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Shadow a CEO Programme Oct 2015: Going behind the scenes of world-class events

Published on Thursday, 29 Oct 2015
Allen Ha, CEO of AsiaWorld-Expo Management (Photo: AWE)

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience three days in the life of a top executive in Hong Kong awaits successful applicants of the Classified Post Career Forum’s Shadow a CEO Programme. 

Professional consultants at the forum will interview selected applicants who have submitted their applications online.

Those who impress will be invited to final interviews from Nov 12 to 23. Each participating company will select up to three candidates to shadow a top-level executive. Find out more about the participating executives on these pages.

Participants shadowing Allen Ha, CEO of AsiaWorld-Expo Management (AWE), will get access to world-class events and gain valuable insight into the workings of a busy entertainment, exhibition and conference facility.

“As one of the world’s top venues, AWE is an industry pioneer, supporting the marketing, production and operation of networking channels including exhibitions, conventions, entertainment and F&B,” Ha says. Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2015, AWE recently announced it will contribute up to HK$27.2 billion to the economy and support more than 44,000 jobs in 2015 and 2016. 

Taking a bottom-up approach to leadership to engage everyone employed in the organisation, Ha encourages people to contribute ideas and handle projects with a collaborative and innovative approach. Staff are encouraged to grow and co-lead the company with an open mindset.

“I am also an advocate of work-life integration,” Ha says. “Apart from regularly reviewing our company policies, staff members are encouraged to adapt smart and innovative ways of doing things in order to achieve the same.” 

By following Ha and other senior team members, participants on the Shadow a CEO Programme will get the opportunity to understand the various infrastructural and economic developments within the Pearl River Delta area.

Shadows will also be able to find out more about AWE’s involvement in the Lantau Development Alliance, which promotes the development of a sustainable economy and aims to create more job opportunities on the island. To achieve this goal, the alliance – which Ha chairs – has been working with academics, NGOs and business partners on various initiatives. These include the “Youth-up” development programme, which provides vocational training to young people in the community.

Although mentoring was not common when Ha was starting out, he believes mentors can help the next generation explore their personal-development pathways and help them grow the right attitude towards work. “The ability to define a problem, and a collaborative attitude, are both attributes [of] an authentic leader.” 

He hopes that participants will bring new ideas to AWE. “They may observe the operation of AWE from a fresh perspective and suggest areas of enhancement with their innovative mindset and knowledge on the latest technology. Unconventional ideas to gain buy-in from youngsters through multiple channels are very much welcomed.”

To maximise their time with the company, Ha expects participants to ask questions and make suggestions to AWE team members. As the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge nears completion, and opens up further business opportunities for AWE, Ha promises that a role with his team will be challenging and fulfilling.

“Since the business of AWE is broad and dynamic, talents from all disciplines are welcomed. Having said that, we are looking for people with the mindset to excel amid a fast-changing business environment.”

Internship opportunities leading to full-time employment at AWE will be offered to suitable participants.

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