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BUS 4970 Capstone: Global Strategic Management


Portable MBA

Great E-book that can fill in the gaps or refresh your knowledge regarding most business concepts. Excellent chapter on business analysis and valuation of companies as well as good information regarding all functional areas (marketing, strategy, accounting, financce, cis etc.) Chapters 9 on strategy and 10 on financial analysis are particularly useful for getting the big picture as it relates to the panel.

Case Analysis

Download this document if you need a refresher on case analysis including valuable information on organization your research, presenting/discussing financial data and making recommendations.

How to Prepare for the Capstone Panel

Many students struggle with the degree of preparation required for the BUS 4970 panel as well as how to best spend their time getting ready for this important exercise. Before answering that question it is worth considering what is expected of you during the panel. Basically, you will be required to show that you have amassed a set of business analytical tools and critical thinking skills from your coursework in business administration at CSULA. The panel is not an exercise in measuring your ability to memorize. Instead it is meant to show that you can identify business problems/issues and make decisions or draw conclusions based upon your analysis of the company, its financial position, operations, strategy and the industry in which it functions.

You will not be expected to simply answer objective questions. Instead you will be given questions that require analysis and critical thinking. This is really important. What's the difference between remembering a fact and providing analysis regarding it? Here's a great example: Say you downloaded a new song and someone asked you what you thought. If you answered with just the name of the song, how long it is and whether or not you liked it, that's just memory. No critical thinking is involved. If you answered and described the song, the beats in it, the way it fit in with the artists previous work, what it made you feel when listening to it, why the lyrics to the song touched you or made you feel a certain way, how the song might be received based upon current trends in music etc you'd be engaging in analysis and critical thinking. An answer that displays critical thinking is rarely, if ever, yes or no or a single idea. See the difference?

Turning our attention back to the panel, you should expect to spend at least 8-12 hours solidly researching, reading and drafting notes and ideas about the material you find regarding your company. This is 8-12 hours spent reading and thinking critically without distractions.

Here are some sample questions that might help you in your preparation:

  • What happened to this company after the case ended? What milestone events occured?
  • Is this a socially responsible company? What examples can you provide that demonstrate the importance of ethics in their corporate culture?
  • What is the management structure? Who are the important players? Their respective roles? How are specific individuals ties to the company's success? What is unique about their management structure? What are the problems in their management structure?
  • What are the core strengths of this company? How do they retain their competitiveness?
  • How much market-share does this company have? What is the trend?
  • What is the company's current strategy? To retain customers/market-share? Do gain new ones? What should it be?
  • What can you say in terms of this company's financial performance? What are it's financial strengths? Weaknesses?
  • What significant Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, or Threats does this company face? What are they doing to mitigate Weaknesses or Threats? Capitalize upon Strengths or Opportunities?
  • What barriers to entry exist in this company's industry? How weak or strong are they?
  • Can this company's products be easily replaced?
  • Do suppliers to this company have strong bargaining power or not? How does this impact the company's success? Strategic decisions?
  • What are the company's current sales figures? Trends?
  • What new products does this company have? Need?
  • Is this an efficient company? What are the trends in terms of efficiency?
  • Is this company managed effectively? The trend?
  • Would you buy stock in this company? Why or why not?
  • What are your recommendations for this company?
  • What international markets is this company in? Where are they succeeding? Why? Where are they struggling? Why?
  • Who are the key rivals for this company? Direct competitors? Indirect competitors? How much market-share are they capable of taking?
  • What is your company's stock trading at today? What was the high? Close? Volume? 


Forgetting some of the basics? Need to refresh your memory about things like ratios, financial statement analysis, or industry analysis? Investopedia should be your 'go to' source for understanding basic concepts so that you can explain and interpret them.

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Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300