Get to work - Applied Learning

Hit the ground running

You get experience that matters at Saunders, both in and outside the classroom. Due to a history of working directly with corporate partners and industry advisory boards, professional-minded experiences are ingrained into our DNA. So much so that it permeates to every course, program and overall student experience. Having worked so closely with industry from the very beginning, each curriculum of ours has been developed and structured to prioritize obtaining real-world experiences.

It’s why our students and alumni are recognized for hitting the ground running day one. When technological advances cause the demands of the business world to rapidly change, those from Saunders are ready to respond quickly to the opportunities that arise. Our employers take notice, as evidenced by our high outcomes rate of over 95% across all programs.

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Cooperative Education

An integral experience for all Saunders College students is the opportunity for real-world work experience before leaving the classroom. Cooperative education, or co-op, provides the opportunity to gain meaningful work experience before you graduate, helps you further define your career path, and allows you to fully realize the value of what you are learning in the classroom. Work with your Academic Advisor and Career Services Advisors to plan a time and scout potential co-op employers. View co-op spotlights to see the great companies, positions and locations Saunders students work.

Learn more about one of the oldest and largest cooperative education programs in the U.S

Co-op Spotlights

Whether in Rochester or across the country, Saunders students have countless co-op opportunities. Check out our co-op Student Spotlights to see what Saunders students have been up to, the type of companies that hire co-op students, and learn how their experiences have shaped their careers paths

View Co-op Spotlights

Saunders Consulting Group

Student working at a laptop

Saunders Consulting Group enables businesses to draw from the diversity and expertise of MBA and other students at Rochester Institute of Technology to deliver high value, custom-fit solutions for your business. Ranging from multinational corporations to bedroom startups, our clients have come to us for market opportunity analysis for new products, customer research, competitive analysis, and much more.

Saunders Consulting is affiliated with RIT Venture Creations Incubator, which is home to approximately 20 mid-seed stage companies advancing their concepts on their way to joining the ranks of profitable, viable businesses.

Hire Saunders Consulting Group Expertise

  • Get a team of Saunders MBA students dedicated to the success of your project
  • Receive expert insight and student mentorship from Saunders students and faculty 
  • Tap into RIT’s university human and informational resources that cover a wide range of disciplines
  • Work with us regardless of the academic calendar - start projects at any time

Are you a Saunders Student looking for consultation experience?

In Saunders Consulting, students work in paid positions to deliver solutions for industry projects while gaining the advice and guidance of faculty experts. This gives students real-world experience outside the classroom, while companies gain the ability to pursue projects with Saunders outside of the constraints of a semester schedule.


For more information

Saunders Student Consulting

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Contact Us

If you are a business wanting to submit a project for consideration or a Saunders students who would like to apply for a position, contact us.

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Graduate Capstone Projects

Capstone at a Glance

Companies submitting capstone projects will tap the resources of a team of Saunders graduate students and faculty expertise. This provides valuable free resources while offering students the opportunity to work on real-world projects.

Capstone projects provide graduate students with learning experiences that build upon knowledge gained from business courses and co-curricular activities. Over the course of a semester, students work in teams with faculty oversight to address challenges and identify opportunities for a client organization.

Each unique project requires students to quickly get up-to-speed on a specific content or issue area, enhance key process skills such as project management and teamwork, and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting on data.

Capstone Objectives

  • Define the problem or opportunity
  • Determine necessary techniques to master this problem or opportunity
  • Synthesize all aspects of the problem; integrating people, interpersonal knowledge, skills, and technology where necessary

Capstone Outcome

  • Students deliver a thorough, professionally written report with detailed analyses and specific recommendations. This will include problem definition, substantial fact-based analysis, recommendations, and implementation strategies.
  • The teams will present their findings to their clients, including thorough discussion and any necessary follow-ups.
  • A faculty member will request a short written assessment from Capstone clients regarding their student team’s teamwork and input. This will impact the team’s final grade for the project.

Student Successes

For students, the Capstone experience is an opportunity to develop business solutions that utilizes the skills and knowledge acquired throughout their business education in a complex, real-world environment. For organizations, it is a chance to have current and future business leaders focused on their success.

Past Capstone Projects

Capstone team members: Omar Rahmaan, Maria DeFilippo, Yordalis Corporan, Andrew Tobin

Kodak Alaris is an independent global technology company focused on exposing the power of images and information for businesses and consumers. This group of RIT seniors explored possibilities to break into the 3D printing market with Kodak Alaris. Although the group’s core competency was photo printing and imaging, they learned valuable skills first-hand for the workplace, such as schedule coordination, time management, and how to communicate with a global client across time zones.

“I plan on going into management for my undergrad so I can subsequently go into team management and consultancy for a career. I have learned that teamwork is vital. Some things you can’t do alone, but you can with the support of a good team.” - Andrew Tobin    

Capstone team members: Patrick Reynolds, Ray Zayas, Llesy Alcantara, Silvia Carbello, Susan Hansen

Arc of Monroe is a local organization that provides a variety of programs and services to those with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc works to enhance the quality of life and self-esteem of people in their programs by providing meaningful social development, supported employment, residential community living, and enrichment opportunities.

This group of student consultants worked for Arc of Monroe on an abandoned project within the organization. Their main objective was to create a new business model to revive the program. They did this by breaking down and assessing each aspect of the Arc’s current business model and creating an updated business model template that allows the program to be conducted consistently and successfully.

Capstone team members: Sarah Baris, Nikhil Srivastava, Michael Simeone, Meagan Kidder, Evan Zachary

BioWorks Inc. is a bio-based company focused on biological manufacturing in New York. The company creates environmentally responsible solutions for controlling insects and plant diseases. The main objective of this group of student consultants was to identify competitors for BioWorks Inc. and to update the road map for a new market.

“I picked this project with the intention of developing the economic and financial aspect of sustainability. Programs often fail to market this aspect and I feel like this project has given me the opportunity to explore that.” - Evan Zachary

Capstone team members: Jeff Kosakowski, Ty Clauss, Dakota Clay, Stella Ravariere, Taurance Robnett

The Black Box group was tasked with a classified project for RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, with the main objective of improving efficiency. The College of Liberal Arts at RIT offers a unique, technology-infused approach to the traditional Liberal Arts education while emphasizing global education, student-centered research, and social justice.

The Black Box team faced challenges with information and data gathering due to limited resources. However, the group was able to overcome their obstacles and ultimately gain great insights into the consulting side of business.

“Currently, we are able to tackle this by using available resources like ProQuest as much as possible, as well as asking and consulting experts on and off campus.” - Dakota Clay

Capstone team members: Meghana Reddy Vennapusala and Chaitanya Kshirsagar

Haiti, like many other third world countries, lacks a reliable means of disposing human waste. This leads to contamination of water supplies and the spread of disease. In Haiti, only one in five families have any kind of toilet. Studies indicate that investments in sanitation can deliver a financial return of 700% by improving the health and environmental standards of the area.

An arborloo is a moveable pit latrine that composts human feces into organic fertilizer to provide nutrients for a fruit-bearing tree. It is relatively cheap and easy to install in the earth, allowing for a safe and dignified place to defecate. This should help halt the spread of pathogens present in human feces while providing nutrients for its tree. This device is portable and light enough to be transferred between multiple pits. 

A team of RIT students from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, has designed a product that is modular, easily assemblable, and can be fabricated using local Haitian materials. Thus, the objective of this project is to develop an optimized supply chain and manufacturing operation suitable for the resources available in Haiti.

“As business students, we are working in something that is completely different from what we were expecting. This makes it different but also a good learning experience for us."
Chaitanya Kshirsagar

Capstone team members: Karla Roedan, Hugo Nuñez and Aman Jot Kaur

3D printing is a technology that has begun a revolution in the way we create objects. Manufacturing companies have taken advantage of 3D printing for rapid prototyping and product development. 

The objective of the project was to develop a market opportunity analysis to understand the future use of 3D printing. They also sought to  find out whether it would be profitable for companies that manufacture simple parts to switch from traditional manufacturing techniques to 3D printing.

The company that this group is working for is confidential, but we can tell you that it is an American technology company that concentrates on imaging products. The team worked to collect secondary research on 3D printing and, with help from Professor Les Moore, set forth a plan of action.

"It is a valuable experience. Coming from a design background, I did not have any experience with the business field, so this Capstone is giving me a chance to explore opportunities and learn new things before entering into the corporate world." -Aman Jot Kaur

Capstone team members: Jelisse Rodriguez, Diana Rodriguez and Joshua Schussler

Motorized pediatric standers, a product developed by RIT students from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, provide upright mobility opportunities for young people with certain types of disabilities. This device allows the user to move and interact in a way that is more natural than a standard wheelchair, improving quality of life while also allowing the user’s legs to support weight.

The main objective of the Capstone project was to develop a plan for commercialization of this new product.To accomplish this, the team met with members of CP Rochester and researched information about the market, competitors, and the target to which they would focus all their strategies.

“I really like this because it is a real world application, in which we want to succeed. It’s something that can be applied immediately in our industry." - Joshua Schussler

This Capstone team was featured among a larger, campus-wide interdisciplinary team with students from engineering and design majors. Together, the full team presented their concepts at Imagine RIT 2016 in Dr. Destler's Access and Inclusion Technology Challenge. The challenge featured projects dedicated to the research and development of state-of-the-art technologies that improve access and promote inclusion for people with disabilities; specifically, this team made a device that made it easier for physically disabled people to travel and shop. 

This team's Motorized Pediatric Stander took first prize! Their proposal included a kit and accompanying app that was developed by the 13-member team of industrial design, business, and engineering students. The device allows children with cerebral palsy to explore their environments and learn to move in a standing position.

Capstone team members: Aleyca Y. De Leon Roman, Julissa M. Pozo Nunez, Asim Wankhade, Vineeth Ramajayam

Markin Tubing, a tube pipe manufacturing company in Rochester, NY, is one of the leading suppliers of small-diameter steel tubing worldwide. Markin’s success today is due to several decades of partnership and collaboration with their customers. 

This group of RIT seniors were faced with the problem of generating new revenue streams for Markin Tubing, which they projected could be done by using scrap metals as raw materials. The group worked as a team and through researching and consulting with field experts and determined the most viable business solution for the company.

“As masters of supply chain management students, we believe this project would be of great experience for us, especially going into the industry after graduation. We are constantly learning new skills and different ways to solve a problem.”  - Aleyca Y. De Leon Roman

EMBA Capstone Projects

EMBA Capstone at a Glance

Working in teams, Saunders Executive MBA students address specific business problems or assess potential opportunities for client companies. Projects are selected to meet specific learning objectives and provide a rigorous learning experience for students and value added outcomes for client companies. Projects are sourced from a broad range of company types—from multinationals to smaller not-for-profits. Unlike other graduate capstones which last for one semester, EMBA capstones are completed over five to six months.

For more information, review the Executive MBA Capstone page and check out an overview of the EMBA capstone process and impact on our blog.

Student Competitions

Saunders students have many competitions to participate in. Through Saunders or via affiliated centers like the Albert J. Simone Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, programs and competitions put students in touch with real venture capital professionals. They offer investment opportunities and expertise through pitch sessions, mentorships, and judging at several competitions conducted throughout the year. 

Saunders Students participate in many competitions centered around various fields with the opportunity to win cash and prizes while practicing their class-learned skills in an intensive setting.

 Recent examples include:

Undergraduate & Graduate Research

RIT is one of the top universities in the nation working at the intersection of technology, the arts, and design with close ties to industry and alumni. By collaborating across all nine RIT colleges students have a wide range of research opportunities to pursue.

Both undergraduate and graduate students are frequently included in academic research initiatives. Saunders students have opportunities to work with faculty in advancing their research initiatives. In addition to faculty research, RIT is home to many dynamic research centers that allow students to explore additional research interests.

Undergraduate Research

Saunders opens research to undergraduate students. Get a step ahead conducting research assignments that students at other universities often don’t do until graduate school. By providing undergraduates the opportunity to do genuine research work, students learn hands-on skills that become the foundation of scientific research.

Graduate Research

Make an impact as the world needs collaborative thinkers who seek pressing problems and propose innovative, game-changing solutions. RIT’s researchers explore galaxies and help set the pace for a future in photonics. They are the creativity behind discoveries to sustain the planet; they provide medical technologies designed to help individuals overcome obstacles. They are solving some of the current challenges in cybersecurity and imaging to protect people and organizations.


RIT combines a rich history of applied learning with a commitment to research excellence. Faculty combine industry experience and academic knowledge to augment theoretical training. By combining theory and practice, courses are designed for students to learn from real-world experiences. Teaching methods include case studies, seminars, simulations, and independent work. Faculty choose the method most appropriate to the material and their individual styles. 

Visit our Research Page for more information

The Freshman Experience: Biz 1+2

All freshman and incoming transfer students begin The Freshman Experience: Biz 1+2 their first two semesters. As a cohort program, business students get to know each other right from the start in an immersive program. This is distinctive as often students in other business schools pursue general education electives at the beginning and may not even take their first business class until their second or third year. Furthermore, in developing a business idea from concept to commercialization, Biz 1+2 students gain exposure to all business disciplines within their first two semesters, giving them the experience needed to find and ensure the right fit for their ultimate business majors and minors.

Visit The Freshman Experience: Biz 1+2 Page for more information