Brock student selected for national CEO shadow program

Olivia Poulin, a Goodman School of Business student is among 18 Canadian students selected for a prestigious job shadowing program.

PayPal CEO Paul Parisi with Brock University Goodman student, Olivia Poulin

A Goodman School of Business student is among 18 Canadian students selected for a prestigious job shadowing program. Olivia Poulin, a fourth-year university student at Brock, was selected as a finalist. The program, called CEOx1Day, gives students the opportunity to meet a CEO of a major company such as The David Suzuki Foundation, PayPal or Kellogg Canada Inc. Selected students are matched with a CEO from a participating company and shadow them in their work for a day, getting to see an inside, behind the scenes look at what being a CEO entails on a daily basis.

The program was initiated by Odgers Berndtson, a global executive search company. It runs in 12 countries around the world, and is designed to show young, future leaders what it takes to run a company in today’s fast paced, competitive economy. They see first hand how business decisions are made, how to be a good leader who carries great responsibilities and how leaders are working towards their visions for their companies.

Student participants benefit from the real world experience they receive, both in the selection process and on their day shadowing a CEO. The opportunity also provides students a way to network themselves and make connections in the business. They get to put their own leadership skills to the test, discovering their strengths and weaknesses as leaders, and gaining valuable advice from the professionals.

On March 6, Poulin will spend her day in Toronto at the head office of PayPal Canada, where she will meet and shadow CEO Paul Parisi. Parisi has spent nearly 20 years in the payment industry and first joined PayPal in 2016. The Goodman School of Business has done well in providing students such high-end opportunities. Through both class assignments as well as opportunities Goodman has presented her with, Poulin has continued to push herself in her education and grow to be a better leader.

Her selection for the program speaks volumes about Goodman’s training for business leaders, considering the rigorous selection process. Applicants must go through a four step application process to be selected to participate. First, there is a paper application, which includes a resume, an academic transcript and an essay about the students’ thoughts on leadership. The next step is a leadership assessment, an online assessment which aims to identify valuable leadership skills and characteristics in an individual, such as ambition and confidence. If the applicant makes it through this phase, the next step is a phone interview with consultants from Odgers Berndtson, where they are assessed on the articulation and quality of answers they provide.

Finally, those who move forward participate in an in-person interview and evaluation. Semi-finalists spend half a day at an Odgers Berndtson office, where they participate in mock real life job searches and interviews. They also participate in both individual and group exercises such as speed interviews and presentations, where they are assessed on skills such as quick thinking and collaboration. Goodman School of Business dean Andrew Gaudes told Brock News that Poulin’s selection for the CEOx1Day program demonstrates the quality of instruction and experience Goodman students receive through their education at Brock.

Originally published in The Brock Press