USFSM Innovation and Business Development Officer Greg Smogard welcomes students to the Northwestern Mutual Leadership Series.

USFSM, Northwestern Mutual partner on leadership series

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: February 15, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2019) – The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee this week kicked off the 3rd Annual Northwestern Mutual Leadership Series, a program that’s become a favorite on campus.

Led by local executives of the wealth management company, the series is divided into four weekly workshops of two hours each and teaches time management, goal-setting and leadership skills on and off the job. The series began Wednesday and runs through March 6.

“One of the things happening now is that the world of work is changing and businesses are faced with a lot of rapidly changing situations,” USFSM Innovation and Business Development Officer Greg Smogard said during a reception Wednesday to welcome students and Northwestern Mutual executive Patrick Howes. “Good leaders are able to adapt and at the same time recognize where their strengths and limitations are and how they can respond.”

Ten student finalists are participating in the program. Upon completion, they’ll receive leadership certificates and $250 each. Representatives from USFSM’s Careers Services Office and Northwestern Mutual pored over more than 30 resumes the past few weeks and conducted interviews to select students for the workshops, which are held on campus.

While 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 can apply to a variety of leadership settings.

“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,” USFSM Internship and Service Learning Coordinator Ben Heins said.

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