The Millennial’s Perspective Into Modern Businesses

CEOx1Day - Bringing The Millennial’s Perspective Into Modern Businesses

Ready, Set, Action, Go, Whirlwind... are the words that come to mind when talking about CEOx1Day. Pairing CEOs and Undergraduate students (in the final two years of their course) in the UAE for a shadowing experience unlike any other - CEOx1Day brings the millennial’s perspective into modern businesses. Giving companies and CEOs the opportunity to hear directly from fresh ambitious graduates, with new ideas and perspectives on how businesses are, and should be run and how they might change in the future, as more graduates enter the workforce and begin to change the way things are done. With every generation that comes into the working world, changes naturally occur, but with the millennial's entering, things are happening in leaps and bounds as they cause dramatic changes with advances to technology and how business is conducted, moving more and more towards online and virtual presence, as well as starting their own businesses and become entrepreneurs at a younger age.

I'm thrilled to say that we are participating in this change, by helping to encourage and discover leaders of the future to step forward, and our second year of running the project in Dubai, far surpassed last year and my own expectations.This year we more than doubled our CEO participants across various industries, bringing us in total to 19 CEOs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and we more than quadrupled our amount of student applicants this year. We welcomed on board a few new universities too, opening up the challenge to more young minds in the region. And the action only started from there. A whirlwind of meeting with students and speaking at universities followed by promoting the project, and finally, applications flooding in occurred.

The calibre of students this year was absolutely fantastic with applicants coming from: Abu Dhabi University, American University of Sharjah, Heriot-Watt Dubai University, Middlesex University, New York University Abu Dhabi, University of Wollongong Dubai and Zayed University. It was a dilemma to only be able select 19 students to be paired with CEOs this year, when we had so many amazing candidates.

The assessment process was rigorous including: screening applications and transcripts, online leadership assessments from Hogan Assessments, telephone interviews and two half day assessments with our Odgers Team and PricewaterhouseCoopers, who assisted with the group case study and profiling. Combining these various stages brought us to this moment…selecting our 19 finalists to be paired with CEOs from: Abu Dhabi National Hotels, Dubai Airports, Dubai Opera, Dubai Tourism, Dyson, Emaar Hospitality Group, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Majid Al Futtaim - Ventures, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Nestlé , NMC Health, OSN, Siemens, Takeda, Tanfeeth and Zurich International Life.

The half day assessments were a blur of activities and challenges keeping students on their toes and constantly active (just one of the many challenges we throw their way...sometimes literally, a ball was flying around the room at some point), not including their: one on one speed interviews with our consultants, the team building activities and the case studies to analyse and present on.

Although we like the day to be challenging, we're not harsh taskmasters, (I promise), as there is always time for fun, jokes and laughter along the way too.

It was, however, extraordinarily tough, due to the quality of our applicants, to decide which of our 38 semi-finalists made it through to be paired with CEOs and which ones were sadly not selected. The difficulty in choice was so much so, that we decided to start our very first internship programme at Odgers Berndtson Middle East, so that we can take on some of the semi-finalists this summer! Those who were not selected as finalists, will have the opportunity to apply to our office to intern with us for one month over the summer, learning the tricks of the trade and gaining valuable work experience along the way.

Congratulations to all of our finalist and semi-finalist applicants from myself and the team for such brilliant hard work and for taking part in our project. In the next couple of weeks we will announce our CEO and Finalist parings. We'd also like to thank our partners at Hogan and PWC for helping to profile our student applicants.

To find out more about or programme see here:

If you’re a CEO or University interested in applying to be part of next year’s programme please contact me via our CEOx1Day website.