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BLF Czech Republic - The Manager Shadowing Program

Added on 22-03-2013


Business Leaders Forum Czech Republic



Business challenge

The academic world and work practice are slightly disconnected from each other. While finishing University, students often have no real idea about their work possibilities and also the firms must invest a lot of energy and time into finding and preparing appropriate candidates for working positions. There is a need to support students in their last university years in terms of preparation for real work environment.

On the other hand companies always fight with finding the right talents for certain positions, look for ways to open to the public and build reputation. Managers are calling for a fresh feedback on their work and image of the company. A young fresh talent can come with such a reflection. Las but not least - HR specialist always look for a new HR development tool.


  • The core of the program is a two week internship based on the principle of work shadowing, completed with activities with added benefits both for the firms, as well as the students. During the internship university students in the final or penultimate year of their study work shadow managers - they accompany them or the work team in their everyday work, observe them, actively participate and in the form of debate accustom themselves with the content of their working day, skills and methods of decision making and leadership. The managers on the other hand meet with new perspectives upon their work, new talents and potential employees or work partners.
  • Each manager plans the course and schedule of the internship according to his or her own judgement in order for the work shadowing to be of benefit not a burden. The internship must also carry benefits for the student. Another favourable aspect of the course of the internship is the fact that the managers choose their shadowers (they specify which students, in terms if study orientation and skills, they would prefer and they can directly participate in the selection process).
  • Above the "shadowing" 4 seminars in the course of the given year are prepared for students that particiapte in the program. The topic of these is the development of "soft" managerial skills. Students hence prepare for the internships, as well as their up and coming careers.
  • One of the outputs from the project is a publication about the Manager Shadowing Program, its possibilities and benefits, that shall be primarily portrayed via studies and examples of good practise. We want it to be common knowledge within other Czech firms that there is a purpose to such programs and that they are beneficial to the firm and other interest parties. This handbook is distributed free of charge to Czech firms and organisations that consider human resources


Not all interested students have an opportunity to join the project. Because the program is not directly linked to core businesses of companies, not all companies and HR departments are open to take part in the program and offer this possbility to their managers

Challenges/Lessons learned:


  • opportunity to gain information which can be utilised further (e.g. as part of their dissertation, directly for further carrier)
  • ¬†overview of the general running of firms, contacts gaining
  • motivation and preferences clarification


  • young talents - future employees - gaining
  • effective way to draw new ideas, perspectives and novel thoughts
  • reputation building

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