Honors Business Capstone Project Partners with HP

A portrait photo of Bill Shuster, Professor of the Honors Capstone
Bill Shuster, Honors Capstone Instructor

The Honors Capstone partnered on a strategic project with executives from HP Workstations to create a process for mobile Workstations to penetrate the small-to-medium business sector. Teams of five were created with individuals from different concentrations. Each team was expected to solve the same problem over the course of the semester to resolve HP’s current business issue. Students were competing against the Asian Pacific Japan accelerator team from inside HP.

The accelerator program is a culmination of HP’s top potential young managers in the region and they have an entire year to work on what CSU students tackle in a semester.

HP encourages students to excel at this project because the fresh perspectives on the issue helps HP’s strategy internally in an area of the market that provides great business opportunity. HP has partnered with the capstone course for the third semester which fits with its mission, “building innovative leaders.”

At the beginning of the semester, HP executives came into Bill Shuster’s capstone class and presented the case to students. After they walked through the challenges and opportunities of the project, they turned the project over to students to do an independent analysis on the HP and Workstation system. Shortly after, students went on a site visit with the Vice President of Workstations, Josh Peterson, and other HP employees, Andrew Willard and Alan Buckner to talk more in depth about the project.

Students toured the facilities, gained insight into the HP culture, and saw numerous products undergoing testing. Teams then split up to speak with different departments including, supply chain, sales, marketing, finance, etc. Within each department, questions were asked and direction was given so students could better tackle the current issue and make their solution executable.

The value for HP is in the approach students take to dive into the problem. HP leverages the intellect of students and provides the chance to gain real-life experience. Students are learning how interactions in the corporate world work, and for many this is their first experience in a business setting. The skills utilized in this project are a compilation of knowledge they have learned in the College of Business.