Get crackin’! There’s only one week left to apply to Odgers Berndtson’s CEOx1Day Program.
So far we’ve shared Annu Puri’s story at Molson Coors and Olivia Poulin’s day at PayPal Canada. Now, we’re taking you on Grace Jin’s CEOx1Day journey with Jeff More, CEO of MineSense Technologies Ltd.
Grace Jin, a student at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, applied to the CEOx1Day program after hearing a terrific referral from someone who had first-hand knowledge of the benefits — a friend who was one of last year’s finalist. She became personally motivated to apply after fully realizing the value she would gain by participating. “I definitely wanted to take advantage of the opportunity as much as possible, especially when I took a further look at the roster of CEOs,” Grace says. After completing an internship in mine financing as well as pursuing a focus in sustainability, she knew that MineSense Technologies would serve as an excellent opportunity to merge her education and future career aspirations.
Application, Research, and Self-Discovery
During the application process, Grace believes three aspects of her application stood out. “I showcased a substantial number of leadership experiences on my resume, described a key leadership involvement in detail within the written portion of the application and positioned myself as a good fit for the three participating [Vancouver] CEOs based on my interests and experiences”.
Aside from the fact that the Hogan Leadership Assessment was Grace’s favourite part of the semi-finalist day process, she felt that it reaffirmed the beliefs she already held about her strengths and opportunities. “It came in handy when I sat down to set new personal development goals and helped pinpoint my standout traits when I was prepping for consulting interviews,” she explains. During her phone interview, Grace knew she had to really showcase why she wanted to take part in the program and put some thought into sharing compelling reasons on being the best fit.
The fourth and final recruiting stage known as the semi-finalist day, which is a half-day workshop that includes in-person speed interviews, a leadership assessment group de-brief, a workshop with McKinsey & Company and a group social, Grace had a great experience meeting other professionals and developing new friendships with fellow semi-finalists! She prepared for the day by rehearsing a few of her best examples that highlighted her leadership, initiative and teamwork skills. Grace also did extensive research about MineSense Technologies so that she was ready to express her interest in the company.
Day of Learning with the CEO
Leading up to the big day with the CEO, Jeff More, Grace was sure to fuel her curiosity by brainstorming questions to ask. “I had company-specific questions, including how MineSense was planning on scaling up since it was in a growth phase. I also prepared leadership-related questions such as how to develop a robust decision-making process for difficult decisions”, she says.
Her day included a 1-on-1 CEO Q&A session, a tour of the company and its technologies, a lunch with the CEO and CFO as well as various internal and external company meetings. Grace found the external meetings to be a valuable part of her experience as she was able to see the tremendous impact of the company and their technologies. “The most memorable event was driving out [to] where some of the excavators were parked and [seeing] how the sensors were actually integrated into the mining process,” she shares.
Words of Wisdom
Grace’s best piece of advice from CEO Jeff More was learning to feel comfortable not being the expert of everything. “As CEO, your job is really to leverage the strengths of your team and draw on a diverse group of people to help navigate the decision-making process,” she explains.
Some of her key takeaways include:
“The value of diversity in thinking.”
“Importance of integrity in building trust, a good reputation, which in turn makes conducting business easier.”
“CEOs should have the motivation to drive value financially, environmentally and sustainably while taking into consideration all the people who are impacted by the value chain.”
At the end of the event, Grace left inspired to aspire to lead an organization one day. “It was an eye-opening process that helped me distill some of my biggest strengths as a leader,” she says. Not to mention “it’s an incredibly cool community to be a part of [with] tons of smart and driven individuals,” she adds.