240 students from 36 countries across Europe took part in the 6th global “CEO Challenge 2021” competition hosted by American multinational consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble (P&G).
The international CEO Challenge of P&G competition is a top annual event for students and recent graduates from around the world, who participate in a series of real life business challenges.
The participants work individually and in teams to come up with business strategies, plans and solutions.
“The CEO Challenge aims to act as a link between academic knowledge and work experience,” the American company stated in its announcement of this year’s winners.
“Under the guidance of experienced executives of the company, students have the opportunity to develop their skills, but also to be evaluated on the development of business strategies and in solving realistic business problems under real working conditions.
“We are proud to invite students from every corner of the world with an interest in business, entrepreneurship, analytics, IT systems, economics, marketing and other fields.
“To date, thousands of young people from different countries, with different backgrounds, experiences and cultures have participated in the event, and many of them now belong to the P&G family.”
The competition is the opportunity of a lifetime for students who can work on real life scenarios for some of P&G’s largest brands, including Oral-B, Pantene, Pampers, Olay, Head & Shoulders, Gillette, Febreze, Fairy and Ariel, and develop real products like toothpastes and toothbrushes, detergents, shampoos, moisturising creams and other cosmetics.
The Greek team that participated in the competition consisted of three students from the University of Macedonia, who managed to impress the jury of P&G executives and managers.
The Greek students came first out of all the other teams in Southeast Europe and have advanced to the next phase of the CEO Challenge competition, where they will compete with the top teams from other European regions for the “Best European Team” award.
Unlike previous years, this time the competition took place online, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and various travel restrictions, with students being called to present their projects virtually and demonstrate their strategic thinking and innovation skills.
“We live in an age of subversive developments in the economy, in our society and in most industries, which have become even more acute due to the health crisis we are experiencing,” stated the Director of Communication for Southeast and Central Europe of P&G, Despina Passaris.
“The only thing that is certain is that young people today need to develop completely new skills to successfully meet new challenges.
‘Through the experience of the CEO Challenge, we offer tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to experience up close what it means to be at the helm of a large company, from where they will soon be called to help develop the course, not only of businesses of the future, but also of our whole society in the future.”
Greece’s involvement in international educational competitions has been much stronger over the last 3 years, with Greek students excelling in the business, marketing, physics and informatics fields.
This is also not the first time that a Greek team has reached the finals of the CEO Challenge competition by P&G, as in 2018, students from the National Technical University of Athens, competed in the last round of the competition in Panama against all other winning teams from around the world.
“I believe that through the CEO Challenge I further developed my organisational skills but also my ability to present to the public,” said Iasonas, one of the winners of the Greek team.
“The fact that a group of three people must achieve a perfect result within a few hours makes organisational skills necessary. Seeing the way that P&G approaches their people and the effort they make to attract the strongest candidates inspired me and made me think of P&G as an ideal employer for the future.”
With the further growth of P&G in Greece and the increase of new employment opportunities in the country, P&G Hellas is planning, through in-company training programs, webinars in 2021 and interactive events, the transformation of the school knowledge Greek students have already gained into practical experience, and consequently, a holistic view of the requirements of the modern market in Europe.