For Honours Bachelor of Business Administration students at Sheridan College, collaborating with businesses in the GTA region means an opportunity to solve real-world problems, help strengthen local economies and develop relationships with the community’s best and brightest entrepreneurs.
The BBA Capstone projects bring together cross-disciplinary teams from Sheridan’s five business programs: human resources, marketing, supply chain, accounting and finance. “It builds real-world business teams, across these five undergraduate pillars, in support of local businesses,” says Dr. Tony Read, professor of business strategy and information systems, and the BBA Capstone Champion in the Pilon School of Business.
Startups such as Atlas 365, Ecosystems Informatics and Simplified Automation benefit from the contributions of Sheridan pre-graduates and faculty without the substantial consulting budgets customarily required for similar services. “Atlas 365 is a new company producing hemp construction blocks that are far more environmentally friendly and cheaper than traditional concrete blocks. Ecosystems Informatics creates new sensing software intelligence to help us analyze the quality of air or water, and Simplified Automation offers a new process-based product that optimizes manufacturing plants,” says Dr. Read. “Our teams are able to help them build out their business plans, with strategic and operational deliverables.”
Our teams are able to help them build out their business plans, with strategic and operational deliverables.— Dr. Tony Read, professor of business strategy and information systems, and the BBA Capstone Champion in the Pilon School of Business
More mature organizations also partner with Sheridan’s capstone teams to take their business to the next level and scale up revenues and profitability. Students have worked with farm-to-table 100KM Foods, a heating and cooling device manufacturer and a marketing company for the tourism industry. Not-for-profit organizations are also welcome and include the City of Brampton incubator.
Student teams work about 15 weeks on each project, looking at everything from search engine optimization to international manufacturing options to prioritizing investments for maximum growth, explains Dr. Read. HR program students can provide job profiles and contractor advice to help optimize human capital.
Some companies deploy many of the recommendations that come out of the business plan development; others focus on immediate returns on the ideas that the students come up with, says Dr. Read. “For every hour our partners invest in the program, our students provide about 20 hours of work, without any financial payment. The value quotient is huge. And the students really get a lot of value as well, working with experienced business people, in multidisciplinary teams, making strategic and tactical trade-offs and decisions.
“Should marketing investment come before supply chain investment? Should there be a little more emphasis on the human resource side? We come together and work as a consultancy to understand the dynamics of industry decisioning in a multidisciplinary, multi-functional way.”
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