From CEOx1Day to Starting My Career at MindBridge Ai

Blair Watson just graduated from Carleton University and has joined MindBridge Ai in Ottawa

Eli Fathi (CEO MindBridge Ai) and Blair Watson

My Track to Becoming CEOx1Day

Scrolling through my news feed last summer I saw that a good friend of mine had shared a post talking about his experience shadowing an executive through a program called CEOx1Day. Flash forward 6 months, I saw a classmate of mine sharing the experience she had. At this point, I thought I would check it out myself. Visiting the website I thought, ‘what a tremendous way for me to learn from a proven leader by getting the opportunity to spend a day with a leader at the top of their industry’. Without hesitation, I applied!

My CEOx1Day Experience

When I applied for the program, I did not know what to expect but it really helped me thrive as a young leader. This program wouldn’t just profile my strengths and weaknesses, refine my interview skills, and grow my network, but it would also provide me with an opportunity to apply, and be selected for, a job right out of University.

After progressing through the four rigorous stages, I was incredibly fortunate to have been selected to shadow Eli Fathi, CEO of MindBridge Ai. MindBridge is a tech startup in Ottawa that’s revolutionizing how organizations identify and manage risk by building an artificial intelligence platform that understands massive data sets to reveal anomalies and never-before-seen insights.

My CEOx1Day started with meeting Eli at City Hall in Ottawa for the monthly edition of the Mayor's breakfast. I then shadowed him throughout the day as he attended meetings and made decisions with his team that would move the company forward. While the day flew by, the people I met in the different departments were all exceptional to chat with. Throughout the day, I was able to see all the different departments at MindBridge working together as it was a collaborative startup atmosphere - this was really neat!

 “We’re committed to shaping the firms of the future and CEOx1Day is the perfect way to connect talented students with seasoned teams to nurture our next business leaders,” said Eli Fathi. “We enjoyed having Blair here and his curiosity, passion, and energy made him a natural fit for our team.”

I ended the day by addressing the entire team and reflecting on what I took away from the day. What made MindBridge so special wasn’t the unbelievable innovation they were leading in the artificial intelligence space, it was the team and the culture they built. After the day concluded, I continued to pay attention to their careers page and when something that fit with my skill set appeared, I sent my resume in. 

Starting My Career at MindBridge Ai

Since starting at MindBridge, I have been working in a variety of different areas. When I first joined, I began helping the marketing department on the promotion for their annual event, IMPACT AI, which took place on May 30th. Following the event, I have been doing sales, from lead generation to supporting our university alliance program, and have even filmed some events. Eli and the MindBridge team offer an excellent platform for young people to broaden their skills and take charge of their career. It has really helped me in strengthening my leadership skills and building my confidence. 

“Blair brings a strong work ethic to the table every day, figuring things out and supporting the goals of multiple teams within the organization,” said John Bednarek, V.P. Operations at MindBridge. “He’s adapted to the fast-paced scale-up life well and we’re lucky to have met him through the CEOx1Day program.”

It’s funny how opportunities come our way, on the one hand, it’s not surprising how uncertain life can be, but on the other, we are always planning for the perfect moment. I never expected that applying to CEOx1Day would provide me with that “perfect moment” opportunity to apply for a job at a prominent startup right out of school!

I would encourage any 3rd or 4th year student to apply to CEOx1Day as the program’s four stages of leadership development is an excellent way to help them define their strengths and weaknesses, and practice their interviewing skills for future job searches. Those who make it to the final round can have the opportunity to shadow a proven leader in the real world, something that a classroom can never teach. The opportunities that come from the program could help define your future leadership track and career, as it has for me.

Blog Post written by: Blair Watson