Top CEOs welcome UK students "apprentices" in Odgers Berndtson's CEOx1Day scheme

CEOs of Williams F1, Domino’s Pizza Group, J Sainsbury plc, Getty Images and Nottingham Trent University now pairing with students

Chief executives of some of Britain’s biggest companies – including Williams F1, Domino’s Pizza Group plc, J Sainsbury plc and Getty Images – will share a full working day one-to-one with a UK undergraduate as part of an innovative global scheme giving talented Millennials a direct taste of life at the top.

Today three chief executives are embarking on their “CEO Day”, part of the “CEO for a Day” future talent initiative led by Odgers Berndtson, a leading global executive search firm. David Wild, CEO of Domino’s Pizza Group, Mike O’Driscoll, CEO of Williams F1, and Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham Trent are among 24 UK CEOs taking part, with further days due to taking place over coming weeks.

“The chief executives we work with tell us this gives them a valuable chance to connect directly with a young person not otherwise connected with their firm,” said Mark Freebairn, who heads the CEO for a Day initiative at Odgers Berndtson UK. “More broadly, we hope to widen opportunities and help to inspire a new generation in the challenges and opportunities of leading a business.”

The students who will shadow CEOs today were among 24 winners chosen from hundreds of applicants to participate in the initiative this year. Carlos Gutierrez, studying mechanical engineering at Bath University, will spend today with Mike O’Driscoll at Williams F1, whilst Domino’s David Wild will share his day with Matthew Bishop, an economics undergraduate at the University of Kent.

For the first time this year, the head of a university will also participate, with Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, due to spending today with Nicolas Alford, studying accounting and finance at the University of Southampton.

“With CEO for a Day, we’ve been able to help universities create some very unique opportunities for students at a high level across a broad range of businesses and organisations,” said Alex Acland, Head of the Higher Education Practice at Odgers Berndtson. “One of the benefits of this experience is that students can see for themselves the range of roles and opportunities potentially on offer and also gain some insight into what it takes to lead a large company – or university.”

Next week, Mike Coupe, CEO of J Sainsbury plc will share his CEO day with Audrey Opdycke-Barnes, studying international business management at Edinburgh Napier University. Meantime Dawn Airey, CEO of Getty Images will share a day with Xhensila Brahaxhiga, studying accounting and finance at Kingston University.

Odgers Berndtson first launched CEO for a Day in 2004, since which time almost 1,000 of chief executives and students have taken part in 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 in 2017. Currently, CEOx1Day is running in 12 of the 28 countries in which Odgers Berndtson operates.

Find out more about CEOx1Day