2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Alanna Jones, University of Denver (Daniels)

Alanna Jones

University of Denver, Daniels College of Business

“(Rock) Climbing to new heights by getting involved to make real world changes.” 

Fun fact about yourself: I accidentally started collecting two things in college; hype shoes and rubber ducks.

Hometown: Fort Collins, Colorado

High School: Fossil Ridge High School

Major: Management

Minor: Finance

Favorite Business Course: My favorite course was Leading for Collaboration by Kathie Novak. Each activity contributed to the success of my team, from building strong foundations to team bonding, competing in challenges, and presenting our experience. Kathie is an engaging professor who brings real-world experience leading teams into the classroom to help students understand why learning how to collaborate is crucial in the business world. The best lesson was learning about why teams don’t work and then learning how to make teams better. Kathie helped us create our teams and talked us through the process of forming teams that would help align our goals and ensure each group member brought strengths to the team.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Work
    • Hiring & Recruitment Coordinator for the Office of New Student and Family Programs
    • 4D Peer Mentor (Orientation Leader)
    • Daniels Ambassador Team Member for the Daniels College of Business
    • Research Associate for the Management Department
    • Research Associate for Innosphere Ventures
    • Graphic Design Consultant for Cableland
  • Clubs and Extracurricular Activities
    • Sigma Iota Epsilon, The National Honorary & Professional Management Society: Founding Member
    • SHRM at DU: President and Founding Member
    • Daniels Management Club: President
    • DU Club Climbing: Secretary
    • University of Denver Hillel: Member
    • Chabad of South Denver: Member
    • Women in Business: Member
    • National Society of Leadership and Success: Member
  • Honors and Awards
    • Hornbeck Scholar
    • Dean’s List
    • Bowen Career Champion Award
    • Daniels Undergraduate Student Spotlight
    • James Lentz End Scholarship
  • Volunteerism
    • Director of Social Media for Front Range Exceptional Equestrians
    • Volunteer for Healing Warriors Program
    • Mentor for the Daniels Management Club
  • Case Competitions
    • 2nd Place – 24-hour Undergraduate Case Competition for ENT Credit Union
    • 1st Place – Consulting Club Case Competition for The Pioneer
    • 1st Place – Consulting Club Case Competition for The Urban Cookie
    • Member of DU Team – National Diversity Case Competition for 3M
    • 1st Place – Business Olympics Case Competition for Daniels Undergraduate Programs
    • Team Member – 24 Hour Daniels Undergraduate Case Competition for Canvas Credit Union
    • Best Class Presentation & Best Presentation of All Classes – MGMT 3700 (Business Policy and Strategy) for Gates Corporation

Where have you interned during your college career? HR Intern at Diverse Talent in Denver, Colorado

Where will you be working after graduation? I am actively exploring opportunities in HR to leverage my skills and passion in a dynamic business environment. I am looking forward to the exciting possibilities and am committed to securing a role that aligns with my goals.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Get out of the classroom! Some of my favorite experiences were events hosted by clubs, the business school, and undergraduate programming. Not only are these opportunities great for networking, learning more about career opportunities related to business, and providing more hands-on experiences, but they are also a great way to meet your peers, win prizes, and see a totally different side to business school. My favorite event is the 24-hour Undergraduate Case Competition hosted by Daniel’s Undergraduate Programming; it is a fun way to provide a solution to a real-world problem that a company can then implement. Each year Daniel’s Undergraduate Programming brings in a sponsor, who challenges students to solve a case, judges the final presentations, and provides monetary prizes as motivation. The first year I competed was most memorable because my team had no idea what we were doing and still ended up winning 2nd place!

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I could do one thing differently, I would enhance my journey by immersing myself further in cross-disciplinary exploration. The common core curriculum is great at giving students a taste of what the other degree paths are, but I would engage with professors and professionals to learn more about the opportunities that exist beyond my immediate focus.

 Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m very proud of the achievements in my position as a Hiring and Recruiting Student Coordinator for the office of New Student and Family Programs. I was responsible for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding over 100 students to be 4D Peer Mentors, DU’s orientation leaders. My position was created during a time of transition and chaos within the office, including my direct supervisor leaving, new employees joining the office, and limited guidance on how to proceed. I was forced to work independently and I am very proud that I took the position and truly made my own. This meant I tabled for hours on end encouraging students to join, I advertised on social media, planned interview questions, scheduled and staffed interviews, and ultimately decided which students to invite to join the team – all during a time of limited guidance or protocol. It was fascinating to work with students from across the University of Denver and discovering what opportunities the university had outside of the business school. This position grew, allowing me the chance to supervise a smaller group of the 4D Peer Mentors. The more intimate setting let me better help shape them into leaders.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire Gemma Tipping. She is a dedicated student who isn’t afraid to go above and beyond to help someone out and solve problems. Gemma cares deeply about other students and is a great leader, fostering accountability and collaboration. She spearheaded the Peer 2 Peer Mentorship Program within the Daniels Management Club, highlighting the importance of creating a community among students.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My family! First, I would most like to thank my dad. He first encouraged me to go into business and has continued to push me to succeed by helping me find new opportunities and encouraging me to do my best. My dad also continues to be one of my role models as he is continuing his business journey and sharing new and exciting things with me. I would also like to thank my mom and my sister who have answered all my phone calls no matter the hour or situation. Their unwavering support has made a huge impact on my academic journey.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Write an autobiography sharing my successes and failures to help others learn and succeed.
  • By the end of 2024, I’d like to earn a SHRM certification and get involved with SHRM chapters in Colorado.

What made Alanna such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Since the day Alanna Jones stepped onto the University of Denver campus, she made her presence known! As many students do, she set goals for herself, but her goals went beyond self-interest – Alanna wanted to make an impact, and that she has done! While maintaining her top academic performance, she jumped in and got involved in groups on and off campus, not just as a member, but as a leader and a founder of several new student organizations. Alanna’s commitment to excellence is obvious in both her coursework and in her service to these organizations. She has successfully participated in many case competitions which demonstrate her critical thinking, collaboration and presentation skills. However, these are not her greatest strengths. Alanna is a person who cares for others, as evidenced by her frequent conversations with others that I have overheard in our department. She is a mentor to our younger students, helping them find their way in a very personal and caring manner. She is a supportive colleague on course projects. She is a wonderful student and classmate in the classroom. Her impact is felt across campus in many arenas, and we are all better off for having her in our lives. Alanna has taken full advantage of her college experience and I can’t wait to see her impact on the world as she moves to the next chapter of her life.”

Kathie Novak
Associate Teaching Professor
Daniels College of Business


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