The Education of GM CEO Mary Barra

Your next video will start in

Recommended Videos

  • Info

  • Comments


March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Kettering University's Mohammad Torfeh discusses what GM CEO Mary Barra was like as a student. He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

Being with us.

Can you give us a background in the history of kettering?

It was founded in 1990 as a trade school for gm credit that eventually got changed to university.

It was founded by charles kettering, and also the idea was to provide training for the technician and people who were working at gm at the time.

For some time they provided more inventi -- intensive training and became a institute.

In 1998, the name got changed to kettering university after the boss, the founder of the university.

We offer cooperative education, and that means that all of the students who participate, they change what is in the study, and also work.

Is that something that the chief executive of gm did?

That is exactly what she went through.

She came to school 242 months -- for two months, and then went to work for two months.

All of the students are all required to do this.

When they're done, they are practically professionals.

That is the main advantage.

Mary visited -- mary is an example of that.

Learning what is this for, what you can do with it, and more important, why we are studying what we are studying.

It is a big avenue to do practice what you learn.

That is what the university is doing.

Mary was here from 1980-1985, and then had the same education.

I was here in 1984, 1985 with her in class.

What can you recall of her time in the university?

Particularly in the lab that i had her, she was very bright, a very bright student.

I also remember vividly that she was always focusing on the assignment after i was done talking about the assignment, she was a ready to attack it and solve the problem.

Very bright, and hard-working.

The other thing that i remember is that she had a tremendous parent of collaboration.

A lot of the work that we did was teamwork, and she always tried to participate and make everybody -- all of the individuals participate and make them to be a part of the team.

You can see that characteristic that she was the leader at that time because she was the one who was taking charge, making sure that different parts of the assignment were done, and done properly.

The other thing that i remember from her is that she has tremendous communication skills.

Some of these assignments, they had to present the results of their work.

You could see that the way that she was articulating, even at that time, 30 years ago, the way she conveyed the message, you could see that she had the personality and the connectivity.

Not only discussing what she wants to do, but also to make sure that realize that people realized we were all together in this.

It is amazing to see the transformation from what she learned in school, and then when she applied it to, and then what she got.

She is a model for all the people who think it is difficult to reach high positions.

She tried it, and is just amazing.

It is a great pleasure -- i am only going to give you 10 seconds for my next question.

Are you surprised that mary bar as the first female chief executive of a major u.s. automobile maker?

I will tell you what, i can pick some of the ones that have reached there, and she was one of them.

It was pretty much male-dominated minor midget -- management, and for gm to recognize that she couldn't come at it is astonishing.

I'm very pleased to see that she got to this point.

She is talented, deserves it, and has all the ellen and skill to do the job.

I am pleasantly surprised that she was able to do it, and that gm recognized all of the guild and the talent she has.

Thank you so much.

Professor mohammad torfeh from

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


BTV Channel Finder


ZIP is required for U.S. locations

Bloomberg Television in   change