Undergraduate student Natalie DiFelice, class of 2020, writes about the first Lunch & Learn session of the 2018–19 school year, hosted by the Center for Social Value Creation on Thursday, September 6, 2018, at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Earlier this month the Center for Social Value Creation had the pleasure of welcoming Smith alumna and marketing communications director for GE Power, Kristin Fallon, MBA '11, to lead the first Lunch & Learn event of the 2018–19 school year. Students in attendance had a chance to hear Fallon’s colorful story of a career path that spans international development, photography, Peace Corps, consulting, being an entrepreneur in Indonesia, and finally earning an MBA at Smith and how that positioned her for a role with GE Power.
Underlying Fallon’s journey was a common thread that recognized the immense impact of technology on human development and empowerment. That gravitation toward technology is in part, why Fallon pursued GE Power. As a company that powers nearly one-third of the world, to say GE Power’s influence through technology is far-reaching is an understatement.
Nearly 40% of the world does not have sufficient energy to support the needs of daily life, while more than 1 billion people are entirely without access to electricity. These are problems GE Power is trying to solve by developing new energy technologies, investing in solar and wind energy solutions, and making gains in energy efficiency.
As communications director for GE Power, Fallon also talked about marketing the GE Power brand among different media platforms. Short-form videos, she noted, are the future of digital marketing and Fallon’s team has had to adapt their digital comms strategy to compete with the likes of ESPN, and others, just to have their messaging cut through the noise and be heard. Fallon and her team have worked recently with CNN and the New York Times, to co-create digital media that brings a new form of engagement to their brand marketing. This spurred another avenue of conversation during the Lunch & Learn, as the Fallon shared different examples of brand activism, and the group discussed purpose-driven brands and brand activism among marketing platforms.
Fallon left students with the five key ingredients that, from her experience, helped her build a career and find success, while also making a difference in the world: curiosity, ability to deliver outcomes, willingness to take on leadership, willingness to take risks, and the ability to be a team player.