News & Events

E-leaders for a day 2014

Students around Europe shadow ICT leaders during e-Leaders-for-a-Day to learn key digital skills

80 European students have followed leaders of ICT companies and successful digital entrepreneurs in 8 digital hubs across the EU to improve their career opportunities

On the 30th October students from across the UK spent the day at various leading companies in a bid to gain key work skills, preparing them for their future career.

With a skills shortage amongst young people in the UK and jobs in the digital sector ever increasing and becoming more important, this day aimed to stand students soon to leave school in better stead for their future careers.

The e-Leaders-for-a-Day is part of the Leaders-for-a-Day annual initiative run by Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe, Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes.

The initiative seeks to raise awareness about a widening gap between the skills students learn at school and the skills required by employers, including digital, entrepreneurial and leadership skills. This gap is especially visible in the ICT sector where there are still thousands of unfilled vacancies, yet there is not enough qualified European workforce able to fill them.  This is unacceptable in times of economic recession characterised by soaring levels of youth unemployment.

To address this issue and better prepare young workforce for the current job market, 80 e-leaders and digital entrepreneurs volunteered to spend a day with young students to teach them inner workings of their business.

Jui Miah, 17 from Mulberry school for girls in Shadwell, spent the day at Soho based PR agency, PHA Media, shadowing their Creative Strategy Manager, Hayley Coleby.

With social media now playing a major part in the perception of a brand and the relationship it has with its customers, it is vital that all of a brands platform are well maintained. Jui learnt how Hayley managed the social media for RED Driving School.

Hayley Coleby, Creative Strategy Manager at PHA Media comments: ‘It is important to prepare the next generation for a working life and this includes a digital education. The world of work is becoming more and more digitalized and future employees need to be technologically savvy and well equipped with key working skills to succeed. This great initiative set up by Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise does exactly that.’

Jui says: “I participated in this program because I wanted to gain new experiences to further my knowledge of the working world. This opportunity has helped my ability to adapt to different situations.”

Aman Sarki, 18 from Uxbridge High School in Hillingdon, shadowed Paul Burgess, Managing Director of Accenture.

Paul spent thirty minutes talking with Aman about his time at Accenture and his current role in the company before Aman attended both a Resources Planning meeting and a Strategy and Sales Big Growth Meeting and joining a conference call with the US re Sales Force Analytics.

Aman comments: “, I don’t know what I see myself doing in the future, but spending the day at Accenture has given me a bit more of an idea of where I want to be in two- three years’ time. This summer, after I apply for university, I might apply for work experience at Accenture. I’d definitely recommend the JA-YE e-Leaders-for-a-Day to other students as you get to see real life people work and do their day to day business.’’

Hema Alam, 17 from Mulberry School for Girls, Tower Hamlets, shadowed Keith Whiteside, Managing Director of UBS.

Hema received an overview of Keith’s role before spending time on the trading floor, attending a meeting on support tools and accompanying Keith to IB-IT Town Hall.

Hema says: ‘’ Today has taught me the importance of clarity because at UBS you’re talking to people from so many different countries that clarity is one of the most important things and you’ve got to make sure that everyone is on the same page. That’s not something I’d considered before but after today it’s definitely something that I would consider now.

‘’I was also exposed to the recruitment process, which was interesting because I was able to ask people what they look for when recruiting. Keith’s three most important things were clarity, humility and determination, which I thought was great because it’s not anything academic and no one’s restricted.’’

Keith Whiteside, Managing Director of UBS comments: “It was really interesting to have to take a step back and explain what I have to do in my day to day job. It was great also to open the business up to young people as diversity is important in our business.”

Zafirah Malik from Mulberry school for girls shadowed Emma McGuigan, UK/I Technology Managing Director and the global delivery lead for Careers at Accenture. She attended numerous internal meetings with Emma allowing her to see the day to day processes that take place throughout the company.

Zafirah says: ‘’I think today was absolutely fantastic. I didn’t expect what happened today. I expected to go into an office where a lot of people would be in cubicles, minding their own business, doing their own work, but it was actually way different to what I was expecting. People were more relaxed, it was more flexible, it was a really good atmosphere, and people were talking to each other. It was great meeting Emma, who was a really good role model. She was the first woman to take on the management role in technology which is really impressive.

‘’I learnt about different areas you can go into with the skills you have – you don’t just need qualifications, it depends on the skills you have for different roles in the company.’’

Overall 80 students from all over Europe got the opportunity to each individually shadow a successful business leader for one day to obtain hands-on, real-life experience to improve their entrepreneurial and digital skills and be able to make a better career choice.

The lack of e-leadership training in the traditional school curriculum in Europe makes a strong case for having business leaders step in and help young people build the skills needed for 21st century job market.

Read the press release here



About e-Leaders-for-a-Day e-Leaders-for-a-Day is an initiative from JA-YE Europe – Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes. E-Leaders-for-a-Day will provide young people with the opportunity to learn from a high level executive by shadowing him/her for one day. The initiative’s goal is to enable young people to make better informed career choices, enlarge their network and improve their career opportunities. The e-Leaders-for-a-Day 2014 takes place in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bucharest, Dublin, Helsinki, London, Prague and Rome. E-Leaders-for-a-Day is organised by JA-YE Europe in partnership with Microsoft and Accenture.

The initiative is part of the Europe-wide eSkills for jobs 2014 campaign launched by the European Commission and involving more than 650 organisations across Europe including companies, associations, education and training bodies and NGOs to raise awareness about the need to improve EU citizens’ command of ICT skills for work.


The campaign comes under the umbrella of the European Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, an EU-wide multi-stakeholder partnership helping to increase the number of EU citizens with professional ICT skills and boost job creation in the ICT sector.


About Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise Europe

Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes. JA-YE provides young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with high-quality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way.

Please visit the website for more information: