Just like in life, at Hult, nothing is ever two-dimensional. And guess what? We got ourselves a backstage pass to a marketing challenge for Hult master’s students in Boston. Come and take a look behind the scenes to find out more about how students take challenge learning into the real world at Hult.





THE WINNING STUDENT TEAM: Ignacio Kuchikian, Argentina; Lina Maria Zapata, Colombia; Alzbeta Miskovska, Slovakia; Jayanth Kodali, India; Vivien Huang, Taiwan.



Here’s what Professor Pang had to say about the project

I’ve had a deep interest in shopping malls from a business and research perspective and spent a lot of time in them throughout my career in the fashion industry. Sadly, traditional shopping malls are not thriving, but a new type of community-driven mall like Assembly Row is. For this challenge, students answered a series of questions and conducted research opportunities in the following areas:

    • Tenant mix: Stores, restaurants, and other types of businesses that should be on the property

    • Expanding events and experiences for customers

    • Demographic research: Is there a demographic that Assembly Row should be concentrating on?



The student team’s perspective

How we did it—Vivien

Assembly Row is different from other shopping centers and streets because it’s not only a shopping center, it’s also a residential area. It feels very residential, very communal. It has a recreational space for walking. You can play sport, find good food—I’ve never been to a neighborhood like it. We started with a demographic analysis and the store mix of Assembly Row. We had different budgets for different elements, from, for example, $50,000 for placemaking to an unlimited budget for creative decision-making. And with that budget, we had to generate new ideas to implement in a certain row. Our suggestions included a mobile app for the website and lots of new ideas.

What we can learn from the real world—Ignacio & Alzbeta

Ignacio: Having a real client pushes me to be better in some kind of way. And I think you learn much more because it’s in real time and you’re learning as you go, consulting on the project.

Alzbeta: Also it affects your motivation. When I found out that we could go and present to real management, I was much more motivated to give it my all. Because when you’re just doing assignments, you’re working primarily for your grades and your professor. But when we can actually demonstrate our ideas, present everything, and get feedback from corporate managers outside the classroom, it makes a huge difference for me.


Ignacio: I never got to work in a team like this. It was really stressful in the beginning, at least for me, but once the ideas start flowing and your idea is the catalyst for another person’s idea and that helps develop another idea and everything flows and flows until suddenly you see the whole project and you’re like, whoa, we did all this?!

What set our team apart—Alzbeta & Lina

Alzbeta: I think something that made us stand out was that we didn’t just deliver ideas separately, but we delivered a story. Our strategy was to create a more futuristic arena for Assembly Row. And within that story of “Tomorrow’s Assembly Row,” we created a full picture including a digital art museum, and a laser show using their LED installations to play animations … There was a whole strategy that we delivered on the mobile app. Everything was interlinked, rather than just a series of standalone ideas.

Lina: We complement each other really well. We’re very respectful of each other. I think that was the main catalyst for our success. I think it really was important that when we met with Professor Pang, we already had a lot of ideas. We’d already done a whole lot of work, so it was easier for her to guide us.

Diversity is our asset—Jayanth

We’ve got Lina, who takes care of the accounting and the data. Ignacio keeps us in line! All of us have different kinds of work experience. Everyone felt respected and heard. We didn’t even think about the grade that we were going to receive. It was mostly about the real-world experience that we were having.


And finally, over to the client: Leslie DaCosta, Marketing Director at Assembly Row

This project has been so useful in gaining insights from an extremely varied demographic, including age and country of origin. The students’ “fresh sets of eyes” have helped us look into ways of keeping our property relevant, especially given the campus is only two stops away on the metro. We’re considering many of the proposals and how we might apply them in future, including the use of color as a medium to further engage our audience. I found Hult students to be very smart, engaged, and enthusiastic. The winning team clinched it for us because they presented well, researched thoroughly, and had some unique proposals. I’d love to continue our partnership and look forward to building on what we’ve achieved so far.