Project Background

Project Background

To complete this project, you are asked to pick an organization that you can track as you work through the course. It is probably best if you pick a large business organization with a global presence. For such an organization you can typically find lots of information in news reports and magazine articles. A wealth of information can often be extracted from company websites, including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents and annual financial reports. You will first look into the company’s management and then reflect and create an action plan for how you could move into a management role in this company.

You will need to choose a company that interest you with your career aspiration. Think about the company you most would like to work for when you graduate.  In the past, students have chosen businesses and organizations such as Accenture, Ernst and Young, Target, Nike, Prada, the FBI, the American Ballet Theatre, Goldman Sachs, and Merck.  If you really do not know where you might like to work, think about some company that you’ve heard about that interests you, or some company that has products you like.  If you are considering starting your own business, choose a business that you particularly admire, and that you might use as a model for your own business.  Another common aspiration is to be an attorney in a law firm.  Although you may not have a specific firm in mind, think in terms of a prototype firm you can research—perhaps a firm that specializes in mergers in acquisitions in a large city or a criminal defense specialty firm.  Larger, public firms will often have more information available through their website and other media.

The final project

The final project will consist of 2 parts: The Final Presentation and the Final Paper.

The Final Presentation-

This is where you will demonstrate to the class, both visually and orally, what you have learned.

You may choose any of the following platforms:

A Poster Presentation

A Traditional Presentation

Build an App

Other (with permission of your professor)

The Final Paper

You will work all term on assignments that have led to this final moment. Each week you will do a piece of the final paper. Get constant feedback from your professor. Please use basic APA formatting. The paper must be at least 5 pages (excluding the reference section).

You should include:

Executive Summary/ Abstract

(~1 paragraph)

Write an executive summary, including:

A brief overview of the company; and

A brief overview of why you chose this company.

The Company Chosen and Description

(~2-3 paragraphs)

Please describe the company that you are choosing. Describe the background of the company. Your assignment should be at least one page. Please include the following information:

· Describe the firm. How old is it? What industry (or industries) is the firm active in? What products or services does it sell? Who are its principal competitors? Is it active internationally? How many employees does it have?

· Who is the CEO? How long has she/he been in the position? What has been the career track of the CEO?

Company’s Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals

(~2-3 paragraphs)

Describe the company’s mission, vision, values, and goals. You will need to include:

· A list of the mission, vision, value and goals of the company.

· A brief evaluate the firm’s mission, vision, values, and goals.

· What are the positive aspects of these statements? Is there anything you would criticize? Is there anything the company is doing well?

Company’s Leadership

(~1 page)

Describe the company’s leadership team and style(s). You will need to answer the following questions:

· What can you find out about the leadership style of the chief executive officer? How would you characterize his/her leadership style?

· Does the leadership style he/she has adopted match the situation confronting the organization?

· Would you characterize the CEO as an effective leader? How would you explain his/her success or lack thereof?

Organizational Chart


Develop and design a current organizational chart for the company.

SWOT Analysis


Develop a SWOT analysis for your chosen company using the SWOT template.

Strategic Plan

(~1-3 paragraphs)

Locate the most recent Strategic plan for the organization.

· List the objectives for the major goals that the company is pursuing. List at least 3 objective goals.

· List details of the major goals and the projected deadlines.

· Describe the Competition

· How well has the firm performed recently compared to rivals? Has it outperformed rivals or underperformed them? Why?

· Choose and describe at least two alternative strategies


(~1-2 paragraphs)

Describe the globalization of the company. This should be done by answering the following questions:

· In what countries does your company operate?  Given that, when in your career might you expect to begin traveling to other countries?

· Given your company’s global operations, would you expect that you would actually live overseas at some point?

· If your company is affected by global operations, what skills or abilities do you think will be important in getting a job there?

· You have found yourself in a conversation at a reception with the CEO of your company and you want to impress the CEO with your understanding of the company and global issues.  What would you tell the CEO is the most important factor the company faces in its global environment?

· What would you ask the CEO about the company’s global environment?

Managing Global Operations

(~1-3 paragraphs)

Describe how the company can improve its operating efficiency.

· What operating strategies could it pursue, and how might they enhance the competitiveness of the enterprise?

· If a firm is a service enterprise, is its product offering standardized or customized to individual customers or customer groups? Are there benefits to increasing product customization? What operating process would have to be put in place to do that?

Organizational Culture

(~1-3 paragraphs)

Scan through the company’s website to find any statements made about the company’s culture. Describe what you found by answering these questions:

· Does the company explain how long it has held these cultural values or how they were formed? To whom are these ‘espoused’ values directed on the website? Prospective employees or customers?

· Does this organization win awards or come close to being one of the best places to work in the country? What other information suggests that this organization makes an effort to generate positive emotions for employees?

· In your opinion, is this organization a relatively high- or- low stress place to work? Explain your answer. What practices does this organization seem to use to help employees minimize stress?

Action Plan

(~1 Page)

Develop an action plan.  (Components of this Action Plan will be completed during weeks 2-5, with the final draft due in Week 9). Create a plan outlining what you are going to do between now and when you go out on the job market to acquire the skills and abilities that you will need to become the company’s most attractive recruit.  As with your gap analysis, avoid simplistic statements such as “get my degree in accounting.” Think in terms of skills, abilities and competencies rather than majors, courses, or job titles.  This section of the paper represents an action plan for obtaining the competencies necessary to be the most attractive candidate applying to your chosen company.

· Questions to think about:

· What position at the organization interest you and why?

· What career steps do you need to pursue in order to get to the ultimate job in that organization?

· To what extent does the organization provide employee training? Do its training programs seem to be above or below average for this industry? Thinking about production or service jobs, what training methods seem to be most widely used in this organization?

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