Selection process

Students will be selected and matched with a local CEO for a Day. Finalists will be chosen through a rigorous recruitment process designed to gauge their leadership potential.

Phase 1: Enrolment

*Eligible MBA students must complete and submit an online application, which will be reviewed by executive search experts at Odgers Berndtson.

The application form will ask you for:

  • Background information
  • a CV with any relevant work or extra-curricular experience
  • Essay highlighting your thoughts on leadership

Evaluation Criteria for Phase 1:

Applications will be evaluated on the breadth of relevant work, volunteer or extra-curricular experience, and the quality of your written answers.

*Eligibility: All final year MBA students enrolled at Wits, Gibs, UCT and USB are eligible to apply for the CEOx1Day programme.

Approximate Time Commitment: 1 hour

Phase 2: Selection of Semi-Finalists

Semi-finalists will be selected from the applications stage by Odgers Berndtson consultants.

Evaluation Criteria for Phase 2:

Applicants will be assessed on their applications considering written thoughts on discussion points, highlights from career including extra-curricular activities, community involvement, volunteering and awards.

Phase 3: Online Leadership Assessment

Semi-finalists having been selected from Phase 1, will be asked to complete an online Leaderfit assessment that profiles their skills, competencies and leadership potential.

Evaluation Criteria for Phase 3:

Applicants will be assessed on the strengths and competencies that are reflective of a confident and ambitious individual who handles stress effectively, is politically astute, dependable, and values learning and developing new skills.

Approximate Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Phase 4: Virtual Assessment Interviews

Semi-finalists will be invited to a virtual assessment and interview session via Zoom, mirroring a real-life search process. This includes a one-on-one interview, a group activity and discussion, and the opportunity to network with Odgers Berndtson’s team of executive search experts.

Evaluation Criteria for Phase 4:  

Semi-finalists will be assessed on their ability to think on their feet and work in a group, reflecting how they will perform when paired with a CEO. The evaluation will take into account each semi-finalist’s performance in activities like debate, presentations, and in-person interviews.

Time Commitment: 1.5 hours

Phase 5: CEOx1Day Event

Each finalist will spend a full day shadowing a CEO learning about their background, career path, and how they create value in their organisation. Finalists will have an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the CEO, attend certain meetings with their leadership team and tour the company’s facilities. Each CEOx1Day event will include elements unique to the host company that ensure it is a meaningful and memorable experience for both the student and CEO.

Timing for Phase 5: September/October/November

Time Commitment: 1 Day

Applications are now open until July 31st.