Business Seniors recently spent an intense day together exploring the motorcycle industry, analyzing the benefit of industry trade shows, discussing the applications of these to their own work on their theses, and then sharing a meal they had cooked together.
The day started at the Fiera di Roma, one of the largest exhibition centers in the world, located near Fiumicino Airport. The primary purpose of this first activity was to learn about trade shows – industry-wide expo’s that bring together an entire value chain, including suppliers, industry competitors, retailers and buyers. The trade show chosen, MotoDays, was particularly exciting, as it included all the world’s leading producers of two-wheeled vehicles, among them Harley Davidson, BMW, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati and more, and, besides the serious business of the day, featured a cycle show and the chance to ride some of the featured bikes.
The Capstoners visited stands, talked with company representatives, found out what’s new and exciting in the world of motorcycles, and also discovered a wide array of other organizations that participated in the Trade Show even though they have nothing to do with motorcycles.  For example, the Italian Air Force had a stand, at which several of the students (and the professor) got a chance to take a breathtaking ride in the Fighter Jet Simulator.  The Air Force and many other organizations, participate in industry trade shows to increase awareness of their brands and target potential recruits whose interests (in this case in motor technology and engines) might indicate a potential match. 
After lunch, the group headed back to Rome, to regroup in the evening in a kitchen in Trastevere. AUR student Amanda Wotring was ready to lead the Capstoners in what Professor Fitzsimmons called “the quintessential team-building exercise:” a hands-on cooking lesson. Amanda is an experienced chef who had previously revealed that she organizes and delivers “pop-up” catering and cooking lessons. And so was born the idea of the Capstoner Cooking Lesson.  Under Amanda’s tutelage, students and professor alike gathered around a large butcherblock table. Together they chopped and diced and mixed and rolled and produced dozens of Vietnamese-style spring rolls, both fresh and fried, as they chatted about an array topics as diverse as the nationalities represented around the table (Pakistan, Japan, Ghana, Ukraine, Egypt, US, Italy, Israel, Venezuela). 
The Business Capstone process is an intense four-month exploration of industry and company analysis and strategy development, that each student applies to a publicly traded, transnational firm of his/her choice. This year’s group has chosen firms in industries ranging from videogames and consumer electronics to automobiles and fast food. Each student writes up their research findings and recommendations in a Strategic Audit which is then presented to the group. While the thesis is individual, students support one another through the process, and build a strong sense of esprit de corps. 

Enjoy the gallery of images from the day