IDS Capstone Paper
This is a less serious capstone project
Write a report about an organization you have worked/are working, volunteering or interning for. This organization can be a public agency, a nonprofit, a private company or even a student club. In this report you need to identify a problem or issue your organization is facing and propose a solution. The scale of the problem can range from your store having experienced record loses last quarter to the need for better customer service or employee training. If there is no major issue you can think of, approach this report from the perspective of, “How can my company do better?” There is always room for improvement! Do not rely on your experience/intuition alone. Make fact based arguments that you can find support for in existing literature. Stating, “I think we should make changes to process x because my research has revealed that companies a, b and c who have undergone a similar transformation are currently outperforming us” is much more powerful than, “I think we should make changes to process x because I see it is problematic and there is room for improvement”. It does not matter if your position in the organization is “lower” than the level/perspective from which you are writing and indeed that can be good, because it will require you to be aspirational. Example: you may be mainly a barista at Starbucks, but could still write the report as if you were an Associate Manager. The report should be roughly 10 double-spaced pages long, with the caveat that as this is a “practical” rather than strictly “academic” report … it should be as long as it needs to be given the topic and the approach. This means a 7 page paper might be fine, if otherwise superlative; and it means a 15 page paper with a fair amount of graphics would be okay, too.
- Introduction: Your introduction needs to give the reader a clear idea of what you are going to talk about in your paper and how your paper will be organized. It must also be succinct. If your paper is 10 pages long your introduction should be one page or less.Citations: All key factual statements must be backed up by reliable sources. If you state, “Internships are crucial for gaining employment” you need to cite a source that shows this is really the case and this is not just you expressing your opinion.
- Limited references to personal experience: It is okay to draw from your personal experience while writing this report, but the whole paper cannot be about what you love about your job or why you are a business wiz. You need to contextualize your experience. For example, “Volunteering with United Way opened up many professional opportunities for me. I am not alone in this experience as x study has shown that students who volunteer as undergrads have greater career opportunities when they graduate.”
- Good writing and organization: Your report needs to consist of content written out in full sentences, not bullet points (although some bullet-lists are fine, if suitable to the material). You can use pictures and tables if they lend weight to the information you are presenting; however, wholesale substituting of images for written content would be a mistake. You are being judged on the quality of your writing and presentation and research incorporation, not the content per se (the best way of thinking about this: imagine you are writing for a “boss”; the boss likely lacks expertise in what you are writing about, but definitely wants to be reassured that you know what you are writing about… the first sign of lack of expertise, is sloppy prose and organization/presentation.
I had planned on doing the paper on the place that I work SoulCycle, this is what I have so far.
For the past year and a half I have worked at SoulCycle, an indoor cycling fitness studio that has changed easily changed the way we think about working out. SoulCycle has also changed the way we think about a company and what it takes to be successful. What started as a singular studio in the upper west side of New York has grown into over sixty locations across the united states (Kowitt, 2016). What is most interesting to me about the spectacular growth of this company is the fact that it was all done organically. They never contracted out to others for marketing but rather took the job into their own hands and handcrafted a marketing technique specific to each location but based on a foundation of reaching out into the community and creating a stronghold.
I was hired at the SoulCycle Coral Gables studio and have worked very hard to be a part of this process, I found that I was learning so many great skills that will be so helpful beyond this job in the future. As I have learned these skills I have also grown within the company and continue to do so. I started as a front desk associate and transitioned into the role of a key holder meaning that I am many times managing the studio myself instead of a manager, I am currently in the process of becoming an assistant studio manager of marketing. Currently at the studio that I work at there have been many changes in management leaving the position of marketing manager vacant. Which I have witnessed become a great issue. Marketing is one of the main reasons behind the success of Soul and placing the position on the bike operations manager who is already at a full capacity of work and the studio manager has created a lack of time spent on the marketing process. Because such an important position has been left vacant the studio is missing out on major marketing opportunities that I feel that I can provide to the studio to bring in more customers.
The studio has experienced many ups and downs in terms of management, in fact the original four managers that hired me are no longer with my company so I believe that this shows my ability to deal with changes in the workplace well. That being said I can understand why one might think it is wise to wait to find the perfect candidate but waiting for an opportunity to come is not wise when the studio is suffering from missing constant opportunities in relation to marketing.