Dream Jobs Do Come True: Students Take the Helm as CEOs of lululemon, Ubisoft, Purolator and 17 Other Prominent Companies for One Day

Twenty university students chosen to be mentored by Canada's top CEOs  

TORONTO, Feb. 9, 2015 /CNW/ - In the pursuit and development of Canada's next generation business leaders, global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson has selected 20 students to spend a day shadowing some of the country's top CEOs. Designed to help the students gain insight into what it takes to foster a culture of collaboration and innovation and steer companies to success, the CEO x 1 Day program gives them the opportunity to learn from some of Canada's best-performing executives.

"The CEO x 1 Day program is designed to uncover Canada's most promising talent, and this year's finalists are truly the cream of the crop," said Rob Quinn, Partner at Odgers Berndtson. "From starting up businesses to participating in global volunteer initiatives, these students have shown that they are on the fast track to becoming remarkable business leaders of tomorrow. By participating in this program, they receive advice and leadership coaching from Canada's top CEOs and gain a deeper understanding of their own strengths to help prepare them for future career opportunities."

Gen Y talent want challenging work, opportunities for advancement and collaboration; less interested in working for a well-respected brand name or a high salary
For participating CEOs, this program is a valuable opportunity to learn what the younger generation is looking for in a job and career – especially as companies globally race to attract and retain the best millennial talent. This year's CEO x 1 Day candidates ranked the top things they look for when choosing their first job, with stimulating work and opportunities for advancement coming out on top. Interestingly, companies offering incentive plans, autonomy, competitive salaries or even a recognizable brand were of less interest to students.

"Demand for talent is higher than ever and this is our chance to tap into what engages and drives the millennial generation in the workplace," said Patrick Nangle, President and CEO, Purolator Inc. "Our involvement in CEO x 1 Day last year was mutually beneficial – the student finalist learned what it takes to drive a major multi-national to success, and through conversations with her I garnered insights and ideas about talent acquisition that we were able to act on. In fact, we hired last year's CEO x 1 Day finalist and have since developed a new graduate job rotation program within Purolator to ensure a rewarding career path within our organization."

What it takes to be a CEO x 1 Day
To evaluate their leadership potential, students went through a rigorous selection process that began last October and included an online leadership assessment from Hogan Assessment Systems and Performance Programs Inc. The selection process culminated with a half-day evaluation conducted by Odgers Berndtson partners and consultants that revealed desirable leadership qualities exhibited by each candidate, including strong interpersonal and communication skills, and high levels of creativity, ambition, resilience and self-confidence.

Participating CEOs and student finalists include:

Vancouver

Calgary

AKAASH BALI, University of British Columbia

Hometown: Richmond, British Columbia

Matched with: Launi Skinner, Chief Executive Officer, First West Credit Union

 

KASHMIR KAUR, University of British Columbia

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

Matched with: Laurent Potdevin, Chief Executive Officer, lululemon athletica Inc.

 

RYAN SMITH, Simon Fraser University

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Matched with: Chuck Jeannes, President & CEO, Goldcorp Inc.

                            

SHELBY MACLEOD, MacEwan University

Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Matched with: Nancy Knowlton, Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nureva Inc.

 

BRITTANY PITRUNIAK, MacEwan University 

Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Matched with: Dave Mowat, President and CEO, ATB Financial

 

Toronto

Montreal

ANDREA BARTLETT, Ryerson University

Hometown: Waterloo, Ontario

Matched with: Tony Gaffney, Chief Executive Officer, Aon Hewitt Canada

 

BJORN DAWSON, University of Waterloo

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Matched with: M. Elyse Allan, President and CEO, GE Canada

 

ROBERT GOLDFARB, Western University

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Matched with: Aly Rahemtulla, President and Chief Executive Officer, BSM Wireless

 

DAVID LI, Western University

Hometown: Waterloo, Ontario

Matched with: Dr. Barry McLellan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

 

CARA OTT, Queen's University 

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

Matched with: Saäd Rafi, Chief Executive Officer, TORONTO 2015

 

RAVI PERSAUD, Ryerson University

Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario

Matched with: Robert Courteau, Chief Executive Officer, Altus Group Limited

 

KOBISAN RASARATNAM, University of Waterloo

Hometown: Markham, ON

Matched with: Ellis Jacob, President & CEO, Cineplex Entertainment

 

KAREN YU, Western University

Hometown: Richmond Hill, Ontario

Matched with: Lanita Layton, Managing Director, HUGO BOSS Canada

 

DANIA ZARGARAN, Queen's University

Hometown: Markham, Ontario

Matched with: Patrick Nangle, President and Chief Executive Officer, Purolator

JESSE CARMICHAEL, Concordia University

Hometown: Montréal, Québec

Matched with: Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer, VIA Rail Canada

 

ANTHONY ESPOSITO, Concordia University

Hometown: Montréal, Québec

Matched with: Alain Brunet, Chief Executive Officer, SAQ

 

ROBERT FORESTELL, McGill University

Hometown: Fredericton, New Brunswick

Matched with: Thierry Vandal, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hydro-Québec

MAXIME PROULX, HEC

Hometown: Sainte-Martine, Québec

Matched with: Charles Guay, Executive Vice President, Institutional Markets and President and CEO, Manulife Quebec

 

MICHAEL VASILI RICHARDSON, Concordia University

Hometown: Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec

Matched with: Yannis Mallat, CEO, Ubisoft

 

GENEVIÈVE ROUSSEAU, HEC

Hometown: Montréal, Québec

Matched with: Manon Brouillette, President and Chief Executive Officer, Videotron

Additional information on the students and CEOs can be found at ceox1day.ca. To follow their experiences check out Twitter @CEOx1Day and #ceox1day.

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.

Exclusive to Odgers Berndtson, CEO x 1 Day has been running globally for eight years.

SOURCE Odgers Berndtson Canada

For further information: Jacqueline Foley, Chief Marketing Officer, Odgers Berndtson, 416-366-1990, Jacqueline.foley@odgersberndtson.ca

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