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Marketing undergrad shadows Cossette CEO for a day

Lucrezia Sciascia one of 18 finalists in the national competition that pairs students with business leaders
February 21, 2018
JMSB student Lucrezia Sciascia (right) spent a day with Cossette CEO Mélanie Dunn. | Image courtesy Cossette

Every marketing student dreams of going behind the scenes at a major agency. On February 15, Concordia’s Lucrezia Sciascia got to live the dream when she spent a day with Mélanie Dunn, CEO of Cossette.

Sciascia is an undergraduate student in the John Molson School of Business (JMSB). She was a finalist among hundreds of applicants across the country in Odgers Berndtson’s annual CEOx1Day competition.

Since the executive search company launched the program in 2014, Sciascia is the 10th Concordia student to be selected as a finalist.

I’m even more inspired to stay true to myself

Lucrezia Sciascia

After spending a day with Mélanie Dunn, CEO of Cossette, it isn’t difficult to understand why the company is leading the marketing and advertising industry. As a marketing and management student at JMSB, I could not have asked for a better fit.

We began our day at 8 a.m. getting to know one another over coffee at Starbucks. She quickly briefed her schedule for the day. I knew I was in for an insightful ride.

After coffee, we went to a nearby agency to follow up on a campaign pitch. It was a creative meeting filled with pertinent questions that revolved around campaign timing, branding and consumer values. I was amazed to see how many details went into planning just one campaign.

We then headed to the Cossette office, where I took part in more meetings with Mélanie’s chief of staff, Sophia Vidakis, and the vice-president of finance and administration, Martin Bélanger.

The highlight of my day was the executive committee meeting, involving all executive members based in Montreal. It was a true “behind the scenes” experience. Although I did not catch onto all the lingo and acronyms used, I was once again drawn in by the questions asked and industry issues they presented.

I was introduced to many other remarkable people throughout the day, including Barbara Jacques, director of creation, branding and design. She ran me through the steps of developing a successful brand, from A to Z, Cossette style. Their most recent transformation, the rebranding of Gaz Métro into Énergir, speaks for itself.

Overall, my experience as “CEO for a day” with Cossette was truly uplifting. Mélanie is what I would define as a true leader — one who embraces empathy, collaboration, and conversation.

Throughout her professional journey, she learned to steer others and accomplish career milestones using her own definition of leadership. Thanks to her, I’m even more inspired to stay true to myself and tackle obstacles using my own intuition.

I cannot thank Odgers Berndtson enough for organizing such a brilliant program for students. Without a doubt, this experience is one I will never forget.

Find out more about the John Molson School of Business.

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