human resources and finance backgrounds can all find opportunities within the GE Leadership Programs. Several iSchool students have begun their careers through these programs.

After the business end of the tour, the students were introduced to the more technical side of GE. They heard a presentation by the chief of GE’s project on renewable resources and GE’s work in this field. He explained that research at the company has been shifting toward wind and solar energy production; GE is in the process of constructing a new building to house its renewable energy project.

The students also toured the actual turbine manufacturing plant and learned how copper wire, silicon steel, large pieces of machinery and physics came together to create functional turbines—and how those turbines produced electricity. One student described the experience as “almost like witnessing the heart of energy.”

For more information on GE Leadership Programs, visit and click on the Undergraduate Leadership Programs or Masters and MBA Leadership Programs link. WIT is an SU student organization dedicated to advancing the presence and strength of women in the information management field. Membership in WIT is open to all iSchool students.

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