Capstone: A Survival Guide

You’ve made it through almost all of college; you’re feeling experienced and ready to take on the world. There’s only one (huge) thing standing in your way: capstone.  Capstone is the culmination of every course you’ve taken in your major.  It’s basically a test to see if you’re ready for what’s beyond the comfort of the classroom.

Although it is intimidating, if you do it right, you’ll be confident in your abilities after graduation and you’ll have an awesome piece to put in your portfolio.  Don’t fret because here are some tips to help you get through it.

Time Management:  More than anything else, this course is going to challenge your time management skills.  You know how teachers always say, “This is not a project you can do at the last minute?”  And we all know that’s usually not true, except when it comes to capstone.

If you’re not starting to work on this project the first week of class, then you’re already behind.  Understandably, most people have work, internships and other classes going on while they are taking capstone. But if you don’t make this project your top priority, you’re setting yourself up for a panic attack mid-semester.

Teamwork:  Obviously, all college students love working with groups. And it’s no surprise that group work is going to be a major part of your career no matter what you do.  Here’s the trick, instead of looking at working with a team as a hindrance, use it to your advantage!

In the case of capstone, doing the whole thing by yourself would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.  It’s going to be tough, some days you’ll be freaking out, other days your teammates will be freaking out.  Just remember the only way you’ll get through it is by working together.

Communication:
  Seems like a no-brainer, especially if you’re a communications student, but you’d be surprised.  By failing to effectively communicate, you’re only going to make it harder for yourself.

If you don’t understand part of the assignment, make sure you ask.  If you know you’ll be especially busy one week, let your team know.  If you need clarification from the client, reach out to them.  Make sure you are checking in with your team, your instructor and the client every step of the way to avoid miscommunication that could set you behind.

There will be times when it feels like it’ll never be over, like you’ll die before you get through capstone.  It’s going to be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done, but in the end it will be worth it.  Good luck!

Do you have any survival tactics for getting through capstone?  Let us know in the comments!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Genevieve Greene.

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