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Odgers Berndtson launches CEO for a Day initiative for 2018/19

Twenty leaders of top organisations are making a personal commitment to share a working day - one on one - with an undergraduate student as part of a scheme enabling young people to see for themselves what business and leadership is really like.


Odgers Berndtson has revealed the CEOs who will participate in its “CEO for a Day” initiative for 2018/19 now launching in the UK. Across its international network the firm has so far involved over 400 CEOs across 13 countries in the initiative, Singapore and Turkey joining this year, attracting almost 20,000 student applications.


The expansion of CEO for a Day across Odgers Berndtson’s global network comes as business leaders become increasingly focused on the impacts of disruption and technological change. In a recent study of CEOs across APAC Odgers Berndtson found many CEOs are concerned senior executives may lack qualities needed to address challenges their businesses now face - reflecting a widely-held view that younger generations of leaders may have very different characteristics.


Kester Scrope, chief executive of Odgers Berndtson, commented, “Disruption and generational change are big issues for all senior leaders and CEO for a Day gives them a chance to engage directly and in a very personal way, whilst at the same time doing something of immense value to a young person starting out. “For many of those involved, the experience can be life-changing.”


A student winner from last year, Vikesh Mistry, who graduated in Business Entrepreneurship & Innovation from De Montfort University, was paired with Haydn Mursell, CEO of Kier Group, and has now joined Kier’s graduate marketing programme in 2018.


Mark Freebairn, who leads the initiative for Odgers Berndtson in the UK, said, “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.


“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.”


Undergraduates at all UK universities are eligible to apply for CEO for a Day, with applications opening online from today. A process of assessment and selection, similar to a job interview process, will follow in the New Year after which successful students will be paired for a day with the participating chief executives.

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