Roy Welcher, MBA candidate and project management consultant at Collabera, was attracted to the staffing and consulting industry for his Capstone project in which he worked with Astyra

According to its site, Astyra is a technology staffing and consulting firm that “provides inside knowledge and outside resources to transform technology needs into business results.”

“Since the staffing and consulting industry was new to me, I felt as though I could bring a fresh perspective in taking on the project,” Welcher said.

Going into his Capstone project, Welcher set out several goals for himself. 

“I wanted to make sure that I delivered a product of value that could help Astyra overcome its challenges and help advance the company's agenda,” he said.  “Along the way, I wanted to build positive relationships while learning a few lessons or two about entrepreneurship from Astyra's founders.”

According to Welcher, planning and discipline were critical in accomplishing the goals he had set out for himself in the Capstone project.  “I spent a lot of time with my faculty advisor, Dr. Violet Ho, and building a schedule that was reasonable and talking through ideas and roadblocks along the way,” he recalled.

Apart from consistently communicating with his faculty advisor, Welcher made a point to stay in touch with leadership at Astyra throughout the course of the project. 

“[The management at Astyra] was wonderful in helping me to better understand their business and the challenges that they were facing.”

Classmates in the MBA program with staffing and consulting backgrounds were also a useful resource for Welcher. 

“Needless to say, this was very much a team effort in which I received plenty of support from others.”

In the final paper that he presented to Asytra, Welcher made six recommendations related to goals and incentives for the company’s recruiters and account managers. One of his suggestions was for Astyra to set a monthly candidate goal for each recruiter and to offer a cash incentive for employees who met the goal. 

Welcher’s recommendations were taken under advisement, and some of the proposed goals are already in the planning process and will be implemented.

“The University has a very solid [Capstone] Program that is a benefit to the local business community,” noted Ken Ampy, CEO at Astyra and member of the Robins School’s Executive Advisory Council. “I think [Welcher] did a great job of stating where the company is and some of its shortcomings.”

“While not all of my recommendations will be implemented right away, there were a few that the organization would prioritize for roll-out in the very near future,” Welcher said.

Overall, Welcher felt that his Capstone project was rewarding and allowed him to apply many concepts and skills that he has learned through his MBA coursework. 

“[As an MBA student,] you spend so much time in the curriculum acquiring tools and insights that help prepare you to succeed in the world of business.   The Capstone project is an opportunity to go out and show off the skills that you have been perfecting.”

The Capstone project expanded Welcher’s knowledge of an industry he was relatively unfamiliar with beforehand, and it also expanded his network in the Richmond area.

“[The Capstone project] helps broaden your perspective by giving you the opportunity to work on a meaningful project in an area or industry that you have a passion for or just want to learn more about,” he said. 

“And not to mention, it offers a great opportunity to expand your network and build valuable relationships.”