A Day in the Life of a CEO

University of Ottawa student Anna Halawa describes her CEOx1Day experience at H+K Strategies

Anna HK CEOx1Day

Do you ever wonder what a day in the life of a CEO looks like? The other day, I got to spend my 9 to 5 with Goldy Hyder, CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada, a prominent public relations consulting company. Thanks to the CEOx1Day program, organized by Odgers Berndtson, and after a rigorous multi-stage selection process, I had the opportunity to accompany Mr. Hyder throughout his whole work-day on February 1st.

My day began at the Hill+Knowlton Ottawa office. Mr. Hyder immediately made an impression on me. His intelligence, wit, and unparalleled political and economic knowledge could have made him quite intimidating but instead, I felt welcomed and engaged from the moment I stepped into the office. I was encouraged to speak up and ask questions during the internal meetings I attended. I also had the pleasure of meeting some of the key members of the Ottawa team, including Don Boudria, former federal cabinet minister and current senior counselor at Hill+Knowlton.

Highlights of the day included lunch at Parliament, where I had the chance to speak with Jennifer Ditchburn, editor-in-chief of Policy Options at the Institute for Research on Public Policy. Another highlight included finishing off the day at a taping of On the Money at CBC, where I got to listen to Mr. Hyder speak on the impact of socioeconomic standing on one’s lifespan.

Overall, my CEOx1 Day experience was incredible. I was privy to the big picture view of a large organization from the CEO’s perspective. I learned about the company’s successes and the obstacles it is currently facing, as well as its impact on various industries. But perhaps most importantly, I had one-on-one time with its CEO, who readily answered my never-ending questions about his career path and offered valuable advice for me as a student just starting my professional journey.

To all 3rd and 4th year Telfer students: I highly encourage everyone to apply to the CEOx1 Day program next year – it is a learning opportunity unlike any other!