The Value of the Capstone

Upon returning from the holiday break, my first order of duty was to conduct a survey of recent UST MBC “capstone” students. Communication Leadership Priorities—usually taken during the last semester of the program—offers students the opportunity to coalesce their education into a final research project, among other things. The group surveyed represented all the students that took this course in 2010 and 2011.

The focus of the survey was to validate something that I had been noticing as the instructor of the course, and in the months following graduation as the program director. It seemed as though many students finishing the program were finding new jobs or getting promotions, even though this period of time was particularly tough on that front. The results both validated those perceptions and surprised me.

One hundred percent of students from the three sections offered the last two years participated. Of those, about 25 percent indicated they were not seeking a job change during the eight months before and after taking the course. Of the remaining students, those looking for new positions, 95 percent indicated getting a new job or promotion within eight months before or after completing the course.

While some specifically indicated the value of the capstone project or the MBC curriculum as factors leading to new opportunities, the consensus appeared to be that the combination of the degree completion, capstone and other factors associated with their education contributed to successful career advancement.

I wonder… if we surveyed a random sample of communication professionals who were seeking new jobs during the same timeframe, would 95 percent of them have reported similar success? Probably not.

Thanks for participating, congratulations to all those recent MBC grads and best of luck to the 25 new students starting the class this spring!