Looking to uncover Canada’s future leaders: Odgers Berndtson launches year three of CEO x 1 Day program with new talent development partners

Seventeen university students to access coaching and mentoring from top CEOs and recruiters

Toronto, October 1, 2015 – For the third consecutive year, leading global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson is giving third and fourth year Canadian university students the opportunity to be CEO for one day at some of Canada’s most sought-after employers. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to meet and job shadow one of 17 dynamic CEOs from national and international organizations in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.                    

The career-shaping CEO x 1 Day program is made possible by Odgers Berndtson’s network of top employers, recruiters and advisors, including its newest partner, McKinsey & Company. As part of the CEO x 1 Day program, all semi-finalists will be considered for an interview with McKinsey & Company for a summer internship or full-time placement.

“The CEO x 1 Day program helps us uncover and develop the next generation of Canadian leaders by providing students with invaluable access to the most respected CEOs and with opportunities for them to learn about themselves and their leadership potential,” says Rob Quinn, a Partner at Odgers Berndtson.

In partnering with McKinsey & Company, Odgers Berndtson hopes to help more top students explore their career options and discover new leadership development opportunities. “We believe this new partnership will be an added benefit for many of our CEO x 1 Day participants,” says Mr. Quinn


Partners key to finding Canada’s top student leaders

Other key partners in the CEO x 1 Day program include Hogan Assessments and Performance Programs Inc. (PPI) who provide a critical component of the rigorous recruitment process that Odgers Berndtson uses to identify Canada’s top future leaders. CEO x 1 Day participants fill out an online leadership assessment developed by Hogan Assessments and administered by PPI and then they receive personalized reports to learn about their strengths and weaknesses.

“We’re proud to be supporting this important initiative by contributing the predictive power of our assessments,” says Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, CEO of Hogan Assessments. “Based on 30 years of experience and data from millions of leaders, our assessments help to identify the best candidates and provide them with critical development feedback to build upon their potential.”

Another important CEO x 1 Day partner is Enactus Canada, this country’s largest student leadership development organization. Enactus Canada shapes generations of entrepreneurial leaders who are passionate about advancing the economic, social and environmental health of Canada. They are helping Odgers Berndtson connect with student leaders across the country through their extensive network of university campuses.


Program launches today!

Starting today, students can apply for the CEO x 1 Day program and the chance to learn from, and be influenced and inspired by, some of Canada’s most innovative and successful business leaders. Interested students can submit an online application at www.ceox1day.ca until November 6, 2015.


Participating CEOs include:


Tony Gaffney, Aon Hewitt Canada

Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge, Canadian Football League

Stefan Sjöstrand, IKEA Canada

John Ruffolo, OMERS Ventures

Stephen Rigby, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation



Daniel Jean, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government  of Canada

Benoit Daignault, Export Development Canada

Dr. Bernard Leduc, Hôpital Montfort




Charles Guay, Manulife Québec

André Bourbonnais, PSP Investments

Luc Tremblay, STM



Myron M. Stadnyk, ARC Resources Ltd.

Dave Mowat, ATB Financial

Gianna Manes, ENMAX Corporation



Randall MacEwen, Ballard Power Systems

David Labistour, Mountain Equipment Co-op

Dr. Amiee Chan, Norsat International Inc.



About the Application Process for CEO x 1 Day

Third and fourth year Canadian university students are required to complete a four-step application process:

  1. Enrollment: Initial applications will be evaluated based on the student’s academic record, resume, charitable and extracurricular activities and a brief written essay on leadership.
  2. Online leadership assessment: Those selected to advance to the second phase will be required to complete an online leadership assessment from Hogan Assessments and Performance Programs Inc.
  3. Phone interviews: Conducted by Odgers Berndtson search consultants, these interviews will establish the semi-finalists moving onto the final phase of the application process.
  4. One-on-one evaluations: Semi-finalists will spend a half-day with Odgers Berndtson consultants, participating in individual and group exercises as well as one-on-one interviewing. A total of 17 finalists will be selected to move onto the final stage, shadowing one of Canada’s top business leaders and gaining a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in today’s global economy.


About Odgers Berndtson

Odgers Berndtson is a global leader in executive search with more than 200 partners in 27 countries, committed to providing an integrated approach to talent management. With a focus on industry and functional specialization, the firm specializes in recruiting and assessing senior executives and board members in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors across Canada, and internationally. Through executive search, interim management and leadership assessment services, Odgers Berndtson helps its clients build world-class leadership teams.


For more information:

Jacqueline Foley, Chief Marketing Officer, Odgers Berndtson