SFU students shine in ‘CEO for a Day’ competition

Simon Fraser University issues a press release announcing that student Ryan Smith was selected as a finalist in Vancouver.

Simon Fraser University undergraduate student Ryan Smith will spend Thursday, Feb. 19 walking in a CEO’s shoes. He surpassed competitors from five local universities to secure a spot at the helm of Goldcorp alongside CEO and President Chuck Jeannes in B.C.’s inaugural CEO for a Day competition.

SFU students excelled in the Odgers Berndston-run competition, with seven students advancing to the B.C.-wide top 12. The finalists’ fields of study ranged from business to international studies to environmental sciences. More info on each finalist can be found at http://sfu.ca/wil/ceo

Smith, a co-operative education (co-op) student in the Beedie School of Business, boasts an impressive work history. Through co-op, he worked in finance for Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments and GE Capital.

Smith credits these experiences for helping him to reach the top of the competition: “My co-op work as an analyst in the commodities field was an important part of what made me a good fit with CEO Chuck Jeannes.”

“We were excited to see so many co-op students in the top 12 of the competition,” explains Adam Brayford, communications coordinator with SFU’s Work Integrated Learning team. “The diverse work experience that co-op students gain, not to mention the interview practice, seems to provide them an edge in situations like this.”

Executive search firm Odgers Berndston evaluated hundreds of student competitors’ leadership potential in a rigorous four-part assessment process. Upon passing an online screening, candidates completed multiple interviews before advancing to a day-long 12-person group finale.

Smith will spend this Thursday shadowing Jeannes. Additional information on the competition and CEOs can be found at ceox1day.ca. To follow winners’ experiences check out Twitter @ceox1day and #ceox1day.

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded almost 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is a leader amongst Canada’s comprehensive research universities and is ranked one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students, and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.