A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student has spent the day shadowing the CEO of construction company Kier, after being named as a winner of the prestigious CEO for a Day competition.
Vikesh Mistry was one of three DMU students who were successful in the national competition, which is organised by global executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson. It aims to give promising university students the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a senior executive.
Vikesh, a third year Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation student, spent the day in London with Kier CEO, Haydn Mursell, and was delighted with the chance to get a greater understanding of the corporate world.
Learning from one of the most successful CEOs in the industry, Vikesh has gained encouragement to continue working hard to achieve his own aspiration of becoming the CEO of a FTSE 250 company.
He said: “I had an absolutely fantastic experience. It gave me an insight into exactly what the construction industry entails, in terms of its day to day operations and the planning that goes into the multimillion-pound construction contracts which Kier work on. By spending time with Haydn, I got to appreciate the duties associated with being a CEO.
“We had site visits which were really informative. They gave me a thorough insight into the variety of projects Kier undertake as a leading construction and services company.
“I also got to visit one of the offices and meet some of the members of their marketing and HR departments. I got a better understanding of their daily work and how they play a pivotal role in supporting the overall business.”
Applicants were required to progress through a number of stages before being offered the chance to spend a day with a CEO, and Vikesh believes the process will stand him in good stead when looking for graduate employment.
“The application process was very rigorous,” he explained. “There were several different stages from putting together your CV and personal statement along with a 500 word essay about why I wanted to spend a day with a CEO.
“There were online tests and, following that, I had to spend a day in London where there were different exercises where we had to discuss different topics like Trump, Brexit and the global economy, so it was really full on.
“At the end of that day we had a competency based interview, so it was really diverse in terms of assessments.
“Participating in the scheme will enable be to better prepare for graduate jobs, as I have developed my interview skills and gained more experience through the process.”
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The initiative is open to all UK university students and attracted thousands of applicants, but Vikesh believes the support from DMU’s placements team gave him the best opportunity to succeed.
He said: “I received absolutely exceptional support from DMU and I’m thoroughly grateful for everything they did in helping me during this process.
“Getting my personal statement checked to ensure it was up to spec, together with having a mock interview with the placement staff, was invaluable in building up confidence and preparing me for the assessment day.
“I also really want to thank Odgers Berndtson for the opportunity. The experience has helped both my personal and professional development, consequently improving my employability prospects.”
Posted on Tuesday 20th February 2018