[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith a philanthropic mission to help Central Florida community businesses and give back to the local area, the Business Information Management (BIM) program at Seminole State College ends each student’s degree through a capstone project modeled after the television show Shark Tank.
The Associate Dean of Business, Legal and Office Administration Department, Hugh Moore helped develop the capstone, which began in 2012. According to him, there are three goals for the capstone: to introduce students to real-world business scenarios, to provide an opportunity for students to work in teams, and to present the results to a large audience of peers and industry representatives.
According to Richard Calloway, a Professor and Program Manager, “by forcing students to exercise and use all these skills and apply them in a real world environment, they go away with a very solid understanding with what they are capable of doing in the workforce.” The integration of real world business scenarios and academia has always set out to combine people and skills and move them forward in the community.
Past capstones have been with businesses like Nautique Boats, which brought students in to evaluate manufacturing and reduce turnover. Due to the positive outcome of the collaboration, Nautique Boats has brought in more groups of students to work on Human Resource issues.
One local Pentecostal Church Pastor worked with students to steady his influx of parishioners through the use of technology and a personal website to keep in touch with everyone.
One of the more prominent projects done by BIM students was with the City of Lake Mary, where students helped with the parks and recreation department and fire stations.
Former student and BIM graduate, Benjamin Dillie states: “The City of Lake Mary was fantastic to work with. We weren’t students at that point we were in a business with them. We were business partners with them….”
The benefits of the work done by the students didn’t go unnoticed by the City. Lake Mary recently reached out to the Business program at Seminole State to work on another capstone project aimed at assisting local community in the area of business development.
The City of Sanford has also tracked down the capstone program and hopes to work with the Seminole State’s business students to help Sanford’s senior community by bringing in Uber to assist that demographic.
The success of Seminole State students in the real world is something Associate Dean Moore is passionate about because he believes “every student is gold dust … a student has the potential to be great.”
The capstone is one way of showing students how their talents and skills can be used to improve the community around them.