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Honors Academy, CBA Community Set Hadden for Success

Michael Hadden wanted to attend a college with a strong sense of community. He found that and more at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration.
“I was stuck between choosing engineering or business as a major. The deciding factor was the CBA Honors Academy,” Hadden said. “Seeing the many opportunities that would help me differentiate myself was very exciting to me and the reason I chose UNL CBA.”
The Honors Academy provides a cohort-based, enhanced business curriculum for high-ability students who have the potential and desire to become the next generation of business leaders. Early in his college career, Hadden knew he made the right choice. The junior from Scottsbluff – population 15,000 in the Nebraska panhandle 400 miles west of Lincoln – found a tight-knit group in CBA that reminded him of home.
Michael Hadden
“Being from a smaller town, it was comforting having that sense of a smaller community within the large campus of UNL,” Hadden said. “There’s something about the Midwest hospitality and values that makes you feel at home even on a bigger campus. The people factor has only grown for me since coming to Lincoln. Both connecting with students as well as faculty here at the university has been one of the best parts of my experience.”
Hadden, who is majoring in accounting and finance, wants to pursue a career as in asset management or as a financial analyst. His future goals include working for a large money managing company doing equity research and portfolio construction.
At CBA, Hadden gained the opportunity to see up close the inner workings of those careers. He traveled in the fall with associate dean for undergraduate programs and student engagement and associate professor of finance Dr. Donna Dudney and a group of honors students to New York City. They visited various companies, including an investment bank, an asset management firm, an insurance company and a Big Four accounting firm.
He also competed in the Deloitte Audit Competition his sophomore year with three other students. Hadden and his team prepared a presentation to a case study given to them by Deloitte, and travelled to Chicago to present the solution to partners in the firm. His team finished third in the national competition.
“Being able to see financial firms in one of the largest financial markets in the world was very educational and interesting,” Hadden said. “While the Deloitte competition was stressful, it was a very fun thing to be involved in that allowed us to apply our classroom knowledge to a real-life situation.”
Through these experiences, Hadden built a strong base on which to build his future. He encourages other students considering UNL from smaller towns or a town farther away to find their home away from home like he did with CBA.
“The campus doesn’t seem all that big. You kind of find your niche once you get here, and the larger town and campus is not intimidating as it may seem coming to UNL,” he said. “Lincoln truly has something for everyone. Any passion or interest can be expanded here, but even for those with agricultural backgrounds or whatever it might be, the university has wonderful programs for any major and only continues to grow and improve itself.”
For more information about the CBA Honors Academy, visit
Published: July 22, 2016