BAB Hosts 2021 Capstone Award Ceremony, Feature
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BAB Hosts 2021 Capstone Award Ceremony

3 min read

On September 10, the American University of Armenia (AUA) BA in Business (BAB) program organized an award ceremony to acclaim outstanding students for their Capstone theses and consulting projects completed during spring 2021.  The event has become an annual tradition for the BAB program to recognize exceptional Capstone works.

As the culminating experience for the BA in Business degree, the Capstone course bridges theory and skills covered in coursework throughout the program with business practices in real-world situations. Opting for a consulting project, students have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills across functional areas of business while applying relevant theoretical frameworks and tools to real business situations. The thesis option offers them the opportunity to advance their research and analysis skills by studying a specific issue in business or economics. 

Students opting for an honors thesis examined a number of interesting themes, such as The validity of the purchasing power parity hypothesis for the Post-Soviet states with a focus on countries in the Eurasian Economic Union submitted by Vladimir Yeghiazaryan.

Among the other awardees was Lilit Kalantar for her research investigating how the 2018 Velvet Revolution spurred a significant decline in intentions to migrate from Armenia. “The idea for my research topic began to form during the Research Methods course, when we were assigned to write specific sections of our future research papers,” explained Kalantar. “Still, the final research question required hard work, trial and error, and the invaluable guidance of my supervisor. My thesis intends to explore the effect of the Velvet Revolution on the intentions to migrate from Armenia and to identify other significant factors that influence one’s decision to migrate. The Velvet Revolution was found to have a substantial negative effect on intentions to migrate from Armenia.”

Another award winner, Viktoria Ter-Harutyunyan, shared her experience with writing a thesis. “My research aimed to examine the factors affecting students’ academic performance in Armenia, mainly focusing on the impact of stress,” she said. “I collected the data through an online survey and used regression analysis to obtain the final results. The Research Methods course sparked in me a huge initial interest in this research topic.”

Another Capstone thesis award winner, Naira Minasyan, elaborated on her research, which she believes could offer useful policy suggestions. “In my thesis, I addressed household consumption expenditure, which is regarded as one of the key indicators of the overall economic system,” she said. “The research analyzes the impact of socio-economic characteristics of Armenian households on consumption behavior across different classes of society.” 

The faculty mentors agreed that the Capstone posed a challenge to the students, since both consulting project and thesis options typically require intensive research and writing, as well as professional and creative work. The bestowal of awards serves as a formal acknowledgement and recognition of the students’ distinguished work and an expression of gratitude for the thesis advisors.

During the ceremony, Capstone consulting project supervisor Karen Sarkavagyan shared his impression of the work submitted by the project team. 

“The team faced the challenging task of proposing actionable recommendations on brand music association for Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottlers Armenia (CCHBA),” he said. “No prior research had been carried out on this topic at CCHBA, and there was little information available from other country units of CCHBA which the team could utilize. Nevertheless, the team managed to synthesize primary and secondary research to produce actionable recommendations for increasing music association among customers through cleverly designed music festival and collaboration with specifically selected influencers, along with the use of customized gifts and bottle packaging. CCHBA management acknowledged the value delivered by this Capstone Consulting Project, and so did I.”

Students noted that they appreciated the opportunity the Capstone course offered to anchor the knowledge and skills they had acquired throughout their undergraduate years while boosting practical exposure. They all admitted that the experiences of thesis writing and project implementation are challenging yet deeply gratifying.

Congratulations to the winners for the quality of their work and for making the selection so difficult this year! You have set the bar high for the next BAB Capstone cohorts.

The Capstone theses are available at the AUA digital depository

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.