CEOx1Day finalist spends a day with Odgers Berndtson CEO
A Computer Sciences undergraduate has spent a day working alongside Odgers Berndtson Chief Executive, Kester Scrope as part of the search firm’s international initiative, CEO for a Day.
Oliver Scholten, currently studying at the University of Hull was among a number of students selected to glimpse of life running a major company or organisation.
The finalists, who were chosen following a rigorous selection process, are shadowing Chief Executives from BT Group, Deloitte, DFS, The Cabinet Office, Edelman, Go-Ahead, ITV, Kier Group, Legal & General, The National Trust, Sage & Standard Chartered. Odgers Berndtson’s CEO has also taken part.
After his day with Kester, we asked Oliver for his thoughts on the initiative.
Why did you take part in the programme?
Oliver: “I took part to gain insight into the corporate environment and to interact with executives in their workplace. I also wanted to experience the life of a high-profile CEO; this programme was the perfect opportunity.”
What was the day the like? Did anything surprise you?
Oliver: “The day was packed with meetings, from one-on-one discussions to group brainstorms. I understood that time was treated as a precious commodity and so discussions were always concise and on-topic. The experience on the whole far exceeded my expectations and completely changed my perspective on executive management.”
What are the biggest challenges for your generation in aspiring to be corporate careers?
Oliver: “The biggest challenge facing my generation is rebuilding trust between young people and business leaders. I believe we also need to bridge the gap between education and business to really excel as an economy. In terms of corporate careers, true talent will always be recognised, with companies like Odgers Berndtson playing a key role in placing skilled young leaders in places where their impact can be maximised.”
Has it changed your plans for the future?
Oliver: “As a computer science student I can see a clear future in applying the latest technological innovations to business environments. Having shadowed Kester for the day I have a better understanding of the demands on executives and the compromises required to be successful. Becoming a corporate leader has always been a long-term goal and I believe an achievable one with the right combination of formal education and experience.”