According to the Harvard Business Review, one of the biggest challenges for people moving into general management roles is “learning to see linkages and interconnections across the organization.”
What does that mean? They don’t have a clear enough picture of how the whole organization works. High performers in upper management roles have a wide understanding of the business and variety of experience to back it up.
The only problem for Eunji Han—a recent graduate of an elite MBA program—was getting that experience and exposure quickly enough to match her ambition and talent. That’s why she was a perfect candidate for T-Mobile’s Leaders2Executives (L2E) program.
We spoke to Eunji to find out more about this exclusive opportunity to accelerate your career.
What Is The L2E Program?
Essentially, Eunji tells us, it’s a rotational management leadership development program for people with both competitive MBAs and existing leadership experience under their belts.
And these rotations aren’t like LDPs for undergrads. Eunji was taking on serious management responsibilities right off the bat.
“For my first track in the program, I was a Retail District Manager. I oversaw seven stores in Brooklyn and Queens, leading a team of about 120 retail store managers and retail reps,” Eunji explains. “After that, I was a call center manager in Boise, Idaho. I oversaw four different lines of business and had a team of about 350 people.”
Now—in the kind of rapid, edifying change of pace that makes the program such a valuable learning experience—she’s moved onto managing a team of three that handles big-picture, strategic innovation at the company’s HQ in Seattle.
Working Toward The Un-carrier Mission—While Building Your Career
“Un-carrier” is a word that captures T-Mobile’s unorthodox, customer-first approach to the wireless industry. They were the first major carrier to introduce contractless plans, they have customer service that replaces robots with real human interaction (better known as Team of Experts), and have teams like Eunji’s that are constantly working on new approaches and business models to better serve the customer.
“We really believe in listening to our customers. A lot of our really great ideas come from listening to feedback and pain points,” Eunji says. “My team looks at these ideas and thinks, ‘Okay a customer wants to be able to try a device, or try our network. How do we bring that to life for them?’”
Projects like these allow L2E contributors like Eunji to work on innovative projects at a major organization while also building a company that genuinely serves customers first—and that’s doubly rewarding.
How The L2E Program Can Set You Up For A C-Suite Career
The goal of all this, of course, both for T-Mobile and L2E participants like Eunji, is to forge the next generation of executives for the innovative wireless company.
For Eunji, it’s an opportunity to realize her dream of becoming a C-suite executive. (That’s corporate lingo referring to roles like Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer.) For T-Mobile, it’s an opportunity to find leaders who truly think outside the box and care about diversity, innovation, all while creating a best-in-class workplace.
Speaking of innovative leaders, L2E participants like Eunji aren’t just given opportunities to take on management roles around the business, they’re given guidance and mentorship from existing senior leaders in the organization—which, according to 75 percent of executives, is an essential step career development.
“In the L2E program, you end up building a ton of relationships and a lot of them are at that MVP-VP level, which is, I think, a really great advantage, especially when you’re at a corporate organization,” Eunji tells us.
So what’s next for Eunji? She says she’s excited to keep learning from people who are the top of the game—while getting to the top of hers.