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Alumna Agnes Berzsenyi Keeps GE Healthcare on Innovative Edge
September 23, 2014
In Spotlight: Agnes Berzsenyi addresses the media at the launch of GE’s Vscan medical device in Beijing, China. Over 250 guests were in attendance, including GE Healthcare leaders, journalists, sport celebrities, and government officials. (Photo Courtesy GE Healthcare)
With an estimated value of $146 billion, and 300,000 employees, you might be hesitant to refer to the General Electric Company as being a “nimble” business enterprise.
But don’t tell that to Agnes Berzsenyi or members of her global team. As general manager of dose and education services at GE Healthcare, the Rose-Hulman alumna refers to her businesses as “startups,” and clearly leads global teams with the passion and commitment of a Silicon Valley high-tech professional.
“To me an entrepreneurial mindset or spirit is all about empowering team members to believe in the ultimate vision and passion, and you have to run the business like your own company,” she says.
For Berzsenyi, key elements of entrepreneurship is all about figuring out your customers’ needs and, then, creating value for those customers—rather than letting innovation drive customer creation. After all, Imagination at Work is GE’s motto.
“Pick a segment, win that segment, be focused, drive awareness, and make sure that your solution is really meeting the needs for the segment,” says Berzsenyi.
Her third GE Healthcare startup is DoseWatch, a web-based application that retrieves, tracks, and reports radiation dose, helping doctors optimize and manage dose for their patients while preserving diagnostic quality images.
Berzsenyi calls it “making the invisible, visible.”
DoseWatch has benefited from lessons learned and processes put in place as a result of her earlier ventures. One of those was the V-Scan, a portable ultrasound device designed to “revolutionize the physical exam,” in her words, by allowing doctors to get immediate feedback from patients during an exam. The device was launched in over 100 countries around the world. Her first venture was a joint home healthcare venture with Intel.
Being an “intrapreneur” within a Fortune 500 company, with operations across the globe, also has its benefits, according to Berzsenyi.
“We are moving faster,” she says. “We see the results in a very different way. If something needs to be fixed, we put a couple of people on it right away to meet the needs of that customer.”
GE is an advanced technology, services, and finance company with scale, resources, and expertise to take on the world's toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in the areas of health, transportation, and infrastructure, the company is committed to leadership, partnership, and human progress.
Berzsenyi, who earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1995, started her career in GE’s aviation division after being accepted into the company’s technical leadership program. She has spent the rest of her time in healthcare operations throughout the world. Experiences in engineering, quality control, services, marketing, and product management have been helpful in her present global senior leadership position.
Twenty years into a career within the same company hasn’t tempered her entrepreneurial drive. She’s always looking ahead to the next challenge.
“I’m blessed to have a unique opportunity to be a part of the changes we are driving, not only at GE but also in worldwide healthcare—having a passion and believing in the purpose. That’s what drives me,” she says.
Berzsenyi plans to return to Rose-Hulman this fall to share her entrepreneurial and global leader experiences as a speaker at the institute’s annual Rose Startup Conference, organized by Rose Innovative Student Entrepreneurs group. She supports her alma mater’s intensified efforts to expand entrepreneur educational opportunities and experiences.
Born and raised in Hungary, Berzsenyi has lived throughout the world with GE and now calls Wisconsin home with her husband, Daniel, a 1994 mechanical engineering alumnus, and their two daughters. She is proud to have a work-life balance and encourages members of her team to do the same.