My 'CEO for a month' experience

Grads Corner
16 September 2015 | Grads Corner | Guest Author

ClaireI first heard about the opportunity in one of my university lectures and being a determined and career minded final year student it sounded right up my street!

So when I got the call to say I had been successful I naturally felt a little trepidation at the thought of working alongside an established CEO of a global organisation - however, I was also very excited at the prospect of the month, the experiences it would give me and the opportunities it would present me with that all the other emotions, bar excitement went by the wayside!

So I packed my bags and left the green fields of County Down for London.

So what did I do as CEO for the month?

In the morning I would be sitting in on the executive board meeting, at noon I’d be watching the team prepare for a pitch and in the afternoon I’d be out onsite in a branch meeting the people at the heart of the global organisation. The team at Adecco UK & Ireland organised the month based on rotations.

So the first and last few days I spent solely with Peter Searle the CEO but in between I spent days with the CFO Tim Briant, the CFO Chris Moore and heads of all the other business areas and brands that operate under the Adecco umbrella. Each manager had a different take on how best to show me what their team did so that resulted in a really varied set of experiences. No two hours where the same never mind days!

The whole month was incredible. I can genuinely and honestly say that I loved every minute of it.

If I had too chose the best part it would have to be the branch visits both within Millennium Bridge House and around the country. The employees at the heart of this organisation are inspiring to a young person like me about to embark on their professional career.

The passion and enthusiasm for the job literally seeps out of every branch, it’s nearly tangible. So many of them, including Peter Searle himself started off in sales consultant roles and have worked their way up the ranks which is such an encouraging message to be sending to young people all over the globe.

I have learnt a lot from everyone that I have met at Adecco but perhaps my biggest take away is one that can be seen on a brand, country and international level.

If you invest the right people, not necessarily based on qualifications but on personality too, treat them well and give them the freedom to innovate and grow, you will almost certainly reap the rewards. I hope that there will be a point in my career when I’ll be able to remember this lesson and put it into practise - maybe one day as CEO!

Watch Claire's vlog about her experience below:



Claire Houston is 22 years old and was previously the Adecco UK&I 2015 CEO. She is now employed as a  Commercial Management Graduate for media giant Coca-Cola. Want to connect? Find her on Linkedin.

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