What is the best way to recruit independent financial advisors to a network of firms? This was the question students contemplated for the three-week Maymester course Special Topics in Management: Strategy Consulting. The course offered students deep insight and input into a major national financial services firm, Jackson National Life Insurance. From May 19 to June 5, the graduate students worked with Jackson representative Phil Wright for direct experiential learning.

Student Matt Mollica reflected, “Jackson was a hands-on client eager to digest our ideas and provide timely feedback to our class further enhancing the learning experience.”

Attending class 3 hours each day, Monday through Thursday, students grouped up and strategized about the best plan for Jackson’s recruitment and retention of employee talent. In addition to applying models learned in previous MBA courses, Instructor Susan Heinzeroth expanded the students’ toolboxes with contemporary strategy development frameworks. Since many of the students had little to no experience in the finance industry, Heinzeroth invited several marketing and finance experts to the class. They coached and mentored the students’ processes, ideas and presentations using professional techniques and industry experience.

“This class was a great networking opportunity for anyone interested in the finance industry,” said student Susan Lubeck.

In the final class, the groups presented their proposals to Wright and other Jackson staff.

“Feedback from [the] presentations has been off the chart,” said Wright. “Great job by all.”

If you would like more information about MGMT 6800: Special Topics in Management in Fall 2014, please contact CU Denver Graduate Student Advising.

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