by Olivia Poulin, 2018 CEO One Month
Adecco Canada #CEO1Month Olivia Poulin shares her advice for what to expect from the CEO for One Month program.
The Application Process
The initial application through the Way to Work website consisted of a profile, resume and motivational letter. There were really no instructions for the letter besides a blank box and the question “What drives you?” which allowed me the freedom to tell Adecco what I’m all about (I chose to make my letter 1 page). I received an email from Adecco in my country announcing that I was in the Top 30 and they requested that I send in a 1-minute video and an essay demonstrating how I live Adecco’s core values. After this, when I was selected for the Top 3, I had a Skype interview with the CEO himself, Gilbert Boileau. This was our first opportunity to speak to one another, so I felt the pressure, but also just wanted to show him who I really am and why I wanted the opportunity so badly. After a follow-up interview with someone else from his team, I received a congratulatory phone call letting me know I had been selected. What a feeling!
If you’re doing research because you are interested in the 2019 program, then you’re already off to a great start. I spent hours researching the Canadian program as well as the global program, which includes a finalist boot camp and the ultimate opportunity — shadowing The Adecco Group Global CEO Alain Dehaze. I watched every YouTube video, read every article, checked out past participants’ Twitter and Instagram profiles, searched hashtags etc. When the interview question came along “how much do you know about the CEO for One Month program?” I could confidently answer “practically everything”. However, DON’T STOP THERE! Learn about Adecco in Canada and in surrounding markets, the staffing industry, and some of our competitors, too. This way, during the interview process, you can speak to how your personal experiences will benefit you throughout the program, increasing your chance of selection.
Attitude (of Gratitude)
Be grateful for every round of applications you advance through and the things you learn about yourself along the way! The Marketing Team is reading, scoring and ranking every application more than once. If you don’t make it through to the next round, send a follow-up/thank you email for having been considered. Have a genuine attitude of thankfulness. This could benefit you in the future if you build the relationship properly. Once you are selected, please realize the incredible opportunity you have ahead of you to learn, be challenged and prove yourself. You have been trusted to view everything top down of a Global Fortune 500 Company — an experience many could only dream of at the early stages of a career!
Do What Feels Right
Don’t follow everyone else’s lead. Do what feels right to you. There isn’t really a “right answer” in terms of exactly what they’re looking for. Think outside the box and feel free to have fun with your application. Show your personality and creativity. I stressed myself out watching OTHER people’s submission videos and digging around the Internet to see who I was competing against. I’d compare our backgrounds, education, videos etc. and worried that the approach I took in my video wasn’t quite right. But at the end of the day, I was selected because I was able to show so much of my true self and my relevant experiences, which leads me to my next point:
Make sure your videos/essays match WHO YOU ARE. It sounds so cheesy, but: be yourself. When I showed up to work on my first day, I wasn’t worried about ‘acting right’ or putting on a show to be someone I’m not — I was exactly who I am and that served me well throughout my time there. I could relax and interact in a natural and positive way. I received many compliments that I was warm, kind, fun, positive, eager to learn, genuine and determined — qualities that I foster every day. In my final day feedback session, I was told that in-person-Olivia matched application-Olivia and that was really important to me.
Whatever you’ve got going on — cancel it. Kidding! (Kind of, but not really). I have never worked harder or been busier in my life than during my month with Adecco. I was juggling an online university class, running my company from another city, handling church responsibilities and completing Adecco Global Challenges on top of travelling, learning, shadowing and working on my final project for Adecco. It was crazy, but it taught me a lot about myself (check out next week’s post!) and my working style. I’d recommend making decisions that allow you to put as much of your focus and energy into your CEO for One Month journey as possible in an effort to maximize your time there and not spread yourself too thin.
Living on Your Own
I lived in Toronto during the month in an apartment that Adecco supplied for me. Living close to work was a big stress relief for me since I come from a small town where I’ve always had to drive everywhere. It was fun to walk to and from work in the big city, grocery shop without my car and enjoy the other exciting activities around me. I was comfortable living on my own because I have previously done so, but make sure you are mentally preparing for it if you haven’t yet had that solo experience!
The Global Team will be issuing challenges to you via a web platform during your time as CEO for One Month, depending on when your month takes place. My month with Adecco was in June and global competitions are happening throughout June, July and August. The challenges are unlocked weekly or biweekly and consist of things like video introductions, personality tests, LinkedIn articles, an innovation project, reports etc. These challenges are used to showcase your skills, experiences, personality and things you learned during your CEO journey.
The people at Adecco are great — interact with them as much as you can. They become like family; everyone wants to see you be successful and have an incredible experience.
Your salary comes once you’ve completed your month. Adecco pays for your place to live in Toronto and helps you out with some money for groceries.
It will likely not be a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job (especially on travel days). When meetings with the CEO and the rest of the team take up your entire day, you will likely have work to complete at night.
Stay tuned for my next blog post about my biggest takeaways, lessons learned, what I did, and more!
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