I became the CEO of a Fortune 500 company during my internship. And it transformed my life.
CEO for One Month program was launched in Norway in 2011 and in 2014, the program became an international Adecco initiative where the winners get a chance to become CEO for one month. I emerged triumphant after 7 grueling stages of the recruitment process amongst 55000+ applicants across the world and was chosen as the National CEO for Adecco Group India. I spent a month under the mentorship of India Country Manager & MD Angelo Lo Vecchio and fellow members of the executive team. Beyond HR solutions and the staffing business, I learned on the job business skills including management, finance, and marketing. I also got a rewarding salary to sustain my further education and development.
Here are some of the highlights of my 30-day internship as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company:
Opportunity to meet and network with CEOs:
As young professionals taking our first steps, it is very rare that we get to meet and spend time with the senior management. This program, however, gave me the opportunity to spend time with CEO’s and executive teams from Fortune 500 companies and watch them first-hand as they made critical decisions that shaped the future of their companies.
Having perspective from the top:
Starting fresh at the entry level, visibility is mostly on a micro scale perspective and freshers often miss the big picture of how the decision taken on a daily basis affects the company and how it steers its course. Working as a CEO helped me develop a holistic perspective of how the different departments, functions, and roles work cohesively as a whole aligned with the company’s goals and strategy. It helped me appreciate both the macro and micro perspective and how essential they are to a firm’s success.
Opportunity to travel across India:
Working as the CEO of the month gave me the opportunity to travel extensively to other Adecco offices across India and meet with the leaders and members of various national teams and learn from them.
An insider look into the working of a fortune 500 company:
This program gave me an opportunity to be a part of the executive committee and actively participate in board meetings, weekly business reviews, monthly ops reviews, and learn the convoluted process of running a fortune 500 company. I was invited to these meetings, not as a passive observer, but was encouraged to be an active participant and my point of view was often sought and always respected.
Guidance and career boost:
This program definitely gave a boost to my career as I was groomed by some of the best HR consultants in the country, who helped me realize my professional calling in the area of Human Resources. After the completion of the internship, I was given an opportunity to choose the department that I would like to work with. A special role was created for me as the Human Resources Projects Specialist and today, I have a pan India profile where I am responsible for the global projects that need country implementation.
Created a digital footprint:
Building a digital legacy is of key importance in the digital era and this one-month internship with Adecco helped me create a favorable digital footprint with more than 1000 online links mentioning me and the program.
Public Speaking Opportunities:
One of the highlights of my internship was when I was given a chance to present my ideas on the need for “Revolution of Purpose” as Adecco launched Spring Professional India, an international recruitment firm specializing in mid-senior level profile recruitments. That experience gave me the crucial confidence to present my views in front of a large audience.
I’ve fast-tracked my way to success and following three attributes have been the catalysts behind my journey:
Knowing the facts – Stay focused on your purpose while developing a keen awareness of your environment. It is important to be aware of relevant data, understand economic issues, global developments as well as have an acute understanding of the corporate environment around you. Armed with this knowledge, not only I made a favorable impression as a young executive, but was also able to make informed and educated decisions.
Being confident – Self-confidence is at the helm of all personal success. In the purest sense, self-confidence is knowing what you are good at, the value you provide and acting in a way that conveys this to others. I was often thought of as a natural leader due to the confidence that I exuded.
Strong communication skills – The ability to communicate effectively can’t be underestimated, especially in today’s global business marketplace. Good communication is about listening, reading non-verbal cues, and responding in a way that makes it easy for the listener to grasp your message. Almost every employer seeks candidates with good communication skills and these skills were pivotal to my corporate success.
Author of the article: Bani Sodhi