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Capstone Experience

BBAs are encouraged (and for the class of 2017 and later, will be required) to take a capstone course in their final year at Ross. Capstone courses can be action-based or more project focused. Capstone courses can be career focused or aim to integrate learning across disciplines.

The overriding goal of integrative capstone courses is to summarize learning within and across business academic areas. These types of classes may also make connections between the academic learning and the professional world but with less emphasis on professional success than professional capstone. Integrative capstone courses may focus on different issues but all would include topics that address complex concepts, require diverse skills and perspectives, and are relevant to future professional endeavors. Examples include:

  • ACC 318: Financial Statement Analysis — This course provides you with a systematic framework for business analysis and equity valuation using financial statements and data, and demonstrates how to apply this framework to a variety of investment, lending, and reporting decisions. The course is case-oriented and places heavy emphasis on illustrating the latest techniques and information sources used by Wall Street professionals. The student should leave the course with the ability to generate reasonably accurate (or at least logically consistent) forecasts of a firm's future financial performance, including revenues, earnings and free cash flows.
  • TO 465 Business Systems Consulting — Student teams are cast into the role of "consultants" to the executive management of the Velocity Manufacturing Co. (an imaginary company). The facts of the consulting engagement are presented to the students as a portfolio of case materials consisting of text, graphics, videotape, lecture, spreadsheet models, computer simulations, digitized factory data, company financial data, and active participation of students in Velocity's production scheduling and manufacturing operations. The students are tasked with developing and "selling" a compelling business case of investment in new processes and systems to Velocity's management.

Professional Capstone courses focus on preparation for work, graduate school, and life after college. Topics can include the expectations of the students in their first few years on the job in their chosen area and the course may actively assist students in life transition planning. Examples include:

  • ES 396 Entrepreneurial Management — Entrepreneurship is about overcoming ambiguity, risk and failure, embracing it, and learning from it. This course explores entrepreneurship and identifies the many contexts in which entrepreneurship manifests, including start-up, corporate, social, and public sector. It will prepare students for starting and succeeding in an entrepreneurial venture. The main course deliverable is a complete business plan and a presentation to an outside group of investors. This course will enable participants to sharpen their ability to find and evaluate opportunities for a new venture, as well as to think creatively and solve problems in highly unstructured situations.
  • FIN 334 Applied Quant/Value Portfolio Management — This course provides a quant and action-based learning approach to quant/value active portfolio management, using a practical teaching approach with the resources located in the Tozzi trading floor. The first part of the course will focus on developing a systematic approach to choosing/analyzing stocks from a quant/value perspective. The second half of the course will focus on student-led criticism and analysis of stocks, risk, and holdings in existing mutual funds. The final project will combine the lessons learned throughout the course. Students will critique four real portfolios from the lens of a senior quantitative analyst and portfolio manager.