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Emmanuel Testenoire


Communication de la Faculté

Développement et mise en page:

Cellule Web


Five top students of Solvay spent a day with a leading CEO

In partnership with Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management, Odgers Berndtson Brussels - a leading international executive search company - organized "CEO for a Day", a unique event which allows five top Master students to spend a normal working day with leading CEOs in Belgium, in February/March 2015. Odgers Berndtson Brussels has selected promising future leaders amongst the most outstanding Solvay Master students and given them a chance to be exposed to the day's work of a successful CEO. Discover 4 of the students testimonials in the articles below. Discover the whole project and the complete media exposure.

  • Sophie Buisset met Yves Delacollette (Dragone)
  • Valérie Daminet met Bart De Smet (Ageas)
  • Dimitri Dekdouk met Nicolas Steisel and Frédéric Rouvez (Exki)
  • Marthe De Proft met Michèle Sioen (Sioen Industries)
  • Elie Melviez met Thierry Geerts (Google)

We thank Odgers Berndtson Brussels for this excellent initiative and the companies for their enthusiastic participation.

Sophie Buisset met Yves Delacollette, CEO of Dragone

As a participant of CEO for a day, I really enjoyed spending a full day with Yves Delacollette, Chief Spectator Officer of Dragone. Dragone, a Belgian company, creates shows and events all around the world such as the Lido variety show in 2015 or the Han Show in China. While spending a whole day with Y. Delacollette, I really felt like being implicated in many aspects in the whole company: from the financials to the daily work. What I preferred was the strategic financial meeting in the morning as I was at the core of the company, I really understood the priorities and the constraints of the organisation. After many hours of theory, having an insight about the real job of a CEO was very interesting but also influenced the way I look at my own career now.

An initiative like CEO for a day pushes us to a different level, to become better and to learn a lot from other people. We do not have enough initiatives like this one to make us discover the professional world. CEO for a day was a great experience; I truly recommend it to everyone. You learn a lot about yourself through the whole process: from interviews to the Hogan leadership assessment you are required to undertake. Do not hesitate to participate next year!

Discover the interview of Sophie.

Dimitri Dekdouk met Nicolas Steisel and Frédéric Rouvez, founders of Exki

As soon as I got the email from Solvay Campus Recruitment I didn't hesitate a second to apply for this program. I was really happy to get through all the rounds and had the opportunity to spend the whole day with the two CEOs of EXki (Nicolas Steisel & Frédéric Rouvez).

What impressed me most was the speed at which the CEOs jump from one topic to another with such knowledge. They can talk about IT, interiors, finance... and all that in a matter of seconds. Also the number of impactful decisions taken in such a short is amount of time is impressive.

What I liked about the company is that it started as an entrepreneurial project, and even if today it is well established, the entrepreneurial mindset still is present. What I mean with that is that it is not a bureaucratic company where jobs and decisions are so streamlined that an employee can't do anything that is not in his job description. The company is still faced with lots of challenges where every single employee can have impact.

I do strongly recommend the program to students in the future. It really is a competitive advantage to have such experience in for example job interviews. It shows your professionalism and dedication towards your career.

Discover the interview of Dimitri.

Marthe De Proft met Michèle Sioen, CEO of SIOEN Industries

The day started with a tour of Sioen industries. I witnessed the whole production process of the different sorts of textiles, including how they make the protective clothing (for police-and firemen amongst others). This last part was quite exciting, as they literally burn and stab the clothing to check the safety. It is incredible what a versatile product textile is. To give an example, I think about Sioen industries every time I see the triangular teabags of Lipton (yes these are made of textile!). As Michèle Sioen had a morning meeting that day with 'le Groupe des 10', I only met her at lunchtime. She has a very charismatic personality, just as I had expected. What also struck me was how incredibly well she knew her company and her staff members. The meetings were serious and people were challenged when needed to, but all in a friendly, amicable atmosphere. Still, Michèle was clearly in charge, everybody listened carefully whenever she spoke. Her leadership style is defined by a fascinating combination of authority based on knowledge, charisma, decision-making capability and social intelligence.

This was a very inspiring and instructive day. There are several things I learned. First of all, having a team on which you can 100% rely on, is indispensable. As a CEO, you must very well informed and hands-on, but you are nothing without a strong team supporting you. Furthermore, people are relying on you to be a problem-solver, so it is important to keep your calm and not to let stress get to you.

Discover the interview of Marthe.

Elie Melviez met Thierry Geerts, Google's Country Manager in Belgium

Thanks to Odgers Berndtson's program CEOx1Day and the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management I had the chance to spend a full day with Thierry Geerts, Google 's Country Manager in Belgium. The whole process was very interesting and insightful. From the first round of application to the D-Day with Thierry, I learned a lot about myself and about the job of CEO. For instance, during the second round of application, Odgers Berndtson asked all candidates to take a Hogan assessment test on leadership, which we reviewed during the third round in their offices. Following the selection process I was chosen to spend the day with Thierry at Google. It was very inspiring to meet with him. He immediately helped me to feel at ease by asking me to call him Thierry and not Mr. Geerts, giving me a tour of Google offices himself and showing that he was very happy to participate in the program and very eager to share his knowledge with me. The key takeaway from my day at Google is Thierry's leadership style, which I would describe as "open". It means that he is very close to his employees. He is open to the discussion. For instance, his employees can pop into his office at anytime. He is not the kind of CEO sitting in his ivory tower. Finally I believe this kind of experience is important for students in Business engineering or Economics as it gives students the ability to better understand what it is really like being a CEO and running a company.

Discover the interview of Elie.