After spending the day with one of the country’s top CEOs, a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student says she now has a much better understanding of the opportunities available in the business world.
Natalia Pospieszna, from Poland, was one of three DMU students who were successful in the national ‘CEO for a Day’ competition, which allows university students the chance to shadow a senior executive in the business industry.
Natalia spent the day at the Doncaster headquarters of sofa and furniture retailer DFS where she shadowed CEO Ian Filby and was able to absorb some his expertise.
The second year Accounting and Finance student says the experience has opened her eyes to the wide-ranging possibilities of working for a big company.
She said: “It was amazing and it far exceeded my expectations. The best thing was being able to learn from Ian’s experience and knowledge.
“During the day I learned that there are loads of opportunities within the business where I could work in different positions.
“At the beginning of university I made my mind up that I want to go and do an ACCA qualification and become an accountant, but after the conversation I had with Ian I realised I don’t need to limit myself.”
The scheme, which is organised by recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson, is open to all UK university students. After overcoming a tough process that attracted hundreds of applicants Natalia was keen to make the most of the opportunity.
She said: “The experience was inspiring, motivating and stereotype-breaking. I had the chance to experience a brain-storming meeting, an interesting investment decision making meeting and financial reporting presentations.
“I also got the chance to get to know Ian a bit more. At the end of the day we had a Q&A and an inspiring conversation, I could ask him about leadership and he told me what sort of qualities a great CEO should have.”
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One of the key benefits of spending the day with a business leader was the realisation that anything is possible with enough hard work.
Natalia added: “The thing that was most inspiring is what Ian said about the skills you need to succeed. We don’t have all the skills required to be a good leader, but we can develop them through university, our experiences, an internship and other things in our lives.
“So now I have it in my mind that at this point I might not be a great leader but there are opportunities for me and if I work hard I can become one.”
Posted on Wednesday 21st February 2018