At the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, service and learning combine in a win-win consulting-based capstone course — MBA 790: Strategic Management-Live Case Seminar.
This past Summer II term, 16 students were split into six teams to learn fundamental aspects of business consulting alongside client companies in the Triangle region. Their 8-week long assignment was to analyze and understand their company’s market potential, identifying opportunities to improve competitiveness and profitability. To do so, they conducted primary and secondary research, including owner interviews, a look at employee culture, database searches and financial and industry analyses.
Client company feedback was overwhelmingly positive following this summer’s presentations. Students spent a collective 1,427 hours consulting with their clients, and post-course evaluations showed that businesses gave their team’s work an average score of 95/100. One team received a perfect score 100/100.
“Keep doing this for small businesses,” one review read. “Often we don’t know what we don’t know.”
“The students presented all information very professionally and added a fresh and unique perspective for me to consider. I heard about strengths, weaknesses and additional ideas I hadn’t even thought of,” said another client. Particularly helpful to clients was the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis conducted on their businesses.
The live case seminar allowed us to put into practice what we learned over the course of the MBA program. Despite being located hundreds of miles apart from each other, the members of our team worked well together by bringing together our different work experiences in a collaborative way to assist our assigned business. The course afforded us a unique perspective into the life of a small business while allowing us to creatively apply our business education. I am grateful to Dr. Seibert and Dr. Mostashari for this opportunity and I count it as a valuable experience to look back on as I continue my career in business as a proud Campbell alum.
The live case seminar provided a great opportunity to apply the concepts and knowledge learned throughout the MBA Program to a live business. This course, with its collaborative dynamic, allowed our team to experience the internal and external factors of operating an effective business. Our team was able to evaluate these internal and external factors, combining our prior work experiences and MBA Program knowledge, to aid our client in enhancing the profitability of the company. Thanks to my teammates, Dr. Seibert, Dr. Mostashari, and Mr. Mark McKnight for providing this unique and valuable opportunity.
We are extremely proud of our team’s efforts in the past eight weeks. The “real-time” consulting experience allowed us to work with our client and provide valuable insights and recommendations for business continuity and growth. The instruction and information gained from Dr. Seibert and Dr. Mostashari provided a solid foundation for our education and business growth.
The live case class experience gave me a chance to apply the things I had learned in graduate school in practical application. Dealing with a real business and the various social and emotional aspects of the employees is much more challenging than any case study I have had to complete. Learning how to spot and address resistance is a skill that I can take in to my current career and apply to many situations. By far on of the most informative and challenging classes I have taken during my time as a graduate student.
Photo L-R: Kevin Thomas, Alex Ravenscraft, and Kristie Weber