Young leaders step into the shoes of top leaders

University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) recently published an article on their 5 successful finalists students from 2018

We're delighted that The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) recently published an article about their 5 successful students from 2018 who were fortunate enough to shadow a CEO. The selected Undergraduates from the University of Wollongong in Dubai, were 5 out of 19 successful finalists to shadow a prominent CEO in the region for a day or longer. They had the opportunity to follow some incredible leaders in the region from: Abu Dhabi Hotels, Dubai Airports, Majid Al Futtaim, Movenpick and OSN. Each shadowing occurrence was a different and individual experience, depending on the industry and the CEO's preference. The days were fast paced and exciting, keeping up with the CEO and their active itineraries, combining both the impressive and the arduous aspects of being a leader and what it truly means to manage and run an entire company.

The University of Wollongong in Dubai interviewed some of their successful students and produced their own article about the experience, encouraging other undergraduates to take part. We're very pleased to share the article below:

Mustafa Ahmed, with Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim

CEOx1Day program unveils top rising talent

in the UAE

Five students from the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) were recently chosen to walk in the footsteps of experienced industry leaders in the region.

Sophie Robertson, Events & Marketing Project Manager, Odgers Berndtson, Middle East, said that

"CEO for a Day is an exclusive Odgers Berndtson initiative, aimed at uncovering the rising top talent in the UAE who will be the leaders of the future”.

“It provides them with the opportunity to spend the day with top Chief Executives from some of the world’s best known brands and organisations in order to gain a better understanding of the factors involved in driving a business and how these leaders create value in their organisations”.

After a rigorous assessment process designed to gauge their leadership potential, Alexandra Makarenko, Amina Mahmood, Annabel Alexander, Kulsoom Khalid and Mustafa Ahmed, whom were all final year undergraduate students from UOWD successfully secured their spots as finalists to shadow Martin Stewart, Paul Griffiths, Olivier Chavy, Khalid Anib and Ahmed Galal Ismail, the CEOs from OSN, Dubai Airport, Movenpick, Abu Dhabi Hotels and Majid Al Futtaim respectively.

Celebrating its second year running the project in the UAE, the cohort of CEOx1Day finalists, representing various universities in the region, attended an exclusive event at Burj Khalifa with guest speakers, including Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, sharing their thoughts on the project, the benefits of the program and why other CEO’s should take part in such an initiative.

Alexandra Makarenko with Martin Stewart, CEO, OSN 

“This was one of my most memorable experiences whilst studying and I would highly recommend current students to apply for this programme in the future” commented Alexandra Makarenko, a recent Bachelor of Business Administration graduate.

I was in the fortunate position to spend the day with Martin Stewart, CEO of OSN who provided me with a holistic overview of what is involved running the day-to-day operations of a leading entertainment network. This is a real-life experience you can’t get from a classroom environment and most certainly the most memorable highlight of my time at UOWD.” she added

Amina Mahmood with Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports

Amina Mahmood, a BCom Marketing student said that spending the day with Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"Witnessing the ins and outs of one of the world’s largest passenger and cargo hubs and seeing the number of individuals who are working behind the scenes to ensure consumers and travellers alike enjoy a smooth and seamless experience were mind-blowing. Everyone worked together as part of a bigger team to make things happen”she commented.

CEO for a Day is a global program and was launched in 2017 in the UAE. It is currently running in several countries around the world including Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, Singapore and Spain.

Odgers Berndtson works alongside each participating organisation to coordinate a day that is both a meaningful and memorable experience for the CEO and the student.

Annabel Alexander with Olivier Chavy, CEO, Movenpick Hotels 

To see the original article, please click here.  


Kulsoom Khalid with Khalid Anib, CEO, Abu Dhabi National Hotels