A Capstone Project (CP) is an ideal way to end the MBA course in many ways. First, it enables students to use the management tools and techniques they have theoretically read about and discussed over the course of a year. Most students this year have had the opportunity of working with organisations of their respective choices to learn about and solve their problems. Our choice of such an organization was an Irish-based craft brewer who proposes to penetrate the craft beer market in the United States. This, I believe, was a very interesting choice for us to make since the American craft beer market is full of new and established players which will make it well-nigh difficult for any new entrant to set foot there. Besides, one’s choice of location to launch the product would be crucial since the craft brewer would ideally seek markets favourable where an Irish population is dominant.
In addition to the questions that the CP posed for us, what appealed to me most was the idea of working closely with my classmates of different personal and ideological persuasions. During the course of the MBA, one is thrown into random and selective groups that comprise persons of different nationalities, ethnicities, languages and cultures. This, I believe, brings out the best learning experience since people debate issues from their individual and divergent perspectives which, indeed, is conducive to innovation and prospective challenges. Working in diverse groups also enables us to sense the dynamics of common action. Of course such dynamics helps us to be more accommodating and respectful of others’ problems, opinions, and difficulties. No one wins alone. As for loss, we share the outcome in equal measure.
Working on this CP, I volunteered to move out of my comfort-zone (financial valuation/securitisation), a gesture I am sure most of my classmates appreciated. They have had the opportunity, much as I’ve had, to notice one another’s strength and areas of expertise through the year while we were engaging different modules. Above all, I daresay that one gets to learn a great deal from other people’s lives and experiences while at work, as I did from my team-mates well-versed in marketing. What could be more beneficial than the value of an MBA through such experiential learning?