JWU Students Gain Real-World Experience at TD Garden

JWU Students Gain Real-World Experience at TD Garden

JWU Students Gain Real-World Experience at TD Garden banner

August 2023 Update: Johnson & Wales University enjoyed an incredibly fruitful 5-year partnership as the Official Education Partner of TD Garden and the Boston Bruins. This partnership officially ended in June 2023.

As the Official Education Partner of the Boston Bruins and TD Garden, Johnson & Wales University can offer its students even more educational opportunities rooted in realistic industry experiences. For example, as part of the five-year partnership which also encompasses academic scholarships for parent-company Delaware North’s 50,000 employees worldwide, JWU Providence students will have the chance to collaborate with TD Garden in term-long projects—called Directed Experiential Experiences (or DEEs)—that simulate professional problem solving.

The first such project kicked off in fall 2018 and was led by professor Patrick Leary, Ed.D., who teaches both in Providence and online. The students were seniors in the BS – Sports, Entertainment, Event – Management degree program. The project operated in three “phases”: First, the students traveled to TD Garden and for an in-depth, on-the-ground overview of their area of research. Next, they spent countless classroom hours developing ideas and solutions. Tim Townsell, General Manager of Sportservice, a Delaware North division focused on sports hospitality, then visited campus at the halfway mark to provide feedback on the students’ progress. It all culminated in a presentation back at the TD Garden.

Here’s a closer look at and professor Leary’s perspective of the partnership in action.

As one of the first experiences in the DEE, your class was invited to TD Garden for a behind-the-scenes tour. Can you describe what this was like and why it was valuable?

“The first class visit to TD Garden was extremely memorable for the students. For many of the students, it was their first time visiting the venue and the collective excitement about working with TD Garden on this project was palpable. From the time we pulled up to Causeway Street until the time we departed, the representatives from TD Garden provided us with first-class hospitality. Tim provided a detailed tour of the TD Garden and did a great job of providing the students with insight into the variety of strategies the venue implements to optimize revenue opportunities.”

How did your group of students tackle the project presented by TD Garden?

“During our initial visit to TD Garden, the project was clearly articulated to the students by the client. The students then worked within small sub-committees throughout the term and spent countless hours conducting research, which they then analyzed and synthesized to make informed recommendations to the client at the end of the term.”

What aspects of this project helped bring academic concepts into the real world? How will this benefit students in the long run?

“The project was rooted in reality, thus providing the students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a ‘lived experience’ that directly applies to their major. I cannot think of a better example of an academic partner that holistically encompasses every facet of our degree program. TD Garden is an epicenter of entertainment and plays host to a diverse array of events including professional and intercollegiate sporting events, concerts, comedy shows and family shows. The students were provided an invaluable opportunity to learn about strategy development and implementation within one of the world’s premier entertainment venues—this was an experiential learning opportunity they will never forget!”

What surprised you during the process?

“I was pleasantly surprised about the level of authentic excitement displayed by the representatives from TD Garden throughout the term. The folks at TD Garden were genuinely excited to work with the students and extremely committed to providing a quality experience for the students.”

What feedback have you heard from students/TDGarden?

“I have heard nothing but positive feedback from all stakeholders involved in project. What I found to be extremely valuable was the fact every department within TD Garden had representation present during the students final presentation. The environment provided a fantastic opportunity to have meaningful and engaging dialogue between the students and representatives from TD Garden. Most important, the students involved in the DEE expressed their thanks and gratitude for having such fantastic opportunity to work with a first-class client in TD Garden.”

Townsell couldn’t agree more. “The students are a joy to work with,” he said. “They have great positive attitudes and are clearly eager to learn and develop. We’re all very much looking forward to continuing to work with Johnson & Wales!”

To learn more about pursuing a degree in sports leadership at Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education, contact us at 855-598-1881 or [email protected]. You can also fill out the “Request Info” form on this page. To learn more about corporate partnerships, click here.

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