Project Sequences

What You Will Accomplish
  • You complete self-assessments to identify perceived gaps between your current skill levels and those you need to achieve your goals as a business professional.
  • You demonstrate skills in communication, ethical decision making and critical thinking.
  • You develop understanding and appreciation for issues of diversity and social responsibility and examine business perspectives around culture, ethics, leadership, and planning.
Areas of Coverage
Project 1-1:
Personal and Professional Skills

By focusing on multiple assessments of yourself, both personally and professionally, you better understand your own ethical framework and leadership capability. You demonstrate your writing and oral communications skills. Also, using gap analysis, you assess your personal and professional experience and prior learning to develop an individualized learning map for the program.

Project 1-2:
Sensitivity to Diversity

Explore your personal habits, beliefs, and values associated with different dimensions of diversity in order to develop an appreciation for diversity within the culture of your firm. Consequently, you examine the firm's beliefs about diversity and the culture and policies it implements to support those beliefs and contrast your own personal values with the firm's values.

Project 1-3:
My Work Environment

Assess the current status of your firm using Balanced Scorecard dimensions and use this information to develop an assessment of your firm's strengths and weaknesses relative to its history of ethical decision-making and its approach to diversity.

Project 1-F:
Professional Goal Setting

The goals of Project 1-F are to afford you an opportunity to analyze and interpret the impact of your personal and professional characteristics on your need to develop as a business professional within your firm and/or industry; develop a personal and professional BBA program plan that consists of an integration of your previous descriptions of personal and professional strengths and weaknesses; an outline of the gaps in your development as a person and as a business professional; and a set of goals (personal, professional, and academic) that you will work on during the program.

What You Will Accomplish
  • You analyze and evaluate the external realities in which your firm operates - at all levels, starting with the individual consumer, consumer segments, industries, markets, and national and international economic environments - to understand the possibilities and limits firms face in their decision making.
  • You segment markets and develop targeted communication plans to reach particular segments. You use multiple models to prepare industry analysis reports that analyze the competitive structure surrounding the firm, in both national and international contexts.
  • You predict how national and international economic events impact the firm at all levels, from consumer demand to supply and cost conditions to market equilibrium.
Areas of Coverage
Project 2-1:
External Market Influences

Classify external environmental factors that may limit or enable the firm's future decision making, specifically analyzing competition, changes in demand determinants and supply conditions, complementary and substitute good markets, national macroeconomic conditions and policy responses, and in the upstream/downstream value chain. You prepare environmental analysis reports to prioritize external events as they impact firm operations, present and future.

Project 2-2:
Consumers and Products

Analyze consumer decision making and how internal, situational, and social influences shape behavior in the marketplace. Paying special attention to the deconstruction of the product's components and basic pricing issues, you explore the primary principals of marketing (product, price, promotion, and place). Finally, you create a new product demonstrating your understanding of how consumers make decisions in the marketplace.

Project 2-3:
Segmentation, Targeting and Promotion

Explore the consumer market with an eye toward understanding how that market can be segmented by demographic, psychographic, geographic, and behavioral characteristics. You use segmentation techniques to develop strategies for targeting specific segments and develop a promotion plan focusing on advertising to reach a target market. You develop a television advertisement to illustrate your understanding of the target market.

Project 2-F:
Doing Business in the Global Market

Extend your environmental analysis capabilities by including international factors in the context of risks and opportunities. You analyze global currency and capital markets, social and cultural constructs, economic and demographic conditions, political and legal frameworks, and ethical and environmental realities. You explore business opportunities from the viewpoint of a firm owning a sustainable competitive advantage and evaluate techniques used to mitigate risks that may arise through their environmental analysis.

What You Will Accomplish
  • You analyze the internal operational and financial performance of the firm.
  • In the financial analysis, you prepare financials and calculate and evaluate ratios for the firm and comparatively with other firms in the industry.
  • You develop pro-forma financials to make decisions about undertaking new projects and for introducing new products to the market.
  • In the operational analysis, you analyze cost variances, delivery cycle time, cycle efficiency, quality costs, and throughput time.
  • You evaluate the firm using an in-depth balanced scorecard approach.
  • You analyze and compare multiple companies in an industry to evaluate marketing and management based on financial performance measures relative to the stated strategy of the firm.
Areas of Coverage
Project 3-1:
Two Company Financial Comparison

Select a publicly traded company and prepare a comprehensive financial statement analysis using spreadsheet tools. You prepare and interpret: balance sheet and trends over five years, statement of cash flow and trends for five years, and operating, investing, and financing activities. You evaluate the firm based on financial ratios: liquidity ratios, asset management ratios, debt management ratios, debt ratio, profitability ratios, and market value ratios. You also perform and interpret Du Pont analysis for ROA and ROE, risk/return analysis, weighted average cost of capital, free cash flow, and economic value added calculations. Finally, you present your overall results and analysis in an executive summary format.

Project 3-2:
Financial Decision Making

Perform a comparative financial analysis to make recommendations whether to buy, hold or sell stock in a publicly traded company as part of an investment portfolio. You perform your analysis relative to other firms in the industry by completing an integrative industry analysis as part of your recommendation.

Project 3-3:
Balanced Scorecard

Identify and develop performance measures for a firm in the four areas of financial performance, customer performance, internal business processes, and learning and growth. You prepare a balanced scorecard analysis using at least five measures in each of the four areas to develop performance measures that stakeholders can understand and influence. You prepare an implementation plan based on the results of their analysis.

Project 3-4:
New Product or Service Offering

Prepare an idea for a new product in a new target market, analyzing the value chain for the new offering and identifying how the offering will create value for the target market and for the firm. You develop the marketing mix for the new offering and develop fundamental pro-forma financials for the product or service, using sound assumptions and modeling techniques. Upon completion of your analysis, you make a decision on the new product offering, making recommendations to the firm's leadership.

Project 3-F:
The Auto Industry Integrative Analysis

Analyze five publicly traded firms within one industry, performing financial ratio analysis on the five firms to identify the strongest and weakest firms in the industry. You evaluate the strongest and weakest firms' management, marketing and operations to isolate those factors that separate the two firms in each area. You make recommendations for the weakest firm to move to a position of strength in the industry based on your analysis.

What You Will Accomplish
  • You interview and analyze executives as a way to document best practices in leadership and apply your findings to your own leadership style to find ways to enhance your effectiveness as a leader.
  • You review strategic plans to connect effective leadership to fulfillment of organizational strategy.
  • You develop tactical plans with measurable objectives to move the firm from its present position to fulfillment of its mission and vision.
Areas of Coverage
Project 4-1:
Leadership Comparison

Interview executives to determine what makes leaders effective, in the context of where the firm is now and where the firm would like to be according to its mission and vision. You analyze the firm's organizational life cycle, its culture and the full leadership team to evaluate effective leadership and effective management in the context of its current strategic plan. You compare your findings about effective leadership to executives in global companies to contextualize their findings.

Project 4-2:
Company Strategic Assessment

Choose a company to evaluate strategic direction using SWOT and environmental scan analysis. You identify the firm's core competencies and competitive advantages to evaluate the effectiveness of the firm's strategic plan in protecting and building on advantages and competencies. You present your findings to executives at the company being analyzed to test your analysis and gain additional insight into the real context of the company's operating strategy. You also evaluate the firm's success in fulfilling its legal obligations and responsibilities.

Project 4-F:
Developing a Plan to Meet Strategy

Review strategic plans for a publicly traded company, analyzing the realities faced by the firm when it originally developed the plan. You evaluate the firm's success at achieving what it had originally planned to, paying attention to the firm's original assumptions and the realities that occurred since the assumptions were made. You then develop a new tactical plan to help the firm achieve its original mission and vision.

The Program Capstone
What You Will Accomplish
  • You prepare a full business plan for a compelling new business idea.
  • You apply the skills you've mastered in the program to a start-up company that delivers a specific product or service.
  • You complete the company analysis, the industry analysis, the customer analysis, the competitive analysis, the marketing plan, the operations plan, the management plan, the full pro-forma financial projections, and an executive summary.
  • Finally, you make a presentation and provide an oral defense of your business plan to a panel of faculty and business executives.