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Darla Moore School of Business


Student teams gain practical experience, fresh perspectives through Moore School’s Capstone supply chain projects

December 9, 2016

Company representatives spoke about how valuable the Darla Moore School of Business Capstone students’ perspectives were and how much they improved industry efficiency at the Fall 2016 Industry Summit. The conference, held Dec. 6, allows student teams who have worked all semester on real-world supply chain consulting projects to present their findings and recommendations. The Capstone consulting projects are developed through partnerships between sponsoring companies and the Moore School's Center for Global Supply Chain and Process Management.

“We are so grateful for the additional value the work of these students added,” a Delta Air Lines-Cargo representative shared with the audience.

Throughout the fall semester, 13 teams of students worked with 13 different companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Michelin, Continental Tire and BMW to solve certain process or operations management problems within the companies. The capstone projects, managed through the Moore School’s Global Supply Chain and Process Management Center, allow teams of graduate and undergraduate supply chain students, led by faculty experts, to work directly with GSCPM Center partner organizations on projects identified by the companies.

Over the last eight years, Moore School GSCOM students have completed more than 150 faculty-led corporate consulting projects resulting in more than $175 million in savings for corporate partners.

“I’ve never seen a group take such an abstract problem and turn it into a project this complete,” a Trane representative said of his team.

Tuesday’s program opened with a representative from each company speaking on the benefits each company gained through the work of its respective team. Attendees were then invited to visit the set-up of each team’s project results. This allowed students to not only present their findings to their company individually, but to also share their results with other companies who participate in the Capstone Program.

Some of these companies have been partnering with the Moore School for several years and have worked with students to complete many projects. For others, this was their first time being involved.

“This is the first Capstone project we’ve participated in, and we are looking forward to continuing this relationship,” a BMW representative said.

For the students, one of the most valuable parts of the project was applying what they have been learning in class to real-life projects outside of the classroom.

“It’s great career experience for what I want to go into,” International MBA student Erin Wells said. “The practical application is really beneficial.”

Students also learned how to better manage their time and work efficiently in teams of people they likely didn’t know beforehand.

“I don’t think I could have picked a better team,” said fourth-year GSCOM and finance student Kevin Anneken.

Overall, the Capstone Project benefits companies by providing them with fresh perspectives on their inefficiencies and giving students an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge.

“Getting a chance to have real-life engagement while in school before I’m thrown into it for my professional life was really important,” said fourth-year GSCOM, human resources management and marketing student Ayana Moore. “This project gives me a leg up on other students who might not have had that corporate experience.”

By Madeleine Vath