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KU Student Chosen as CEOx1DAY Finalist

December 14, 2020

Shama Almazrouei will spend a day with an executive of an established company in the UAE and personally experience the company’s activities. 


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the CEO of an established company? KU’s Electrical Engineering undergraduate Shama Almazrouei was one of the few chosen to shadow a successful CEO in the UAE and experience first-hand what it could be like to lead a company. 


The CEOx1Day is a program of management and consultancy company Odgers Berndtson that matches 3rd- and 4th-year undergraduates with a regional Chief Executive Officer and their executive team and shadow them for one full day to see how they work and do business. Program finalists will be able to learn about possible career paths, how team members create value in their organization, and the details of how a company functions. 


The Career Services Office introduced and facilitated applications for this initiative to KU students, among others, as part of their career guidance program to prepare students for the job market.


The CEOx1DAY program was first launched in Odgers Berndtson’s office in Germany and has now grown to 12 other countries, including Brazil, Denmark, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, and the UK. To date, the program has received around 17,000 applications from all over the world, and over 400 CEOs from prominent companies such as Google, Twitter, Adidas, and Ikea have participated in the initiative. 


The program is designed to allow promising future leaders to experience and see first-hand what it is like to be a successful CEO. For the CEOs, the program gives them an opportunity to connect with the next generation of leaders, providing them a better understanding of today’s youth, what drives them, and their work ethics. 


Aside from the invaluable opportunity to work with top business leaders, students chosen to participate in the program also have a chance to meet with the Odgers Berndtson team and learn more about the recruitment process, providing them additional skills that they can use during their job search after they graduate. They’ll learn presentation skills and team building skills, as well as strengthen their interview techniques as they undergo one-on-one interview exercises. The student finalists will also receive a Hogan leadership assessment report that evaluates seven well-known characteristics that influence a person’s occupational success. 


Much like any job application, applying to be part of the CEOx1DAY was a process. 


“An email was sent by KU and I applied. I went through application and transcript screening, online leadership assessments, telephone interviews, and a half day of virtual group assessment with semi-finalists from other universities,” Shama explained. 


When asked why she applied to the program, Shama said she wanted to “gain leadership skills and communication skills, get insight on workplaces and how things work, and learn from a successful CEO.”


“KU has always encouraged me to always look for opportunities to gain more knowledge and more experience, and I try to always set myself apart from others by taking part in different competitions and programs,” she said. 


After the program, she explained that she “wants to have an insight on how things work in an actual workplace and learn more about the role of the CEO and what it takes to be a great leader, how they reached this position, and what skills are needed to be a good CEO.”  


Shama is partnered with Mr. Regis Schultz, President of Retail at Al-Futtaim Group, and is scheduled to spend the day in the company next year.  


Ara Maj Cruz
Creative Writer
14 December 2020

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