Espen Dusik Sjaavik won a seat at The WSJE Future Leadership Institute* Networking Table at the European Business Summit 2009.
One day in February, the Future Leadership Institute* offered students and professionals an opportunity to win a ticket to the EBS 2009 in a lottery. One month after applying for it, an e-mail arrived, confirming that I had won an entry pass to the summit. With this confirmation followed a list of speakers, many of whom were world leaders: top-level CEOs, government officials, prime ministers and even Presidents were on the guestlist. I was very exited to go, and prepared myself by reading up on the main topics beforehand.
Daring & Caring in Europe was the main headline; subheaded by Financing, Greening and Staffing. Since the headings were covering several extensive areas, the workshops were varied and very interesting: discussing challenges such as energy supply, clean tech and youth entrepreneurship. I felt extremely privileged to be amongst the first people in the world to know what thoughts the speakers were expressing on these topics. The EBS is a great opportunity for a student to meet professionals and get an insight in the world of business and politics. I only saw a very limited number of other students at the EBS, and I owe great thanks to The Future Leadership Institute for providing me the opportunity to go. The professional, yet easygoing, atmosphere at the EBS allows for interaction between everybody present, no matter if student, professional or Head of State.
Between the workshops all guests were socializing in the networking area where many of the sponsors had their stands. Never have I had such an opportunity for efficient networking: I spoke to several managers, a number of entrepreneurs, head of departments, government officials and even a couple of CEO’s. The openmindedness of everybody present encouraged me to put forward and discuss a few of my own ideas, amongst them a business proposal for which I would need an advisor, or more desirable: a mentor. My newly obtained contacts from the EBS 2009 gave me valuable feedback and also a few new perspectives on my ideas and, in addition to gaining acceptance for my thoughts, I now have a number of professionals to turn to for advise in the future, something that I believe will turn out to be of great value to me.
I met Wall Street Journal’s Gert Van Mol, the head of The Future Leadership Institute*, in the afternoon of the first day of the summit and he introduced me to his contacts that we were going to share the gala dinner table with. Once at the dinner, my impression of the EBS as a brilliant opportunity for networking was reinforced, as the table was shared with people from all over the world, ranging from students to business owners.
In short, the European Business Summit 2009 and the Wall Street Journal Future Leadership Institute* gave me a great opportunity to see for myself how the different members of Europe’s top business-elite interact with each other, also providing a brilliant setting for networking and having interesting discussions on anything from current affairs and business to education and experience. The Future Leadership Institute gave me a magnificent opportunity to mingle with the people that I am aiming to become equal with in the future: the leaders of business in Europe.
Short bio – Espen Dusik Sjaavik
London-based half Norwegian/half German business student currently pursuing a bachelors degree BA (Hons) in International Business with Spanish and French at the European Business School in London. Graduating in December 2011 after two semesters of exchange: UQÁM (Montreal, Canada) and DiTella (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
Work experience mainly from sales in Norway (2006-2008), where B2B sales-company Sjaavik Salg is based. Interest in building and maintaining client relations. Work and study experiences also from Germany (2005) and Argentina (2006).
*Between 2007 and 2011 the Institute carried temporarily the name “The Wall Street Journal Future Leadership Institute”.
Categories: Student Reports Overview