Foster Students Propose Transformative Solutions for PCC Community Markets

By Anna Butler

Early on the morning of Friday, Dec. 1, the Paccar and Founders Hall buildings were filled with bustling business students in their formal attire, eagerly anticipating their MGMT 430 Strategic Management Capstone presentations. Over 100 students, organized into 24 teams of four or five members each, had been diligently preparing throughout the quarter, from September to December. They engaged in numerous class assignments, presentations, and more to enhance their business strategy and presentation skills.

Midway through the quarter, they were assigned their official capstone project, and since then, they’ve dedicated countless hours to researching PCC Community Markets. Their goal was to provide a solution for positioning PCC Community Markets to double its membership in five years. Today, their work will conclude in a final presentation, and one group will be crowned the winner. For some, this could be their last presentation at the Foster School of Business, as this capstone course signifies the culmination of their college education.

The event saw a great turnout of PCC and other Seattle-area professional judges, along with student volunteers who played a crucial role in making this capstone event possible. During the morning round of presentations, judges were thoroughly impressed with all Foster students following their twelve-minute presentations. These presentations included a summary of each team’s solution, alternatives, implementation timeline, and financial analysis. The subsequent eight minutes allowed for judge Q&A sessions, providing an opportunity to delve deeper into each team’s recommendation and better understand the thought process behind their conclusions. Finally, judges had five minutes to offer feedback to each team. The task of selecting finalists for the final round was challenging, as only five teams would proceed—one from each bracket.

We concluded the first round with a networking lunch for the judges and students. During this break, we announced the five teams that would advance to the final round and present to the judges once more. The winning team is revealed at the award ceremony, during which the judges commend the efforts of all the top teams.

A huge congratulations to, Team D2 the winning team comprised of Jinsu Ha, Adam Hill, Camden Kaminsky, Helen Peterson, and Celina Yu.

Team D2’s winning recommendation was for PCC Community Markets to launch a comprehensive Awareness Campaign, focusing on social media amplification, enhanced in-store promotions, and targeted college engagement, with the goal of doubling its membership subscriptions within five years, while effectively bridging the awareness gap among Millennials and Gen Z consumers.

Foster was thrilled to partner with PCC Community who also felt the experience was extremely valuable.

“PCC was honored to partner with the Foster School through this case study competition. We were very impressed with the teams’ creative thinking, insightful analysis and general hustle to visit stores, execute surveys and deliver such professional presentations. While we will certainly apply many of the ideas shared, one of our biggest takeaways was excitement about the emerging generation of leaders. It’s clear that the UW and the Foster School attract top talent, and we’re grateful that our Pacific NW community will benefit from the impact of these students.”
– Susan Livingston, Vice President – Marketing + Purpose

Overall, all teams performed extraordinarily well, and we are so proud of our Foster students for their success in this capstone course. Here are some more highlights from students during their experience through this case competition experience:

In Their Own Words

“Participating in the Strategy Development Competition, particularly in devising the comprehensive Awareness Campaign for PCC Community Markets, significantly enhanced my analytical and strategic thinking skills, especially in addressing real-world market gaps and consumer trends. It also improved my abilities in collaborative problem-solving and presenting complex business strategies effectively, skills that are pivotal in my role as a business consultant and strategist.”
– Camden Kaminsky

“The many hours spent analyzing a real-world problem and creating an initiative for company success truly honed my business student skillset. I know I will be able to reference this experience throughout my future career.”
– Helen Peterson

“Participating in the Strategy Development Competition helped me grow both professionally and personally through the structure of the competition and final deliverable. By collaborating in a constant team environment, I was able to learn more about my own work style and had the opportunity to create lasting relationships with my team members. We all put in a ton of work for the final presentation and I’m really proud of how we did! As much as I won’t miss time spent agonizing over our slide deck, I will sincerely miss working with everyone in this unique experience.”
– Celina Yu