Undergraduate workshop prepares students for the future of work

October 18, 2023

This October, the Ford School’s Leadership Initiative and Career Services team hosted the second annual Deloitte Future of Work Institute (FoWI).  Undergraduate students from the Ford School and the U-M Leadership Certificate program participated in the two-day workshop to gain new leadership skills, and career tools and resources to help them adapt and thrive in a work environment with evolving technologies and drastic social shifts. 

“FoWI raises students' awareness of the importance and transferability of leadership skills across one's career,” said Jennifer Niggemeier, associate director of the Ford School’s Leadership Initiative.

Kevin Finnegan (MPP/MBA ‘21) and Parish Halsell, senior consultants from Deloitte’s Government and Public Services, led students through activities and discussions to build student’s self awareness and help them identify the work that inspires them. Topics ranged from personal strengths and values, networking, artificial intelligence and workforce trends. 

“The group engaged deeply in how the future of work will change in government and government-adjacent roles,” Finnegan said. “In the future of work, what could be automated, and what should stay as a defined human skill, in order to best serve stakeholders?” 

Students reflected on their personal workstyles, clarified their values, and envisioned their future selves. They also practiced personal pitches and networking with local Deloitte representatives. 

“FoWI helped students identify and explore their career intentions, as they navigate next steps in their own career journey,” said Career Services Director Peter Vasher. 

“Through this program, I not only honed my networking skills but also forged invaluable connections with industry leaders… I've gained knowledge and a sense of purpose and direction, which I believe will have a lasting and positive impact on my career and personal growth.” Terry Nguyen (BA, ‘25)

Niggemeier said that the FoWI served as a building block for additional Leadership Initiative programming. “As we build out new offerings for undergraduates this year, this workshop offered key foundational concepts to expand upon in future leadership development programming.”