“CEO For One Month: the best professional experience”
Published on 12 July 2021 by NEOMA
“It was the best professional experience I’ve ever had. I was catapulted to the top of a company. It was dizzying.” Célia Hammour, MiM M2 student at NEOMA, spent the month of June working alongside the CEO of Adecco Group France, Alexandre Viros. She actually won the CEO For One Month competition out of 20,000 applicants. She looks back at this “incredible” time.
Making on-site tours
“Visiting the sites was the best part of this experience. For example, I went to Humando, an agency that helps people with employment difficulties find work. Some of them were refugees and some were people who were unemployed for many years. Some of them didn’t have housing. Talking with the temporary workers to learn about their problems so we could support them and realising how much they appreciated this help were special moments. It was extremely interesting because these people give the best advice. Also, I had the chance to meet the CEO of the global Adecco Group, Alain Dehaze, who was in Paris that day.”
“For the month I wanted to focus on the topics of diversity and inclusion. I discovered that the company was already very involved in these issues.”
Giving her opinion
“Over the month, I was involved and consulted every day. During meetings, board meetings, one-on-one meetings, everyone asked me my opinion, what I thought, what I would have done or not done. I drafted several discovery reports after a meeting with a customer for example. That forced me out of my comfort zone! I was exhausted at the weekends, but my desire to learn was fulfilled.”
Meeting experienced professionals
“I met people whom I never would have met, such as Thierry Guibert at Roland-Garros, sponsor of the MiM programme’s Class of 2023 at NEOMA. These people are on the executive board. You don’t bump into them every day or see them in an auditorium of 150 people. They have experience, wisdom and maturity and they can offer us a lot. They also need to know what young people think. It’s reverse mentoring.”
“The advice that I received was to be bold. Doubt can be lifesaving, but you need to be bold. For example, apply to a company, do not set up barriers for yourself and don’t be scared even if you think you are not at the right level yet. You’ll learn the skills. And even if you don’t succeed, you learn a lot.
All the people whom I met got to where they are through a lot of hard work. It’s difficult, everyone has doubts, but courage and perseverance pay off.
In one month, I became more confident. Now, I hesitate less. With willingness and courage, anything is possible. Now my efforts are focused on the world competition. The results come out at the end of the summer.”
In fact, Célia Hammour has the chance to apply for a global level “CEO for one month” position.