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Capstone Courses: Wrapping up your Major

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 As you embark on your many years of college as a young adult, eventually you have to declare a major. In Carlson, each major has a corresponding capstone course that is usually taken as the final course in a major and synthesizes a lot of the themes and frameworks from the preceding courses into one aggregate class.
In my personal experience, I have been lucky (or unlucky...depending on how you look at it) to take two capstone courses on both of my majors (Finance and Management Information Systems). I will speak to both capstones, common trends that I noticed, and summarize my experience as a whole.

I remember going to my MIS capstone last semester and realizing that that was it; after completing this course I will have completed my last course in one of my majors. This was an exciting yet scary thought! I was almost at the end of my college career, and I was going to take arguably one of the hardest courses of my college experience. The course used a lot of the same principles from my previous MIS courses, but it was taught in a case-based format in which we had to solve a business problem for a local Fortune 500 company in the Twin Cities. We were also put into groups of four to come up with these solutions and were given the opportunity at the end of the semester to actually 'pitch' our ideas to the businesses. Although the class was difficult, it was good that I had taken a lot of the previous coursework to help supplement my solution to Medtronic!

Speaking to my second capstone in which I am currently enrolled in, I am taking a Corporate Investment Decisions Capstone that focuses on a different facet of corporate finance each week and is illustrated with a real-life case. Each week, we analyze a real business case that occurred in the past and answer many specific and analytical questions to think through the case as similar to the executives of the companies during the time they faced the situation. This class also synthesized a lot of the information I learned from previous courses, and it definitely will jog your brain to remember a lot of the concepts from previous classes.

All in all, I believe that the capstone experience is a really unique and helpful way for you to get ready to enter your first job out of college. A lot of the coursework we did was a real-life situation and made us think like young managers. Although I still have a lot to learn once I enter the workforce, it will be useful that I am prepared to handle the challenges that may come up in the future.

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