A Step Towards Your Career | Business Capstone and Entrepreneurship
Building your career takes personal drive, hands-on experience, time, and hard work. At Maranatha, you will take steps to prepare for your career. The most significant steppingstone is the opportunity to apply all the knowledge you’ve gained into one culminating project in the Business Senior Capstone and Entrepreneurship course.
What is the Business Capstone project?
The Business Senior Capstone and Entrepreneurship course centers on a semester-long project completed by students who serve on teams of six in various functional roles. In this project, each team creates a concept for a start-up business. These concepts range from services such as coffee shops, cafés, and daycares to products like heart monitors, agricultural thermometers, and online ordering devices.
Once the team has identified a business concept, the real work begins. Beginning the second week of the semester until the final presentation day, the teams research their business idea and collaborate to develop a detailed business plan.
“I worked on it for probably 20 hours a week the entire semester, and there were others who worked on it much more than that,” estimates Jeremy Zobel (’20 B.S. Business).
At the end of the semester, each team is given one hour to present and defend their business plan to their peers and a panel of judges comprised of Maranatha Business faculty and local business leaders. This presentation is often equated to the well-known show Shark Tank as the team presents their business plan and then has a Q&A time with the panel.
Abby Huthmaker (’20 B.B.A. Accounting [CPA]) shares, “The project has students tackle all the ins and outs of the business, such as HR, operations, marketing, and IT. The team must create a business portfolio that they present to potential ‘investors’ which includes a value proposition as part of their marketing strategy.”
What is the purpose of Business Capstone?
What is the purpose of this challenging semester-long project? What does it accomplish?
Zobel shares, “[Business Capstone] gives students a chance to see how the things they learned work in the real world and helps them learn how to work with a team of individuals rather than just themselves. It also gives the students a great experience that they can reference in their job interviews with future employers.”
Huthmaker adds, “I thoroughly believe that the Business Capstone project utilizes a wide variety of skills that will help the students be better prepared for their future careers.”
Maranatha’s Business faculty want to give their students hands-on experience in a safe and instructive environment. Business Capstone is one opportunity the faculty give their students to prepare them for real-world scenarios.
What advice would you give to future capstone students?
“My advice for a business capstone [student] is to communicate, work hard, and don’t be afraid to have fun,” Huthmaker states. “The weight of the project is very stressful, so I believe it’s important to have fun and build relationships with those on your team. When you have fun and build those relationships, it makes working together easier and less stressful. I also want to advise capstone students to not hesitate to ask their faculty advisors for help. The faculty at Maranatha want to see their students succeed and are willing to do anything and everything to make that happen. Utilize their knowledge and skills and experience!”
Zobel agrees, “You will be on a team with 3 to 5 other people. It is in your best interest to become good friends with them. Not just because we are commanded by God to love others but because it is much easier to work on a team when you are all good friends and willing to sacrifice for one another and forgive one another. Without doing this, you can still make it through the project all right, but it will be so much easier and encouraging to you and your team if you show your team members that you genuinely care about them.”
The Business Capstone is the pinnacle of a business major’s undergraduate education. It takes time, hard work, personal drive, and provides hands-on experience. It’s a rewarding steppingstone to building your career.