JA Europe, Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy hosted their annual Leaders For a Day event in Brussels on October 14. During the event, qualified students from around the EU met to network and spend a day with various leaders around the city. The purpose of the event was to give opportunities to students who excel in business to shadow a ‘leader’ for a day, while giving leaders an opportunity for feedback, reflection and growth.

“They learn what kind of skills those people need to have to be in the position they’re in,” said Deputy CEO of JA Europe, Diana Filip. “Those are the skills the students will need to learn and prepare for in the future. It’s all about preparing them for their careers and the opportunities that lie ahead of them that they do not learn in school.”

Upon the first day of arrival, the students met and got to know one another during a series of workshops, and were then briefed on the company they would be visiting the following day.

“It is very refreshing for a leader, to have someone from the outside come in and to get to explain to this person what you do and why you do it, and second because you get a lot of feedback.” said Daniel Calleja-Crespo, Director-General of environment for the European Commission, and one of the leaders from this year’s event. “By having someone come, it’s mutually beneficial, it goes both ways. I hope I can give some advice, but at the same time, I get feedback from this person.”

36 young leaders from 14 countries across Europe, certified with the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP), got the chance to walk in the shoes of top EU business and policy leaders for one day. Leaders-for-a-Day provides young Europeans, who have completed entrepreneurship education programmes and obtained the ESP certification, the opportunity to learn from top leader by shadowing him/her during an entire working day.

As part of the certification process, selected candidates who have completed the JA Company Programme and passed the examination of their business, economic and financial knowledge, are offered the possibility of further opportunities to discover small and large businesses, top institutions and international organisations throughout Europe.

JA Europe is partnering with the European Commission’s Drop’pin Platform to provide a go-to-place for ESP students looking for further opportunities. Companies like AXA, Barclays, Citi, HP, Hyundai, Intel, Mapower, Microsoft, MetLife Foundation, SAP, UBS and VISA are already providing opportunities in the form of further training, work experience, or start-up support. JA Europe is seeking more stakeholders to endorse the ESP and offer successful students opportunities like during Leaders-for-a-Day.