Following in the footsteps of a CEO leads students to career success

Imagine having the chance to shadow the CEO of a top business for a whole day. To observe how they work, ask questions and see the organisation from the boss’s perspective.

That remarkable opportunity is precisely what’s on offer to talented undergraduates through Odgers Berndtson’s CEOx1Day (CEO for a Day), which returns after great success in previous years.

Taking part in the programme is a rewarding experience for seasoned executives and fresh-faced students alike. Indeed, for some participants, CEOx1Day delivers potentially life-changing career opportunities.

“Incredibly insightful.”

Vikesh Mistry is an excellent example. Last year, whilst studying Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation at De Montfort University, he shadowed Haydn Mursell, CEO of Kier Group. Vikesh explained his time with Haydn was “incredibly insightful” and that it helped develop his understanding of the group operations.

Vikesh went onto join Kier’s graduate marketing programme in 2018. Haydn is making himself available for CEOx1Day again this year as he believes it is imperative to attract new talent into the construction industry.

“I’m looking forward to again showing the breadth of careers we have to offer at Kier,” he says.

Next generation

“We are constantly looking for the next generation of leaders and the past two years have given me the opportunity to hear the feedback on what they observe and hear over the course of the experience, to learn how we make Kier more appealing to the next generation of recruits; something we’ve focused on through our Shaping Your World campaign.

Seeing a CEO in action shows that we’re all human and that with the right capability, skillset and determination, it’s something everyone can aspire to if that is what interests them.”All told, 24 CEOs in the UK are making a commitment to share their working day one-on-one as part of the 2018/19 programme, including leaders from Sainsbury’s, ITV, FT, Royal Mint, Barnardo’s and Visa.

“The feedback we have from students is almost always to the effect that taking part in CEO for a Day is a fantastic preparation for entering the workplace,” says Odgers Partner Mark Freebairn, who leads the initiative in the UK.

“We want to use our relationships with business leaders to help them personally do something to help the next generation and, at the same time, foster trust and enthusiasm about what business can do with young people.”

The opportunity to take part is open to undergraduates at all UK universities and the closing date for applications is 28 January 2019. To get as far as being paired with a CEO, candidates must pass a rigorous assessment and selection process similar to a job interview. 

If you’re a student with the aptitude and drive to impress a leading CEO and improve your career prospects, show us!

You can start by applying here.