Myrthe van den Reek elected 'CEO for One Month' of the Adecco Group Netherlands

Myrthe van den Reek and CEO Melvin de Boer

Myrthe van den Reek, Master student in Econometrics at Erasmus School of Economics, has been elected 'CEO for One Month' of the Adecco Group Netherlands in a global competition. In the beginning, more than 200,000 participants applied to become their country's CEO for One Month. Now, Myrthe is competing with 35 other country CEOs for the global title. We asked Myrthe what she learned from her experience so far and how her study contributes to her time as CEO for One Month. 

Can you tell us something about yourself?

I am currently finishing my Masters in Econometrics (Quantitative Logistics) at Erasmus School of Economics. Next to my studies I love to do sports. I have been boxing at an amazing boxing club in Rotterdam for many years. I also love to challenge myself, and therefore I cannot wait to shadow the CEO of the Adecco Group this summer.

Can you tell us something about ‘CEO for One Month’?

CEO for One Month is a worldwide competition organised by the Adecco Group. The winners get to shadow the CEO in their respective countries for an entire month. Accordingly, I get the chance to work with Melvin de Boer, CEO of the Adecco Group the Netherlands, for the entire month of August.

It’s an incredible opportunity, because I will join every activity that is currently on the CEO’s agenda: from meetings with clients to meetings with the board of directors. This reversed mentorship will help both of us to see the world of work from different perspectives and for one month we can challenge each other’s views, opinions and thoughts.

Furthermore, each country’s winner has the opportunity to compete for the global title via all kinds of challenges.

Why did you choose to apply?

Many young professionals, over 4500 in The Netherlands and 200,000 worldwide, applied for this program and although we come from very different backgrounds, we all have something in common: we want to challenge ourselves and are keen to develop and grow. None of us know what it is like to be a CEO, and the program offers an opportunity to find out what your dreams are, what interests you, and how to grow both professionally and personally.

What I loved the most, is the chance to learn a lot about myself. The different selection challenges include a business case about the future of work; pitches, and a game-based assessment of personality traits. All the elements allowed me to assess what my strengths and weaknesses are so I can perform at the best of my ability and be creative and adaptive. I love the thrill of stepping into that room and giving my very best pitch.

How do you think your study in Econometrics can contribute to your time as a CEO for One Month?

As econometricians, we learn how to work with great quantities of information, to translate problems into models, and to optimise. For instance, within logistics we learn how to create the optimal planning for flight schedules or delivery routes.

Within HR, there are many problems to solve as well. Take for example the growing gap between the supply and demand of digital skills. In the latter case, problems are extra complicated because of the addition of human behavior as a factor.

For a CEO, the challenge is to match the long-term solution with the short-term needs. There are many soft skills needed for this as well and I am very curious to learn about this in a real-life situation.

What have you learned so far?

CEO for One Month challenged me to combine everything I had learned until now. For instance, being part of committees at the student organisation FAECTOR or my board year at the Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School taught me many valuable soft skills, such as the ability to get individuals enthusiastic for reaching a common goal.  These experiences were incredibly helpful during the competition, from the personality tests and interviews to solving business cases and pitching.

What has touched me the most is that during the program, the Adecco Group looked at the person behind the performance and business cases. They valued my opinion, soft skills and my personal story the most.

Honestly, I learned so much from just partaking in this program that it was once again proven that it is the process that matters the most. If you ever doubt whether you should take an opportunity, I would advise you to just do it and enjoy every step along the way!

What else do you expect to learn from a month with a CEO of a fortune-500 company?

What I look forward to the most is learning about how to balance creating revenues with the human side. How do you keep people the central focus, while reaching short-term goals? Especially now during the COVID19 pandemic this is extremely relevant. Furthermore, how do you create a vision that is carried through the entire organisation, even if there are more pressing priorities in the business.

What I know for sure is that this summer will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It would be amazing to embark on this journey together, so you can follow my journey on Instagram via @CEO1monthNL or via LinkedIn. I would love to hear from you!

Myrthe van den Reek elected 'CEO for One Month' Netherlands