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CEOx1Day: don’t miss your chance to shadow a top business executive

Third- and fourth-year undergrads have until October 25 to apply
September 27, 2019
By Yuri Mytko

Concordia student and 2018 CEOx1Day finalist Emily Cole with WSP CEO Alexandre L’Heureux. | Image courtesy WSP WSP CEO Alexandre L’Heureux and Concordia student and CEOx1Day finalist Emily Cole. | Image courtesy WSP

“I have a new-found appreciation for the effort good managers put into empowering and motivating their employees.”

That’s what John Molson School of Business alum Katerina Fragos (BComm 14) said after shadowing then Vidéotron president Manon Brouillette for a day in 2014. Fragos was selected as a finalist that year in Odgers Berndtson’s annual CEOx1Day competition.

After graduating from Concordia in finance, Fragos completed a master’s degree in sustainability leadership. She is now a manager of sustainability and climate change at PwC.

“This program is both motivating and enabling,” adds Fragos. “Being selected to shadow a CEO for a day gave me hope that I might have what it takes to become a leader.”

Since 2014, 11 Concordia students have spent a day with some of Canada’s top business leaders through CEOx1Day.

The initiative pairs a select group of third- and fourth-year university students from across Canada with 20 of the country’s top CEOs for a full day at the office.

This year, Montreal-based finalists will have the opportunity to spend the day with the leader of either Element AI, Lowe’s, Cascades, Cominar or CDMV.

Students have until October 25 to apply for the upcoming competition.

Semi-finalists are winners too

Students stand to benefit just from applying. Two thirds of applicants are asked to fill out an online leadership assessment and receive personalized feedback from Hogan on skills such as relationship building, goal setting and strategic thinking.

All semi-finalists are considered for an interview with McKinsey & Company for a summer internship or full-time placement.

“Students have told us that going through the CEOx1Day application process was unlike anything they had ever experienced,” says Jacqueline Foley, chief marketing officer at Odgers Berndtson.

“Even those who weren’t selected felt they gained a new understanding of themselves and their leadership potential. And for many it helped them gain confidence in their ability to be successful in their chosen career path.”

Here’s how the application process works:

Enrolment: You must submit an online application, including your CV, academic transcripts and a written essay on leadership.

Online leadership assessment: Select students will be asked to create an online profile of their competencies and leadership potential.

Phone interviews: Chosen students will participate in a short telephone interview.

In-person interviews/evaluation: Semi-finalists will be invited to a half-day event at a local Odgers Berndtson office (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa or Calgary).

There they will participate in individual and group exercises, including speed interviewing and presentations, and have an opportunity to meet and network with some of the firm’s consultants and partners.

Students will receive feedback on their online leadership assessments, and finalists will be chosen and paired with a CEO.

The application period for the CEOx1Day program is open and runs until October 25.

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