Jackson National Life Insurance Company (commonly referred to as Jackson) is a U.S. company that offers annuities for retail investors and fixed income products for institutional investors. Founded in 1961 and headquartered in Lansing, MI, Jackson has more than 4,800 employees across eleven locations. In 2014, Jackson was ranked as a top 25 company in the Detroit Free Press “Top 100 Workplaces in Michigan” list. Jackson prides itself on outstanding customer service and culture which has helped lead the company which managed over $200 Billion in assets in 2015.
Michigan Tech and Jackson began their partnership in 2010 through recruiting computer science and IT talent at one of Michigan Tech’s Career Fair. During one of their trips to campus, Gary Rudnicki, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources at the time, toured the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation (MTEC) SmartZone, an economic development hub which provides growing businesses access to world-class facilities and training. The SmartZone allows Jackson to grow their presence on campus through hiring interns year-round, consequently providing a seamless pipeline for full-time talent and summer internship program. In 2013, Jackson opened their Houghton branch and regularly employees over twenty student interns in a variety of computing and business disciplines. The Jackson brand is now one of the most recognized company brands on campus, an observation which is supported by their massive lines at both annual career fairs.
“By operating our MTEC SmartZone office year-round at Michigan Technological University, we are able to demonstrate first-hand the sophistication and cutting-edge technology of Jackson’s IT department,” says Rob Sweet, manager of Jackson’s satellite office. “By working with Michigan Tech students for one to two years prior to their graduation, we are able to increase our pipeline of new hires and spend more time with the students individually, to identify those we believe will be a good fit.”
In addition to their residency in the Keweenaw, Jackson has been instrumental in supporting diversity in computing by contributing $15,000 per year for the past three years, which has been essential in maintaining scholarships for young women to attend the Women in Computer Science Summer Youth Program campus experience. Since their first donation in 2013 the program has grown from 23 to 59 applicants each summer competing for 36 spots. Participants experience a variety of programming and computer science exercises, challenges and guest speakers, including a tour and visit to Jackson’s high tech Houghton office.
Since coming to campus Jackson has also been a consistent sponsor of strategic talent recruitment areas such as BonzAI Brawl, Society of Women Engineers Student Chapter, and Career Services Partner Program. The Jackson-Michigan Tech partnership will continue to grow along with their company as Jackson recently completed a $100M expansion on their Lansing headquarter in Fall 2015, investing further in their employees, whom represent the foundation of their success.