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Strategy Capstone Project

Male and female students working on computers in a conference room

Participate in a Student Project

Learn how your organization can receive high-quality strategy analysis and recommendations to improve your business.


The strategy capstone project is an integral part of a strategic management course that is offered both Fall and Spring semesters to the undergraduate and graduate MBA students in their final year of study.

This project has proved to be one of the best experiential learning experiences for the Kogod students, where they not only develop strategic management skills, but also help local D.C. businesses to improve their business and strategies.

About the Project

Each semester, teams of about three (3) students work on a project in their strategy capstone course where they apply classroom learning to a real-world business problem found at a local organization.

The students will:

  • Work closely with you to understand your business situation and needs on various dimensions such as marketing, operations, IT, HR, finance, and accounting.
  • Conduct independent research and apply the conceptual frameworks they have learned in the program to address high level strategy challenges faced by organizations.
  • "Test drive" their ideas (such as competitive positioning, entering a new market, investing in new facilities, or reorganizing the organizational structure) in class, and get feedback from the instructor and from other student teams.
  • Make recommendations and present a strategic plan that may include business plans, marketing plans, performance monitoring systems, etc.

The Process

  • Project Selection: Student teams select their projects from a list of those that apply to participate.
  • Initial Meeting: They will schedule an initial meeting to understand your situation. Additional information will be obtained through subsequent face-to-face meetings, phone conversations, or email throughout the semester.
  • Situation Analysis Report: Midway through the project, they will provide a preliminary Situation Analysis Report that outlines the firm's current strategy, potential challenges and opportunities, and the most promising strategic options that will address the problems and opportunities identified.
  • Final Plan: A final report and presentation will outline a strategic plan for the future.

Participation Requirements

If you would like to participate in a student project, the following items are required from the business or organization:

  1. Write up a brief outline of your organization (details below).
  2. Participation in three face-to-face meetings: initial meeting at the client site, and mid-semester and end-semester meeting at the Kogod School of Business.
  3. Commitment to provide teams with information needed for analysis (e.g., business plans, mission statements, financial statements, etc.) and feedback.
  4. Historical financial statements (e.g., income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, any internal costing documents) for last three years and operational data (e.g., point of sale data).

There is no charge to participate. For 15-30 hours of your time, the students log up to 180 hours working on your project.

Estimated Time Commitment (hours)


Total (15 weeks)

Your organization
Approx. 1-2
Approx. 15-30

Student team (up to 4 students)

4 Up to 180

Submit Your Information

To submit your documents or obtain more information, please contact:

Associate Professor Parthiban David
Phone: (202) 885-2080

Please indicate if you need assistance collecting or organizing your documents.

Sample Write-Up

In order to participate, you will need to provide a sample write-up about your business. This write-up can be brief (a half to one full page is typical). 

Your writeup should include:

  • Basic business information including, name of organization, contact name, email, phone, website (or Facebook or LinkedIn page with more information about the organization)
  • What you would like the student team to accomplish, such as:
    • Solve a business problem (e.g., problems with growing or retain customers)
    • Envision new possibilities (e.g., entering a new market) 
    • Improve internal systems/ processes (e.g., managing inventory or workforce)
  • Describe your organization's strategy. Be sure to address:
    • What is your business? What is the product/service? Who are your customers?
    • What is your competitive advantage? What is your value proposition to the customer? How are you different from or better than the competition?
    • What are some of the challenges and opportunities you are most concerned or excited about? What are some of the gaps that you feel you need to plug?
  • What other documents or information can you share with the student team? For example: copies of business plan, mission statement, financials, etc.
  • Is there anything you can add as to why student teams should want to work on this business problem? For example:
    • Why is this exciting or fun?
    • Will this provide a valuable learning experience and a chance to sharpen business skills (e.g., marketing, finance, accounting, operations, strategic planning)?

Ask yourself if your writeup has enough information for students to make an informed choice. Remember to include some sense of your passion to pique students' interest in your organization.

Client Testimonials

"The students not only met the immediate need, but also provided us with practical steps and timelines to implement. In addition, the students were very knowledgeable and worked cohesively as a team to develop the recommendations. We were able to recognize that the students took the project seriously and researched recommendations that were a best fit for our small business. They were effective in persuading us to purchase tools, which would help our business processes. For that we are grateful."

- Veronica O. Davis and Chancee Lundy, Partner, NspireGreen LLC

"Fantastic Experience! I really enjoyed working with the Kogod team. They were more thorough that I ever expected going into the project. Not only would I participate again in the project but also, I'd recommend it to other businesses."

- Susan Nowak, Founder, Jenkins Hill Child Development Centre 

"We were delighted to work with this great group of students! They put a lot of time, effort and brainpower into the project. The results were outstanding and they have given some concrete directions. We are implementing many of their suggestions." 

- Debra Moser, Marketing, Central Farm Markets 

"It was terrific working with the team and I was thrilled to have their energy and insights for our business. Everything throughout the last few months was high-quality, in substance and process. They all grasped our business, dove into solutions, research and truly practical ideas to help us advance."

- Dave Aidekman, Founder, Trip Tribe

Previous Clients

Spring 2014

  • Nspire Green
  • Waterfront Infant and Toddler Center
  • Jenkins Hill CDC
  • C.A.T. Walk Boutique
  • Suitland Family Life and Tech Center
  • Central Farm Markets LLC
  • Rachel and Company (Professional Organizing Business)
  • Andrea Beau
  • Fitness Fast To Go
  • Trip Tribe 
  • Buoyant Sound
  • Cheeky Puppy
  • Force
  • Solena Fuels

Fall 2013

  • Baked By Yael
  • Zenful Bites
  • La Kaiser
  • Snobswap
  • Popcorn & Ice Cream
  • Intelligent Ethos
  • Lynn Carbone
  • Her Corner
  • Ecomax
  • Castmedic
  • Trendpo