Business leaders share their real-life experiences with Wayne State MBA class

During the recently concluded winter semester, students in Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business were exposed to all sorts of new ideas and experiences. One M.B.A. course, in particular, took full advantage of the school’s strong relationships with the Southeast Michigan business community.

In her Leading in Organizations course (MGT 7816), Prof. Christine Jackson brought in five guest speakers throughout the 11-week course to share their own personal stories and insights. The speakers, all members of the school’s Board of Visitors, included:

  • Paul A. Glantz, president, Proctor Financial, and founder and chief executive officer, Emagine Entertainment
  • Antonio Lück, managing director, Endeavor Detroit
  • Thomas Nantais, chief operating officer, Henry Ford Medical Group
  • Bruce H. Shapiro, group managing partner, Plante Moran
  • Stephen Strome, executive in residence, Mike Ilitch School of Business, and retired chairman and chief executive officer, Handleman Company

Jackson knows a thing or two about leadership herself. Before joining the Ilitch School faculty last year, she spent 11 years at Purdue University, where she founded and directed the Krannert Leadership Development Program. However, she believes that thoughtful and highly accomplished guest speakers bring a whole new dimension to the course.

“Guest speakers bring a richness to the material that goes beyond any lecture, exercise, textbook or case,” she said. “They provide different perspectives, bring the content of the course to life, and inspire students with their stories and experiences.”

Jackson added that inviting guest speakers with close ties to the school and the local business community also connects students to potential role models and encourages them to think more deeply about how the material applies to their current and future selves.

Based on their feedback, it seems as though Jackson’s students agreed.

“I greatly appreciated the guest speakers sharing their personal and business experiences,” said David Contorer, an Ilitch School M.B.A. student who is also executive director of Hebrew Free Loan. “It was very helpful to contextualize theories and case studies with the real-world lessons shared by five diverse business executives who all have close ties to Wayne State and our region.”

You can view a photo gallery of the winter 2016 guest speakers below:

BOV members in MGT 7816

For more information on the Wayne State M.B.A. program, please visit

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