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Three DMU students to shadow top CEOs after national competition

Three De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students have won a coveted opportunity to spend a day shadowing the CEO of a leading UK company.

Felix Ochefu, Vikesh Mistry and Natalia Pospieszna were all successful in applying to the prestigious CEO for a Day initiative, which is organised by recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson and open to undergraduate students from all UK universities.

Felix Ochefu 1

The day will give the students a unique insight into the world of business and allow them to learn from some of the best chief executives in the industry.

Felix Ochefu, who studies Business and Management at DMU, beat hundreds of other students to get the chance to shadow Michael Izza, Chief Executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) at their head office in London.

He relished the opportunity to get an understanding of how a business with nearly 150,000 members functions at the very top level.

Felix said: “I was really excited about it, it’s not every day you get to shadow a top CEO. While I was there I was looking to impress as much as possible. It’s a big office with lots of people working there so you never know who is going to open doors for you for your future.

“Any opportunity that might present itself I’m willing and able to take it and that’s something I’m looking forward to.”

Vikesh Mistry, who is studying Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation at DMU, will spend the day with construction company Kier Group Chief Executive Haydn J. Mursell whilst Accounting and Finance student Natalia Pospieszna will shadow Ian Filby of furniture retail giant DFS.

DMU’s Careers and Employability team assisted the students with a tailored support programme to aid their application for the programme.

The team provided CV support, mock interviews, a leadership workshop and reviews of their personal statement to help the three students through the challenging application process, which consisted of an initial application, online assessment and a final assessment.

Felix added: “DMU provided a lot of support throughout the process of the scheme. Initially we had to have a CV and cover letter done and write down something about what leadership means to us and DMU provided so much support for this.

“They had a class especially for applicants, I thought it was really valuable for the process and even after the first draft the people working with us made sure it was perfect and gave us a boost in our confidence that we could go all the way to the end. That was really amazing.”

Suki Clayer, Placement Manager at DMU, believes that the experience will bring a range of benefits to the students.

She said: “All three students have done incredibly well to have been given this opportunity, which will give them an amazing insight into life at the top of a major company.

“As well as spending a day shadowing a CEO, they will also benefit from the process of applying to the scheme and I’m sure will be able to apply what they’ve learned to real life situations when they are applying for jobs after university.

“We’re grateful to Odgers Berndston for running this scheme and to all of the CEOs who have given up their time to show students what a day in their working life is like.”

Posted on Monday 4th December 2017

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