Shadowing project sorted out
It's quite difficult to actually convince a manager to participate to this project because he usually sees little value in having a student behind his back during a week. However by nicely presenting him the project (ie: I would like to shadow you because I could really develop my leadership skills by observing you...") , he could be actually flattered and accept but my take is that he has to like mentoring people otherwise he won't deal with the hassle.
During the year, I've contacted 7 persons (the founder of a VC fund, the CEO of a French bank in the UK, the CEO of a medium size defence company, the founder of a startup company, a French Deputy, a MD with a PE firm, an associate within the same PE firm) who all refused or did not even bother to reply, before this eight person agreed. He is a MD with a major Investment Bank in London so this should be interesting, at least for the networking opportunities. I'm indeed not so sure that one can really develop his soft-skills by observing the work of a manager but we'll see after I completed the project.
A word of advice for incoming students: do plan you shadowing research early on (eg: first term) because it takes lots of time to identify people, contact them and convince them to participate to the project and time flies in year 1.