Learning more than ever expected: CEOx1Day at Molson Coors

Annu Puri is paired with MolsonCoors CEO Frederic Landtmeters

Annu Puri is paired with MolsonCoors CEO Frederic Landtmeters

Don’t miss one of the most important opportunities in your student experience! Applications for the Odgers Berndtson’s CEOx1Day Program are officially open. You have only a few more weeks to apply before the deadline on October 26th, 2018. Curious about the process and experience you’ll receive if selected? Read on to find out how last year’s Finalist, Annu Puri, found the entire CEOx1Day process invaluable for his future career journey.

Annu Puri, a University of Waterloo student studying Accounting and Finance decided to take the leap and apply to the CEOx1Day Program after hearing about a friend's experience the year before. Being curious about business and passionate about relationship building, Annu didn't want to pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "How often do you get the chance to say, ‘I sat down with the CEO of a multi-million-dollar company and had the chance to speak with them, ask questions and pick their brain'?" he says.

Annu was paired with Frederic Landtmeters, President and Chief Executive Officer of Molson Coors Canada. During the day of the event at Molson, Annu quickly realized that he'd be learning so much more than he ever anticipated. A large factor in making it a meaningful and memorable experience was his extensive preparation prior to the day. "The day goes by so quickly that if you don't do your research beforehand, you're only going to scratch the surface. Invest in yourself for that day and try to make the most of it! You can learn from everyone at the company that day, not just the CEO", he shares.

When asked about his preparation for the 4-step selection process, Annu said that he was very strategic. “When I saw the CEO list, I had three that I was really interested in working with. I wanted to tailor my application to target those companies and CEOs based on my own personal experience”, he explains.

Application Process

Even though Annu's goal was to reach the finalist round, he took away so much during the application process that it became a learning opportunity itself. He was actually the most interested in the semi-finalist round when he first applied because of all the value the rigorous selection process offers. During the second stage of the selection process, candidates completed the Hogan Leadership Assessment. He found this tool to be very enlightening for his personal and professional development. "The value I got out of the assessment was discovering areas of opportunit[ies] that I knew existed but never acknowledged. There were knowledge gaps for me as a leader, teammate, and communicator that I was able to see from that assessment", he shares. During the semi-finalist day, the students were given a workshop explaining their results and how to utilize this information to their benefit. "The Hogan Assessment is designed in a way that there's no good or bad score. It's your own personal leadership style and way of approaching a problem", Annu adds.

After an informal phone interview, the final step in the CEOx1Day selection process is the semi-finalist half day which encompasses a series of activities, including speed interviews. Having experience in school clubs interviewing students, Annu found this to be a thrilling experience. He knows just how challenging it can be to master your elevator pitch, so he offers some tips to students preparing for this stage in the process: be genuine and be yourself! "Showing your personality is so important during an interview, and it can be hard when you only have six minutes!" Because of this experience, Annu wishes that more companies would adopt this speed-round style of interviews. "It's a great way to get to know someone in a genuine way and shows your communication skills in a very short period of time," he says.

Leading up to his big day with CEO, Frederic Landtmeters, Annu ensured he was ready by doing his research and knowing his objectives. With an interest in internal culture and operations, Annu wanted to be prepared with questions on how Molson Coors functions with multiple departments and how they work together seamlessly. He also received support from previous year's finalists: they shared their best practices, what they did to prepare, and their overall experience.

The Big Day

Annu was included in all of the Fred’s meetings and was able to connect with various departments at the Molson Coors’ head office – from marketing to accounting, and even manufacturing! Because of all the legwork he did before the event, Annu was able to have a much more in-depth and rewarding experience. "I was able to learn so much more which led our conversations to a higher level," he says.

His most memorable moment was attending the town hall meeting at the very end of the day. "I learned a lot from Frederic throughout my experience, but in hearing him speak, I was able to see how much people respected him and I think that's a characteristic to be admired," he explains. Annu was also struck by how much of a family atmosphere Molson Coors really has.

"Everyone was together, sitting down there like family. My day was supposed to end at 4 pm, and at 4:30 pm, even though the town hall was done, everyone was still there talking to each other, talking to Fred, and connecting. I found that to be the best part of it – seeing people at work actually enjoying themselves!"

Annu was reaffirmed during this experience that “there’s no substitution for hard work” and that “no matter how busy you are, you can still make time for the things and people you love”.

Don’t miss your chance to become a CEOx1Day just like Annu! Applications close on October 26th, 2018. Apply here!

This article was originally published by our CEOx1Day Partner, TalentEgg here.