In a few short weeks, eleven summer interns and five full-time associates of the Celanese Leadership Program (CELP) will make their way to Dallas.  They will come from Austin, Ann Arbor, Salt Lake City and Charlottesville.  They are chemical engineers, CPAs, mechanical engineers and econ majors.  They will hold passports from China, countries in Africa, India, the US and more.  They want to be general managers, CEOs or CFOs.  They are incredibly diverse.  But they share a common objective:  they all want to develop their skills and talents to accelerate their careers with the types of opportunities that Celanese can provide.

With Michael Stubblefield, the general manager of our Ticona business, I have the pleasure to serve as the executive sponsor the the Celanese Leadership Program.  Our objective is simple:  find individuals from a focused collection of MBA programs; provide a challenging and rewarding atmosphere; accelerate their development through multiple rotations within the company’s businesses or function; ensure they receive the best management support we can provide.

The program, in its current form, has been around for only 5 years, but we have been very successful at meeting our objectives.  The ‘graduates’ of the program, or “CELPers,” that have completed at least 3 rotational assignments over the last 3 years, are contributing significantly to the company’s success.   They are leading commercial activities for our businesses and they are representing Celanese in our strategic alliances. They are providing critical support for our major initiatives and they are driving significant change in our functions.  Quite simply, they are making Celanese a stronger company.

When I talk to prospective professionals about what they can expect for the summer or their first rotation, my response is consistent.  “I can’t tell you what exact project you will work on. What I can tell you is that you will be work with our best leaders.  You will work with our best developers of talent.  And you will work on something that makes a difference to the company.”

This must be resonating because every year, including this one, we recruit the best and brightest.  Our summer CELPers will be put to the test right away.  It’s our leaders’ job to challenge them, develop them, engage them and empower them.  And I’m confident they will do great – both our CELPers and our leaders. I’m also confident they will return to their respective campuses knowing one way or the other whether Celanese is the right place for them after they graduate.