Out of my entire WSU Executive MBA Online experience, nothing was as rewarding as the capstone project. But by no means was it easy! Thirty weeks split over two classes; this course brings together everything you have learned in the program. It gives you the chance to experience firsthand how the planning and development cycles evolve during a product’s creation, starting with grandiose ideas and distilling them down to something that could be taken to market. One of the hardest parts is learning that failure is part of the process. Just remember: You’ll need to pivot, pivot, pivot.
The most important advice I can give any WSU EMBA student about to start their capstone class is this: Find a good team. You will be spending multiple hours per week outside of class working with these individuals. They will support you when ideas fail and respectfully disagree on business plans which are flawed. The collective input from a good team makes your capstone project shine. Don’t wait. Start connecting with other students that you have already collaborated with in previous classes. If possible, find individuals with similar interests or backgrounds. When the project seems like it will never end, having something in common can keep the team together.
One of the proudest moments of my time in the WSU EMBA program was learning that our capstone teaching team was so impressed with our written project that they wanted to use it as an example for future students! The idea of something we created was being used to show other students what the professors are expecting from them makes me so proud of the work we put into our final product.
My capstone team became a family, and I remain in contact with them to this day. We remotely share important life events and we frequently reach out to each other for advice in our current careers and future prospects. In a post-pandemic world, we intend on celebrating these events in-person. Unfortunately, one of team members was suddenly taken from us, so I dedicate this blog to him. They contributed great insights, ideas, and humor to our team, and never failed to keep our spirits high. Rest well, my friend. The legacy you left will inspire Cougs for generations to come.
By #CougaMBAssador Aaron R. W. Wheeler