24 top CEOs pair with a UK student in global millennial talent initiative

CEOs companies including Asos, J Sainsbury, Janus Henderson and Williams F1, take a student apprentice in Odgers Berndtson’s “CEOx1Day”

Odgers Berndtson unveiled winners of its 2017 UK “CEO for a Day” initiative today, pairing 24 undergraduates with the heads of top organisations, including ASOS, J Sainsbury, Williams F1, Janus Henderson, and Weir Group. The Cabinet Office, HM Revenue & Customs, The Institute of Chartered Accountants and Nottingham Trent University are also taking part.

Each chief executive will share a working day one-to-one with a UK undergraduate between now and the end of the year. The scheme aims to create a personal connection between today’s top leaders and talented Millennials about to enter the workforce, giving CEOs a more direct connection with young talent. Students gain insight into what it takes to lead a major organisation and changing opportunities in a dynamic workplace.

“This is part of the global initiative we introduced over ten years ago and currently runs across many of our offices around the world, the UK is now taking the baton having just concluded this year’s Brazilian program,” said Kester Scrope, Chief Executive of Odgers Berndtson.

“All CEOs face challenges around Millennials because their expectations are often very different from those of previous generations,” he continued. “I know from my own experience of taking part in CEO for a Day that business leaders gain a fairly unique opportunity to connect personally with a talented young person whose perspective on their business is fresh, independent and often very direct.”

Odgers Berndtson first launched CEO for a Day in 2004, since which time almost 1,000 of chief executives and students have taken part across the firm internationally. The scheme was first introduced to the UK last year, with almost twice as many top leaders signing up to take part for 2017.

“We aim to continue building CEO for a Day both in the UK and internationally because of the really positive feedback it generates from both leaders and young people,” said Mark Freebairn, who leads CEO for a Day in the UK. “Organisations need to understand and engage Millennials, but it’s also important for young people to see for themselves how exciting and challenging working in business can be.”

Chief executives are participating in the UK 2017 CEO for a Day from the following organisations: Asos, Dentsu Aegis Network UK & Ireland, DFS, Domino’s, Getty Images, Janus Henderson Investors, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), HM Revenue & Customs, Kier Group, Meggitt, Mumsnet, N Brown Group, Nottingham Trent University, Ogilvy UK, Odgers Berndtson, Paysafe Group, Pets at Home, Rentokil, Sainsbury’s, SEGRO, Weir Group, Welcome Break, Williams F1 and The Cabinet Office.