This article was written by Ofentse Olunloyo, Head of Marketing at the Johannesburg Business School, a Faculty of the University of Johannesburg – with the support of an artificial intelligence (AI) content writing tool.

As a Master of Business Administration (MBA) student at the Johannesburg Business School, you will complete a capstone project, an innovative alternative to a mini-dissertation.

What is a capstone project?

A capstone project is an independent consulting project that allows you to demonstrate your mastery of the coursework and critical thinking, research, problem solving and analytical skills.

The capstone project in the Johannesburg Business School’s (JBS) Master of Business Administration (MBA) allows you to work on a real-world problem that requires you to apply the knowledge and skills learned in your coursework. It provides opportunities for integrating lessons learned in the business school classroom with real-world business experiences, helping to develop you into a well-rounded MBA graduate.

The MBA mini-dissertation: a thing of the past?

In MBA education, the mini-dissertation is an old-school project carried out by students at the end of their studies. Every year, thousands of MBA mini-dissertations are written and submitted, with most of them ending up on a dusty shelf after the degree has been awarded. Rarely do the insights and conclusions from these mini-dissertations make it into the business world. The demands of the corporate environment are different from those of academia – they require knowledge that is more immediately applicable to business challenges.

The Johannesburg Business School’s MBA capstone project – a modern alternative to the mini-dissertation – is designed specifically for individuals who want to work in a digitally transformed world of work. You’ll develop digital-first problem-solving skills by applying design thinking, systems thinking, and digital innovation frameworks to real problems or opportunities. As businesses adapt to an increasingly digital world, they need graduates equipped with knowledge and skills that prepare them to solve problems in a digitally-transformed world of work.

Why is a capstone project superior?

In the digital era, there are many benefits to the capstone project beyond the completion of your MBA:

A capstone project prepares you to solve problems in a digitally-transformed world of work.

The digital transformation of the business world has presented new challenges in the workplace. While many core business disciplines still apply, they are now applied in a vastly different environment. The modern workplace has become more agile and flexible and is increasingly focused on innovation and disruption.

We understand what it takes to succeed in this fast-paced, constantly evolving environment. Our focus is on ensuring that you are prepared for the realities of the workplace, not just academically but also personally and professionally. This is why we have developed a unique MBA programme structure that prepares you to solve problems in a digitally-transformed world of work.

In a world where digital transformation can disrupt entire industries in a matter of months, the need for business leaders who can respond quickly and effectively to change is greater than ever. Management practices and strategies that worked before the digital revolution are no longer adequate for this new context. The MBA with a Digital Transformation Lens at the Johannesburg Business School is designed to help you solve complex problems, lead with purpose, and embrace disruption. The JBS MBA’s use of a capstone project and coaching for individual students and student groups are examples of the programme’s innovative approach.

It demonstrates your knowledge and practical skills, giving you a competitive edge in the modern job market.

Building a project that showcases your skills and work will add an essential component to your professional experience. Completing a capstone project shows employers that you have the necessary dedication and expertise to handle real-world issues, in addition to your academic qualifications.

It is an opportunity to gain valuable practical, real-world experience. The capstone program emphasises the acquisition of a set of skills valued by employers and intended to serve students well throughout their careers.


The capstone project – the innovative alternative to the MBA mini-dissertation – is a skill-building exercise that helps you prepare for the obstacles you will face in the new world of work. This activity is vital because it teaches you to be resourceful, think critically and develop leadership skills. In addition, it provides you with clarity about where you want your career to go.

Related Article: Your MBA – stepping stone, or set in stone?