BAB ’19 Seniors Take Part in Business Capstone Project

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YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ On March 30, 2019, 157 BA in Business seniors of the American University of Armenia (AUA) took part in the culminating Capstone course, which bridges theory and skills acquired in  the four-year program with business practices and real-world situations. The Capstone gives students the chance to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in and across the main functional areas of business. The course is based on a business simulation ‒ a team experience which seeks to display the students’ ability to integrate and apply knowledge from different disciplines to solve problems in complex real situations. It is an intensive 10-week course of day-long sessions, which utilizes an experiential learning method. It simulates competition among companies in the real world, simplifies it, amplifies it and speeds it up. The experience aims to challenge students to create and execute a strategy in a competitive and dynamic environment. Virtual companies run by teams of students are based in USA, China and Europe.

Vahe Shelunts, one of the members of the four winning teams of the project, shared in his testimonial: “This experience enabled us to work collaboratively, analyze and evaluate different options and make relevant strategic decisions, as well as forecasts. What became the milestone of our success was setting important reliable partnerships with different companies and implementing different strategies to achieve our objectives. Connections and networking are important, particularly in a business setting, and each of our decisions was supplemented by extensive communication with not only our partners but also competitors and firms from other dimensions. In addition, we managed to build a product which has outstanding quality indicators in our market.”

“Our success was due to the high involvement of every team member in the decision-making process. Each of us was responsible for different aspects, but the main strategic decisions were made together. It is also worth noting that the capstone simulation revealed how difficult it can be to negotiate and work with different people in real-life situations. You could negotiate for hours to come to the point of signing a contract when the other party is not willing to work with you though you may have had agreement on certain terms, etc. We were very transparent and supportive of other teams that with the help of our supervisor were very successful in completing the project,” said Hasmik Avetisyan, a member of another winning team.

An honors thesis, which is a scholarly research paper meant to demonstrate the students’ analytical and interpretive skills, is another option of the BAB Capstone course. The results of the thesis defense will be announced in mid-May.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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