I had expected a lot from this experience but I could never imagine what this experience really has gave me, I had the chance to follow a great Leader, his name is Neil McMillan (Director Advocacy and Political Affairs of Eurocommerce).

First of all I have to tell you that I was really new into this world, I had knew almost nothing about his job and company, so the morning session had started with a short summary about what the company was doing, then we attended a food council, it was really insipiring seeing a company that could bring together all this distributors on the same table talking about common issues, then we had some smaller internal meetings, we had a business lunch organized by the Metro group, the argument was food wastage, it was a really intresting discussion, after the lunch we had some other smaller meetings.

But the really Intresting thing apart from the job was his life experience, he had told me all about his past, starting from the studies, his work, his career, because i’m sure that it is very important to have a guide at this point of life, I had a lot of great leaders to follow, but they were very far from me, they were only in the news, but meeting a leader like him that has shared a whole life of great achievement with me and gave me some great tips was really helpeful. I think that the smile that you see in the photo is the starting point of my career so if someone his going to ask me in my future when i have decided to become what I’m now I will remember the date of 14/10/15 and the name of this great man. Leaders are first human being and only after that they are successull man and womans, that it’s the essence of what I learned.

But in this three days I have met also some other wonderfull people, first of all the JA staff, they have organized this great day and prepared me for having the right attitude for enjoyng the Leader For a Day experience in the best way, but the best persons that I’have met were JA Alumni from all over Europe, they all had some similar past experience like me and the same expectation from life, in their eyes I have saw a bright Europe and future, we were the leaders of that day and of all the days that are yet to come. 

I’m very thankful to JA Europe for this great experience and to EuroCommerce.

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Being a part of the JA Company Programme and receiving the ESP certificate enabled me to visit Brussels, where I had the chance to meet another 35 incredibly talented, pleasant and ambitious students from all over the Europe and shadow Mrs. Michaela Šojdrová, member of the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats), during her work day in the European Parliament.

My day in the Parliament started with joining a working group, where my leader had a one minute speech. A serious theme was being discussed and I was overwhelmed with the overall atmosphere and fascinated by the interpreters above translating the speeches into different languages.

After she finished her speech we hurried for an appointment with the German ambassador into the German embassy in Brussels and then we went back to the Parliament for lunch.

Later during the day we had one more appointment with the Hungarian member of Parliament and I also got to know all Mrs. Šojdrová's assistants, visit their offices and shadow their work a little bit too.

It has been a really busy and exhausting day, but I really appreciate this opportunity, because I could really see what the job as a member of the European Parliament involves and what responsibilities does it take.

I am also very grateful for being able to make a quick speech at the Entrepreneurial School Awards supported and hosted by my leader the day after. The event gathered several members of the European Parliament, European Commission officials, JA Europe board members and teachers. I was pretty nervous to speak in front of such an important audience, but everyone made me more comfortable by their positive and nice attitude.

I would like to thank JA Czech and JA Europe for making this amazing experience possible and especially big thank you to the JA Europe's team, which guide us through our trip in Brussels and enabled us to have such a great memories that I will never forget.

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Today I got the chance to follow Dirk Jacobs for a day. Dirk is the Deputy Director General of FoodDrinksEurope, a European food organisation which protects the interests of their members (several food companies and food institutions). 

Our day started at 10 o clock when I was invited to join the directors meeting. This really was a great opportunity to see how the organisation is managed and lead. After the meeting, Dirk and I sat together for a while. He explained more to me about the company and the agenda for the rest of the day. I also had the chance to ask some questions about what he did before and how he managed to get where he is today. Among so many things that I got to know, the one thing that Dirk stressed most was: DO WHAT YOU LOVE!  

We didn’t have much time for lunch since we had to join a workgroup meeting in the afternoon. At this workgroup, there were more than 30 people from companies and institutions from around Europe present. The interesting thing was to really see how some people did not say a word during the meeting and how others shared their opinion on everything. 

After this meeting, Dirk and I went to Mella Frewen, the Director General. I already met with her in the morning during the directors meeting. Together, we went over her presentation for a conference in the coming week. We also talked about what it is like leading an organisation, the challenges and the opportunities. 

Dirk and Mella than invited me to join a reception at which Coca Cola introduced their new President for Western Europe. Again this was a great way to come in contact with new people and to experience the atmosphere in the food sector. 

Overall it has been an amazing day and I’m really grateful to JA Europe, Dirk Jacobs, Mella Frewen and all the others who have made this unique experience possible! THANK YOU! 

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Becoming a leader for one day

Nikolas Rønholt, a 19 years old young man from Denmark took part in the ‘Leaders for a Day’ initiative, together with 35 other young people from 14 European countries, recipients of the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass, a certification of entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and attitude from JA Europe. They got offered the opportunity to step in the shoes of business and policy leaders for one day. Nikolas visited Euractiv and spent the day with their editor-in-chief, Daniela Vincenti.

I participated successfully in JA Europe's warm up session, and after a really good first day in Brussels together with young, intelligent and creative entrepreneurs from all over Europe, I felt prepared to meet with my leader, Daniela Vincenti, editor-in-chief of EurActiv.

First of all I would like to thank Ms. Vincenti for sharing her work day with me. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to shadow such an inspirational person for one day. She really made me feel the busy life of a leader going from one meeting to another. 

Even though it was a really busy day Ms. Vincenti made me feel comfortable.

I started the day by listening to the panel discussion on TTIP that she was moderating. I learned about the difficulty on reaching an agreement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Immediately after the event, we went straight to another meeting with the polish ambassador discussing the topic immigration ahead of the EU summit.

This unique insight in a leader’s day gave me a lot of different impressions and I am sure that this will help me in the future when I will have to decide what to do in my life concerning for example education. 

It has always been my plan to work outside of Denmark, and this experience surely convinced me to spend some of my working life abroad.

Finally, a big thank you to JA Europe for making this day possible and enriching my life.

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First impressions after my experience at Euronext

The Leaders for a Day initiative provided me with the opportunity to shadow a senior executive inside his enterprise’s structure. I had the chance to follow Mr. Van Dessel, CEO& Chairman of Euronext in Brussels. Formerly the meeting had to take place on Wednesday 14th, however due to his busy agenda, it was asked to move the shadowing experience a week earlier.

The office is situated in the city centre, I met Ms. Tosheva so she could distribute some materials and explain the programme previously prepared. I started my experience with a committee meeting at 9 o’clock. Various subjects were discussed, Euronext being a pan-European financing centre, this particular group responsible for regulated markets in Belgium. Since 2014 is Euronext quoted on the stock exchange, thus, numbers of stakeholders’ interests have to be taken into account. Around 11 o’clock, after this meeting, I could introduce myself and present to my interlocutor my experience within the JA Programmes. Then, he explained several relevant principles related to Euronext as a financing place, before reaching the major subject, leadership.

Mr. Van Dessel is a passionate and comprehensive leader, the people working around him are forming a tight-knit structure. I appreciate the fact that they took the necessary time to reveal their motivation and I had the opportunity to get an overview of the requirements for these workplaces. Finally, I hope every student participating in Leaders for a Day on Wednesday 14th would learn from their leader as I learned from Mr. Van Dessel and his team.

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