Webster's defines a capstone as, “the high point; a crowning achievement.” The Capstone in the MBA Program at The WPI Business School is where students apply all their program learning to a team-based competition. This past fall, 25 students were part of 5 unique business efforts. Their journey began during the previous semester in a pre-capstone effort to vet their selected businesses in preparation for the development of a business plan and supporting pitch to a panel of judges. The judges were charged with critically evaluating their business proposals and determining who would receive bragging rights for ‘Best in Show and ‘Honorable Mention.’
The final class provided the student teams each with an hour to pitch their business plans to the judges. The student teams made it a difficult decision for the panel, but Best in Show was awarded to Reclaim with Delorean Optics as Honorable Mention. In follow up discussions with capstone participants, it became clear that the program had a meaningful impact on the students.
Justin Deveau from the winning Reclaim team mentioned, “I was drawn to WPI as an alumnus because it’s near and dear to my heart, but also because I was familiar with the project-based values of the school. You’re given a lot of freedom to come up with your own innovative ideas. The blended approach was also a value-add, given where my family is based.” He added, “The competitive, albeit friendly, nature of these projects has brought out the best in all of us. We never wanted to stop. And you’re going to get that in the real working world. That helped us dig deep with these projects and get a lot more out of them.”
Tempo's Heath Oikle added, “There’s a lot of value in building relationships inside and outside the MBA program. It only helps growth and development later. [This program] has reminded me to be open to other perspectives. I’ve worked with people in careers ranging from finance, to rocket science, to utilities. It’s really valuable seeing how different people approach the same problem.”
The Business School wishes to thank judges Dr. Wally Towner and Professor Emeritus Dr. Chick Kasouf of WPI, and WPI Alums Professor Don Foster of UMass Dartmouth and Dr. Shari Worthington of Suffolk University.
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