November 17, 2020

Looking Back at the Lessons Learned in Capstone

Looking Back at the Lessons Learned in Capstone

For Giulio Galleri, MBA ’18, and his team, completing the capstone project at Maryland Smith wasn’t just another project – it was an opportunity to make a difference for a client.

Galleri, along with four other members from his online MBA cohort at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business – Zakee Wheatley, Jeff Priest, Robby Bryant and Jason Young – worked with Pipestone Projects Inc., a Canadian company specializing in construction planning, estimation and management for the oil and gas industry clients. The team was tasked with reducing the company’s overhead, streamlining its operations and improving its marketing.

Since the project’s completion in 2018, Pipestone Projects has implemented the recommendations made by the Maryland Smith team and has successfully increased its market and social media presence, realigned its personnel and increased its revenue by almost 300%.

Recently, the company reached out to Galleri and the team to say thanks for the team’s hard work and to congratulate them on a job well done.

“It was amazing to hear that feedback. This was more than just a project for us; we understood we were working with real clients with real consequences,” says Galleri. “It’s incredible to know that we had an impact on their lives. These types of comments are better than money.”

The team’s success, Galleri says, can be attributed to its diversity in skillset, competencies and background. Some members brought a logistical approach, while others focused on the communication, marketing or financial aspects of the project.

“It was easy for all of us to work together because we all possessed different strengths,” says Galleri. “We didn’t have overlapping areas of expertise, so each member was a perfect fit.”

Protiti Dastidar, the team’s adviser and an associate clinical professor at Maryland Smith, says the OMBA program offers students like Galleri and his teammates a chance to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real settings where they can take their careers to the next level.

“The OMBA program gives these students the opportunity to try things out in an academic setting,” says Dastidar. “If a team has an interesting project and there is good chemistry among team members, these projects can take off and lead to fantastic results and this team is an example of this.”

Galleri, who now oversees the Canadian and American subsidiaries at Bonatti, an oil and gas general contracting company, says Maryland Smith helped prepare the team with the skills needed to meet their clients’ needs and future clients’ needs.

“What we achieved as a team happened because of the MBA program. I don’t see myself being able to do what we did without it,” says Galleri.

“We learned about data management, financial analysis, negotiation tactics, soft skills and organizational theory. Developing in these areas of expertise was so important for us in reaching our goals.”

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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