The capstone project is your opportunity to apply tools from the core curriculum to a real-world business challenge. Whether you’re part of a consulting team solving a business challenge for a real organization or creating your own business from the ground up, UCLA Anderson offers proven and exciting options to satisfy this requirement.
Strategic Management Research (SMR)
SMR is an experiential learning project in which you will form a consulting team to address a business challenge or opportunity on behalf of a client organization. After a deep dive into research, you’ll present key insights and recommendations to the leadership of the organization.
UCLA Anderson pioneered the first business school field study program in 1968. During the six-month SMR project, your consulting team will work with corporate executives to improve a specific area of their business. You’ll gain new industry and cross-functional experience that will influence your critical thinking and decision making.
Form a five-person team of students from diverse professional backgrounds
Bid on the company and project that piques your interest
Spend six months gaining consulting experience conducting in-depth primary and secondary research, including market assessment, competitive analysis and other critical functions
Consult with company executives, attend industry conferences and conduct interviews
Gain insights from experienced faculty advisors, many of whom have directly managed and provided consulting services to leading companies worldwide
Develop an investment-quality business plan with actionable recommendations to help the company’s leadership execute their vision
Present the finished business plan to company executives, industry professionals and potential investors
Recent Client Companies
"The SMR team identified a market that could be worth billions within five years. The students opened paths that we had not considered."
— Vice president of strategy of an energy company
"The students are effectively high-end consultants providing the client company with a valuable deliverable."
— Managing director of an investment firm
Business Creation Option
For entrepreneurs, BCO offers an alternative to the Strategic Management Research capstone project. Instead of working on behalf of a client organization, your team, along with an advisor from the entrepreneurship faculty, will spend six months transforming your idea from a business plan to a functional startup organization. BCO teams can make use of the new UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator.
BCO Team Lucina Embryo (left to right): Greg Jensen (’17), Liana Pogosyan (’17), George Abe (BCO Faculty Advisor), Shana Berg (’17), Jeff Dang (’17)
Thinking in the Next: Read how before COVID-19, a UCLA Anderson Executive MBA team developed a low-cost ventilator to deploy amid pandemic.
Left to right: Vikram Saurabh (’20), Shannon Demus (’20), Stephan Hwang (’20), Aanchal Kumar (’20), Nirav Patel (’20), and Dezireh Sevanesian (’20)