Hult International Business School and Brown University are partnering to provide a one-of-kind Business Boot Camp for Brown undergraduate students. Designed to ensure students gain essential business knowledge and practical workplace skills expected by today’s employers, the Business Boot Camp is taught by outstanding faculty from both schools. To understand more of what’s involved in this intensive learning-by-doing experience, we asked Mukul Kumar—Hult’s Chief Innovation Officer and champion of the Brown partnership—to explain more.

Why has Hult partnered with Brown University specifically?

Mukul: Brown is one of eight Ivy League schools in the US. It’s a 250-year-old research university with a global reputation for liberal arts undergraduate programs, but it does not have a business school. There’s a real interest from Brown students in courses that go into the realm of business—into helping them think about startups and careers in business. They’re interested in acquiring a set of skills that is really important to their futures; skills like teamwork and communication as well financial acumen, marketing, product innovation, and sales. Brown currently doesn’t have programs that address these skillsets, and so coming together Hult—with our international caliber and business expertise—to pilot opportunities within the Brown student experience, seemed like a great synergy.

Tell us more about the Business Boot Camp program, what will students be learning?

We started by asking: how can we help Brown undergraduate students acquire a set of skills that is going to be very valuable to them in the business world. So we’ve begun with the theme of new product development—a core challenge that most people face at some point in their careers, it’s a really exciting one too. In this first Business Boot Camp, Hult and Brown faculty are focusing on teaching skills in innovation, marketing, financial acumen, and data analysis—and all those come together in the context of a live case challenge.

So it uses Hult’s challenge learning approach—who is the client for this first challenge?

The client is Groupo Bimbo—a 15 billion USD company, one of the largest bakery companies on the planet with household brand names like Sara Lee, Thomas’, and Entenmann’s. Groupo Bimbo’s senior leadership team are challenging this first cohort of students to help them think about the next set of products and approaches for their strategy going into the next decade.

It’s Hult’s signature learning-by-doing approach—a range of curricular skills and coaching by Hult faculty, critical input from Brown faculty shaping the context for the future of capitalism, all applied in the context of producing deliverables for a live, exciting client. The Boot Camp ends with a final presentation to company executives and faculty.

What plans do Hult and Brown have for the future?

Our two institutions have complementary capabilities, with Brown’s focus on health sciences, analytics, sustainability, etcetera, and Hult’s focus on business skills, mindsets, and shaping the future of business. So far, this Boot Camp is targeting core business skills for early tenure undergraduate students. We’re looking forward to seeing how this evolves as we consider bringing effective skill-building, innovative curricula, and inspiration to a broader range of students.

In an age where education is increasingly happening in a blended format (online and on-campus learning) and given that the Brown and Hult Boston campuses are just 45 miles from each other, I see many opportunities for synergies.

Pioneering collaborations open up more opportunities for everyone. Hult has also recently partnered with EY on the Hult-EY Tech MBA, read more here.