I designed the tables and columns I would need in a SQL database, and I wrote some pseudocode that would run in a cron job to send out alerts. I also wrote the SQL query to get all alerts that are pending. Once prompted, I added indexes and optimized the query.
If I were not able to immediately solve the CEO's email issue, I would try to explain that I was in the midst of working on an issue that has company wide implications that in turn will affect our customers if not solved very quickly and hope that the CEO would understand fixing that first is for the greater good of the company.
I interned with a consulting company for a year, and part of their consulting process was to give presentations to the employees on what we came to accomplish and what they can learn from it. This taught me a lot about how to give presentations. I became proficient in Powerpoint during the internship.