The annual GLOCER conference kicks off Tuesday at the USFSM campus.

USFSM welcomes 3rd Annual Northwestern Mutual Leadership Series

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: January 22, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 22, 2019) USF Sarasota-Manatee students have a unique opportunity to enhance their leadership skills through a program that’s become a favorite on campus, the Northwestern Mutual Leadership Series.

Taught by local executives of the wealth management company, the series is divided into four workshops of two to three hours each and teaches time management, goal setting and leadership skills on and off the job. It runs from Feb. 13 to March 6.

“I liked that they placed an emphasis on the importance of not only being a leader in your career, but also within your community,” said USFSM business and fiscal analyst Stacy Dukhi, who completed the leadership series two years ago during her MBA studies. “They also emphasize personal interests and setting priorities through time management.”

Dukhi said proper work-life balance is key in drawing out the best in each individual. She added that workshop participants also learn to develop achievable life goals that emphasize personal accountability for one’s future.

Anthony Holds, managing director of Northwestern Mutual’s Suncoast Office, based in Sarasota, said he enjoys the yearly collaboration and helping students enhance their leadership skills.

The company has long partnered with universities, including USFSM, through its award-winning college internship program, which allows students to build a clientele alongside senior financial advisors. The leadership series, an extension of that, draws from the company’s internal leadership development initiative.

“The Leadership Series emerged as something that allowed us to pass on what we talk about internally on a day-to-day basis, particularly within the leadership development track, and it’s a chance for us to offer a taste of that program to students and the local community,” Holds said.

Although popular with finance and accounting majors, the program is open to students outside the College of Business as well. That’s by design because the program’s overarching message is universal, Holds said.

“If we look at the content of what we’re delivering and what we’re talking about, it’s about self-awareness and emotional intelligence and expanding that into having more beneficial interactions with other people, whether in the workplace or out of the workplace, and this is translatable and relevant to whatever walk of life you’re in, whether you’re in hotel management, a CEO at a large company, an attorney or running a biological research station,” he said. “The ideas are applicable and relevant to anybody.”

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Ben Heins

Holds introduced the program to USFSM with the assistance of Kevin O’Connell, the managing partner for Northwestern Mutual’s Greater Tampa Bay office, and USFSM Internship Coordinator Ben Heins.

Heins said applicants may send their resumes to along with a short note explaining their intent to apply to the 3rd Annual Northwestern Mutual Leadership Series. The deadline for resumes is Jan. 31.

Resumes will be given to Northwestern Mutual human resources representatives, who will arrange interviews. Ten students will be selected for the workshops, and upon completion, receive leadership certificates and $250 each.

“Like USFSM, Northwestern Mutual is deeply committed to student success,” Heins said. “With the annual leadership series, we have found a powerful way to affect change in the lives of students, and we are beyond grateful for Northwestern Mutual’s continued partnership.”

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