Pickering student job shadows Twitter Canada boss

Finalist Samantha Sim shares her experience at Twitter Canada with the Brampton Guardian.

“PICKERING — There are some lessons you learn in the classroom, and others that only real life can teach.

For Samantha Sim, who is in her fourth year of journalism and business studies at Ryerson University, the chance to spend a day job-shadowing one of Canada’s top media executives was “amazing.”

Ms. Sim, a 21-year-old Pickering resident, was one of seven finalists in the “CEO x 1 Day” program, run by Odgers Berndtson, a global executive search firm.

She beat out hundreds of other high-achieving students in the competition, which saw applicants screened based on their grades, resume, phone interviews and one-on-one interviews.

Ms. Sim was matched with Kirstine Stewart, managing director at Twitter Canada, and recently spent the day shadowing her.

“I rode in the car with her and had coffee with her, we talked a lot,” Ms. Sim says. “She was really open, nothing was off limits. That was really surprising for someone who is so high up in an organization.”

Ms. Stewart has an impressive media background — she was executive vice president of English services at CBC before resigning in April 2013 to accept the position at Twitter.

Ms. Sim hopes to one day work in the business side of media, possibly as an entertainment lawyer.

She says observing Ms. Stewart gave her valuable insight into what it takes to be a success.

“One big thing I learned from Kirstine is how immersed she is in the Twitter brand. She was literally on Twitter every one or two minutes,” Ms. Sim says.

The pair spent the day together during the Olympics when the #wearewinter campaign was at its height.

Ms. Sim was impressed by how tuned in Ms. Stewart was to day-to-day operations and says that taught her that even CEOs and high-level managers need to be hands-on.

Odgers Berndtson describes the CEO x 1 Day program as a “stepping stone” to professional life.

Other finalists were matched with executives from Cisco Canada, GE Canada, Purolator, Cineplex Entertainment and adidas Group Canada.