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Nikola Jakic '16 has been named the 2016 McGowan Fellow for his leadership skills, and dedication to ethics and public service.

Nikola Jakic '16

Society through business

Kellogg’s 2016 McGowan Fellow will focus on ethical, enriching leadership

By Natalie Edwards

9/23/2015 - Nikola Jakic ’16 has a big year ahead of him. In addition to his role as a Kellogg Board Fellow at Christopher House, his duties as president of the Public Policy Club and his academic responsibilities, Jakic has received a fellowship from The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund.

Fellowships, which include a full-tuition scholarship, are granted to second-year MBA students in the top 5 percent of their class at one of 10 top-tier MBA programs. Academic achievement is not enough, however. Fellows must exhibit outstanding leadership potential and a strong dedication to ethics and public service.

Guidance and Community

Each year, fellows attend symposiums, working retreats and work personally with a mentor, who is chosen based on mutual interests and complementary backgrounds. Fellows also work together on a social impact, external-consulting project. This year, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago has sponsored the project, which will focus on mental health and the uninsured.

For Jakic, the project is a good match. Post-graduation, he plans to explore his interest in how business can operate ethically and enrich society as a whole, particularly in the intersection of the public and private sectors in industries such as education and infrastructure.

“Many of the most successful businesses are headed by strong leaders who have become public figures outside the business world,” said Jakic. “While these leaders often spur societal initiatives outside of their companies, we could, as a community, hold these leaders accountable for the practices of their core business, encouraging them to act as an example to the rest of industry.”

Prior to Kellogg, Jakic was a renewable energy engineer and a management consultant. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in mechanical engineering and has been a volunteer lecturer, exposing engineering students to consulting careers.

The rigor of the program will bring him closer to his goals, but Jakic says he's looking forward to the relationships he’ll build with his mentor and class of fellows. “Being able to interact with this community, to share ideas and concepts, will help me prepare for a career that will certainly present challenging and ethically difficult situations,” he said.

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