Capstone at a Glance
Capstone projects provide graduate students both a critical and integrative learning experience that builds upon knowledge gained from business courses as well as co-curricular activities. Over the course of a semester, students in Capstone courses work in teams with faculty oversight to address challenges and identify opportunities for a client organization.
Each unique project requires students to get up-to-speed quickly on a specific content or issue area; enhance key process skills such as project management and teamwork; and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting out on data. Read about some of our student Capstone experiences below.
- Define the problem or opportunity
- Determine what techniques to use to master this problem or opportunity
- Synthesize all aspects of the problem; integrating people, interpersonal knowledge and skills, and technology where necessary
- Deliver a thorough, professionally written report with detailed analyses and specific recommendations. The proposal will include problem definition, substantial fact-based analysis, recommendations, and implementation strategies.
- Present the team's project findings to the clients, including thorough discussion and any needed follow-up.
- A faculty member will request from Capstone clients a short written assessment of the team work and input to the team’s grade for the Capstone Project.
For students, the Capstone experience is an opportunity to develop solutions that combine skills and knowledge acquired throughout their business education, in a complex, real-world environment. For organizations, it is a chance to have current and future business leaders focused on their success.
Capstone team members: Omar Rahmaan, Maria DeFilippo, Yordalis Corporan, Andrew Tobin
Kodak Alaris is an independent, global technology company focused on exposing the power of images and information for businesses and consumers. This group of RIT seniors explored possibilities to break into the 3D printing market with Kodak Alaris. Although the group’s core competency was photo printing and imaging, they learned valuable skills first-hand for the workplace, such as schedule coordination, time management, and how to communicate with a global client across time zones.
“I plan on going into management to incorporate into my undergrad and subsequently go into team management and consultancy. I have learnt that team work is vital and somethings you can’t do it alone but with the support of a good team.” - Andrew Tobin
Capstone team members: Patrick Reynolds, Ray Zayas, Llesy Alcantara, Silvia Carbello, Susan Hansen
This group of student consultants worked for Arc of Monroe on an abandoned project within the organization. Arc of Monroe is a local organization that provides a variety of programs and services to those with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc works to enhance the quality of life and self-esteem of people in their programs by providing meaningful social development, supported employment, residential community living and enrichment opportunities.
The main objective of this project was to create a new business model by breaking down and assessing each aspect of the current business model. The group’s goal was to revive the program, so they created an updated business model template that allowed the program to be conducted consistently and successfully as a sub-set of Arc of Monroe.
“I feel I have learnt a lot in stepping out of my comfort zone which enabled me tie all the learnings I have gained together.” – Patrick Reynolds
Capstone team members: Sarah Baris, Nikhil Srivastava, Michael Simeone, Meagan Kidder, Evan Zachary
BioWorks Inc. is a bio-based company focused on biological manufacturing in New York. The company creates environmentally responsible solutions for controlling insects and plant diseases. The main objective of this group of student consultants was to identify competitors for BioWorks Inc. and to update the road map for a new market.
“I picked this project with the intention of developing the economic and financial aspect of sustainability. Programs often fail to market this aspect and I feel like this project has given me the opportunity to explore that.” - Evan Zachary
Capstone team members: Jeff Kosakowski, Ty Clauss, Dakota Clay, Stella Ravariere, Taurance Robnett
The Black Box group was tasked a classified project for RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, with the main objective of improving efficiency. The College of Liberal Arts at RIT offers a unique, technology-infused approach to the traditional Liberal Arts education, all while emphasizing global education, student-centered research and social justice.
The Black Box team faced challenges with information and data gathering due to limited resources. However, the group was able to overcome their obstacles and ultimately gain great insights into the consulting side of business.
“Currently, we are able to tackle this by using available resources like ProQuest as much as possible, as well as ask and consult from experts on and off campus.” - Dakota Clay
Capstone team members: Meghana Reddy Vennapusala and Chaitanya Kshirsagar
“As business students we are working in something that is completely different from what we were expecting, thus this make it different but also a good learning experience for us."
- Chaitanya Kshirsagar
Haiti, as many other third world countries lack a reliable means for disposing of human waste. This leads to contamination of water supplies, and the spread of disease. In Haiti, only one in five families have any kind of toilet, and studies indicate that investments in sanitation can deliver a financial return of 7X by improving health and environmental standards in the area.
An arborloo is a moveable pit latrine that composts human feces into organic fertilizer to provide nutrients for a fruit-bearing tree. It is relatively cheap and easy to install in the earth, allowing a safe and dignified place to defecate, which in turn should help halt the spread of pathogens present in human feces. This device is portable and light enough to be transferred between pits. A team of RIT students from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, has designed a product that can be fabricated using many materials that are local to Haiti, and that is modular so that it can be acquired and assembled in pieces. Thus, the objective of this project is to develop an optimize supply chain and manufacturing operation suitable for the resources available in Haiti.
Capstone team members: Karla Roedan, Hugo Nuñez and Aman Jot Kaur
“I think it’s a great opportunity to put into practice all the knowledge acquired through the whole master’s program and to know that we have developed the skills necessary to address current business issues."
- Karla Roedan
3D printing is a technology that has started to revolutionize the way we create objects. Manufacturing companies have been able to take advantage of 3D printing by using prototypes and proving their initial models before they release any products.
The objective of the project was to develop a market opportunity analysis to understand the future use of 3D printing and allow current companies that are in the manufacturing of end-use parts, know what would be the value proposition for them to switch from traditional manufacturing techniques to 3D printing.
The company for which this group is working is confidential, but it is commonly known as an American technology company that concentrates on imaging product. The team worked to collect secondary research on 3D printing, and with help from Professor Les Moore, set forth a plan of action.
"It is a valuable experience. Coming from a design background, I did not have any experience with the business field, so this Capstone is giving me a chance to explore opportunities and learn new things before entering into the corporate world."
-Aman Jot Kaur
Follow up on progress:
Can you give an update on the project? What is the process of presenting your final project work?
On one hand, we have been working on putting all the data together. We have gathered all the information that we have found relevant to the subject matter and are now working cohesively towards making all parts make sense. At the same time, we are getting rid of the information we no longer find important in order to present to our client.
What have you learned most from the project?
The most important thing has been the challenge of working with different personalities and people from different backgrounds and culture. We all have different approaches to problem-solving and assign priority differently. Overall it's been a successful experience. The real world is about learning to voice out your thoughts in the work environment and this project has been a great opportunity to put this into practice in a friendlier environment.
How will this project help the business that you were assigned?
The client will now have a better understanding of the market in which they have an interest in. We have provided them with sufficient data that will allow them to make more strategic decisions and understand how competitors are currently playing.
Capstone team members: Jelisse Rodriguez, Diana Rodriguez and Joshua Schussler
“I really like this because is a real world application, in which we want to succeed. It’s something that can be applied immediately in the industry."
- Joshua Schussler
Motorized pediatric standers, a product developed by RIT students from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, provide upright mobility opportunities for young people with certain types of disabilities. This device allow the user to move and interact in a way that is more natural than a standard wheelchair, improving overall quality of life while and also allowing the user to endure weight on their legs.
The main objective of the Capstone project was to develop a plan for commercialization of this new product. In order to attain this aim, the team met with members of CP Rochester, researched information about the market, competitors, and the target to which they would focus all their strategies.
The Capstone team was featured among a larger, campus-wide interdisciplinary team with students from engineering and design. Together, the full team presented their concepts at Imagine RIT 2016 in Dr. Destler's Access and Inclusion Technology Challenge. The challenge, featured projects dedicated to the research and development of state-of-the-art technologies to improve access and inclusion for people with disabilities, with a specific task of making it easier to travel and shop. The team's Motorized Pediatric Stander took first prize! The proposal included a kit and accompanying app that was developed by the 13-member team of industrial design, business and engineering students. The device allows children with cerebral palsy to explore their environments and learn to move in a standing position.
Capstone team members: Aleyca Y. De Leon Roman, Julissa M. Pozo Nunez, Asim Wankhade, Vineeth Ramajayam
“As Masters of Supply Chain Management students, we believe this project would be of great experience especially going into the industry after graduation. We are constantly learning new skills and different ways to solve a problem.” – Aleyca Y. De Leon Roman
Markin Tubing, a tube pipe manufacturing company in Rochester, NY, is one of the leading suppliers of small-diameter steel tubing worldwide. Markin’s success today is due to many decades of partnership and collaboration between the Markin team and their customers. This group of RIT seniors were faced with a problem of generating new revenue streams for Markin Tubing, which they projected could be done by using scrap metals as raw materials. The group worked as a team and through researching and consulting with field experts, determined the most viable business solution for the company.
Saunders actively solicits community and company projects for team and individual assignments. Although most projects are completed as part of course requirements, Saunders also offers a consulting option that is not limited by the academic calendar and specific course requirements.