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Margi Foster Deinlein
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I had anticipated from reading prior students' blog posts at the beginning of the semester that this experience would be something of a whirlwind - and let's just say I was not let down. I had a rare opportunity this summer to devote my full attention to Capstone, without working or taking other classes, and somehow all of my time still didn't feel like enough. Probably one of the biggest challenges in Capstone is dealing with doubt. The intentional ambiguity surrounding this particular course will inevitably lead you to doubt yourself, your abilities, and your likelihood to succeed. I wish... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
This week was exhausting, stressful, and in some ways very rewarding. My partner and I have been anxious for weeks about the delay in getting the primary research done that was being arranged by our client. In other words, we had very little CONTROL over the timeline... something both of us REALLY like to have. Unfortunately, because our client contact has been out of town for two weeks and no interviews could be conducted without her, we couldn't wait for the interviews to be neatly wrapped up before it was time to start outlining the presentation and making our recommendations.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
I can't be the only one feeling like it's impossible to exhale this week ... and I know I won't now until we're completely finished. My partner and I have both put so much time and energy into this project (like really, a lot), and we're concerned with making sure the end product reflects that. It was very helpful to have the project review with Drew this week to help hone in on what the key pieces of our final deliverable(s) are. After agonizing over every detail, having a clear idea about where we're going felt like a weight being... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
This week was undoubtedly a hectic one, between the holiday and multiple groups of family visiting from out of town, I had to make time wherever possible to keep progress on the report - which unfortunately meant skipping some family activities in favor of getting to work. Aside from a depth interview with a current client customer, this past week has been spent mostly hammering away on the written report and deliverables. For instance, we needed to get everything documented from last week's SIT session while it was still fresh in our minds - there were a LOT of ideas... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
I will admit - in fact, I did admit, I was nervous about our half-day SIT workshop with our client this week. Of course, I had plenty of faith in Professor Hardin to lead the group and present the techniques... so why was I worried? Well, mostly because after taking the course last summer and reading the book again last month, my strongest examples and understanding of the SIT techniques were surrounding products. Not only does our client not sell products, but they are a very niche, very B2B service organization. Additionally, we learned early in the week that almost... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
This week was definitely a challenging one for my partner and I. Though we're making progress in some areas, we're continuing to face roadblocks in others. One of the most anxiety-inducing elements of this project has been waiting for the client meetings to be arranged, and it seemed this week like some of our worst fears were being realized. With our primary contact leaving town in the middle of July (during which time we cannot schedule interviews), we're starting to sweat about getting everything finished and analyzed by our FAST approaching deadline(s). We are appropriately concerned about the level of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
If last week was a turning point, this week felt like takeoff. By Thursday, we had visited our client's office 5 times in two weeks, and based on comments like those in the subject line of this post, we are clearly no longer strangers to anyone there at this point. The last of our visits involved a sales meeting that couldn't have been more valuable in terms of insights and competitive understanding. Possibly the most rewarding part of this visit took place after the formal meeting, when one of the consultants (recruiters) offered to sit down with my partner and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
This week seems to have marked a turning point in our project - particularly as it relates to our relationship with our client. During Monday's class we discussed a roadblock we were experiencing in the form of obtaining client data. I am glad to report that as I write this post we now have received that information and more. In addition to our regular "check in" meeting this week (which was brief because our primary contact was traveling), we were invited to attend a staff meeting onsite (which every staff member attended!). This experience was valuable to our project on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
Despite the Monday holiday, this has been a busy and productive week for my partner and I. After roughly 3 and a half hours of conversation with our client(s) Tuesday, we're feeling more confident in our understanding of the business we're working with and the challenges they face. This is helpful, but somehow still a bit daunting. What has been encouraging this week is finding connections in a few of our conversations to course material from the MS program. For instance, one issue our client faces relates to motivating a sales team - a topic I studied in-depth last semester... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
This third week has passed more quickly than the preceding two, and I find that by now my head is still spinning a bit with al the to-dos and remaining questions about the project and the course. As I have read from other students on the blog - the scope of this project is a topic of major concern to me at this point. I did not realize at the outset how complicated the industry and competitive landscape would be surrounding our client. This is both exciting and daunting. On the one hand, our client is looking to develop a... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
As I began preparing myself for Capstone Week 2, I was visited by an unwelcome guest: some kind of awful sinus infection, flu-like bug that has kept me up at night and in bed during the day. This has been an inconvenient reminder of how important it is- and will be- to stay ahead in my work so that something like this can't throw me too far behind. Despite being a bit under the weather, I made it to three 'pre-meetings' with my partner before our much-anticipated client meeting this week (with plenty of research time in-between). Because our client... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at CAPSTONE!
Anyone else feel like time stood still this week waiting to hear about our Capstone assignments? I must have refreshed my email page once every 10 seconds for most of that time, and I was very excited to find out on Thursday that I would be working on the Gilman Partners Project with Tyra. Until receiving that email, I was overwhelmed by - yes, the ambiguity of it all. It was hard to review the general materials and course documents without letting panic set in: who will I be working with? what will my client be like? will I even... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2017 at CAPSTONE!