The capstone consulting project gives students the opportunity to work in small teams with a local, regional or international company to solve a meaningful problem. The capstone is part of the hands-on curriculum, and students commit hundreds of hours on the project over their last two terms. Master of International Management (MIM) students Xue (Iris) Leng, Lisha Li, Citlali Rodriguez and Gabrielle (Gabby) Walti advised Nike Men’s Running Apparel on succeeding in the Chinese market.
To begin, Nike provided an overview of the project and connected students with the key stakeholders involved. Then the students identified the scope of their project and worked with the Nike team and faculty advisor Kim Allchurch-Flick to finalize the parameters of the project. Because PSU is a third-party, students were not given access to Nike’s databases — instead they collected data from secondary resources and compiled these insights to provide recommendations.
The final deliverable
Months of late nights, team meetings at KMC and several hundred cups of coffee culminated in a concise yet effective 20 minute, four-slide presentation. The team shared their key findings and recommendations for Nike Men’s Running Apparel, then led a 40 minute discussion with 12 Nike executives of the Men’s Running division.
The valuable takeaways
When asked about the most valuable things learned from the project, team captain, Li responded, “I improved my leadership skills.As a team, we learned real-world business presentation skills to present our work to Nike. I anticipate this skill will come in handy in my career. We also learned lessons in teamwork — we had open team standards and clear duties — and he importance of understanding your audience.”
How the curriculum prepares students
The graduate business curriculum provides students with the academic experience and tools to take on a large-scale consulting project like this one. Li said,
“The whole MIM program is instrumental, however, public speaking, global strategy and marketing were especially beneficial. As part of the MIM program, we completed many team projects with team members who come from different countries and professional experiences, therefore, we knew how to work with a diverse group of people and kickoff the project effectively.”
The team also credited much of their success to Allchurch-Flick, who attended every Nike meeting with the team and provided direction for the team when necessary.
The Nike Men’s Running Apparel team is planning on implementing recommendations provided by the capstone team in entering the Chinese market. Li expressed how excited the team is about the result of this project. Since the content of the project is highly confidential, that’s all they can tell us for now! To learn more, we’ll just have to keep an eye on Nike Men’s Running Apparel and their global markets in the future.