Inaugural Integrated Capstone Case Competition

The PCSB Integrated Capstone course was offered for the first time this spring and, judging from the quality level of the final presentations, it was a rewarding experience!

Taught by Professor George Mason ’84, this case-based course meets approximately every other week and earns one credit hour. The goal of this capstone course, as Professor Mason explains it, is to provide “opportunities to showcase one’s business and technical skills in real-world case scenarios.” Instead of taking the Major Field Test (MFT), the senior business majors in the Integrated Capstone course apply interdisciplinary knowledge from all aspects of their business curriculum to thoroughly analyze case situations and make data-justified, strategic recommendations.

The course culminated in a case competition with presentations to alumni judges and cash prizes. The semi-final round consisted of 8 “case study gladiator” teams, as Professor Mason called them, presenting to disciplinary content experts including Professors Matt Keane, Ed Szado, Deirdre Snyder, and Ainslie Schultz. Three teams were chosen to advance to the final round.

The focus of the case was to evaluate two strategic options for PepsiCo and present recommendations. The three finalist teams did not all choose the same route to take, but all made compelling and highly substantiated recommendations. Their comprehensive solutions encompassed marketing and promotional plans, ethical issues, competitive analysis, Hofstede cultural analysis, corporate strategic alignment, financial analysis of various options, and much more.

The alumni judges, including Nicole Halloran ’02, business analyst at Fidelity, Brian McDonald, current PC MBA student and district sales leader at Frito Lay, and Steve Perrelli ’78, vice-president of operations for Coca-Cola Northeast, all commented on how impressed they were with the student presentations. Ms. Halloran seemed to sum up the feelings of all judges when she said the student presentations “make me proud to be a Friar alum.”

Congratulations to the winning teams of the inaugural Integrated Capstone case competition:

  • 1st Place: Kevin Johnson, Mathew Mangiafico, Cara McCarthy
  • 2nd Place: Dauzia Etete, Kelly Farrell, Carleen Mullally
  • 3rd Place: Sarah Fogarty, Ryan Forbes, Daniel Vetrano