June 28, 2022

CCAL fellows deliver final Masters of Management capstone project

A truly incredible bookend to a truly incredible program
Masters of Management capstone project

The Spring 2022 semester marked CCAL's 3rd year supporting Capstone projects for the Masters of Management program. At its core, the Masters of Management Capstone course is meant to challenge and teach students to respond to multi-functional problems effectively. Through the successful completion of the course, students acquire the tools and frameworks required for effective decision-making. These Capstone courses help students demonstrate effective team interactions while working together to solve business challenges, use ethical models to justify the moral appropriateness of business activities, and recognize and describe ethical considerations when making business decisions.

This year, CCAL had the privilege of supporting two of the four capstone courses offered. While the course outcomes remain relatively constant across the various capstone projects, the way in which students were taught and challenged varied greatly, even between our two CCAL Capstone Projects.

Dr. Cari Din – leadership behaviour expert, teaching scholar, and CCAL fellow and Jamie Clarke ­–climber, explorer, documentarian, best-selling author, business icon, and CCAL adjunct associate professor – designed their Capstone course around translating passion to purposeful business.  For many students who are finishing their degrees and entering the workforce full-time, this is a real concern.  Students were challenged to reflect critically and comprehensively on their values, identity, and purpose in relation to business, use those findings to build out their leadership story and business plan, and ultimately present that story and plan to the class. And, with the guidance of Dr. Cari Din and Jamie Clarke, students were able to accomplish such a feat in just 5 short days. Students grew tremendously personally and professionally, not just over the course of the week but from one day to the next. Through topics such as family, sports, dance, the meaning of life, and much more, students told the empowering, the impactful, and even the traumatic stories that made them into the leader they are today. Thus, completing this capstone project was a truly emotionally cathartic experience for many. The capstone was undoubtedly an incredible bookend to an equally incredible program.

Dr. David Dick – associate professor in philosophy and CCAL Fellow – designed his course to teach and challenge the Masters of Management students in a completely different way. His Capstone course also culminated in a presentation, but this one was based on one of four key operational areas for the Capstone’s partner organization, Benevity. Students were invited by Benevity to gain unique access to their culture and operations by being welcomed into Benevity’s virtual offices, and to learn about the company directly from the people working there every day. Students investigated the practical, strategic, and ethical issues facing the software and tech industries through engagement with relevant academic literature from strategy, management, and philosophical ethics and through interactions with professionals from partner organization Benevity, a Calgary-based start-up actively and directly engaged in this sector. Mornings were hosted in Benevity's virtual office where students learned about their operations through first-hand accounts, and then afternoons were devoted to discussions of the ethical issues related to those operations in in-person discussions in Scurfield Hall.  On the last day of class, students presented back to Benevity about their own operations, displaying the skills the Masters of Management program has equipped them with throughout the year. We can assure you that it was a truly incredible experience for students. But don't take it from us; take it from Masters of Management student Xiting Wang, who had this to say about the course: "Imagine how difficult it is to convey philosophical knowledge to students with no background in philosophy. Imagine how difficult it is to make every student feel 100% respected and cared for; fortunately, Dr. David Dick did it all at Capstone: MGST 674."For more information, contact leadership@haskayne.ucalgary.ca or visit our website.

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