TD Garden Projects Provide ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Opportunity

Back in the good old days — before “social distancing,” “quarantine” and “ration the toilet paper” became everyday phrases — students spent the winter term studying on campus, spending time with friends and working together on some awesome projects. We’re taking a look back at the TD Garden Directed Experiential Education (DEE) project.

Since JWU first became the Official Education Partner of TD Garden and the Boston Bruins, our students have had the chance to create menu items for the arena’s Legends restaurant, explore new ways to enhance the fan experience, and even make breakfast for the Bruins. (Charlie McAvoy loved the pancakes!)

The winter term’s Directed Experiential Education (DEE) course project with TD Garden brought seven Sports, Entertainment, Event — Management (SEEM) students together to spend the winter term developing a marketing strategy for a new members-only seating area in the arena. The group worked closely with several members of TD Garden's marketing team to research, strategize and put together a final presentation.

The team:
Grace Brandon '20
Olivia Cox '20
Sheamus Fitzgerald '22
Isaac Gevov '20
Isabella Harpenau '20
Jillian Miele '22
Carlee Morgan '21

Four students look at TD Garden ice

two students overlook ice and TD Garden

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Isaac Gevov ’20. “This wasn’t just any term project in a classroom where you might work on fictional issues — we actually worked with TD Garden. The majority of the time I didn’t feel like I was in a class, I felt like I had a real job.”

At the beginning of the winter term, the project began with a tour of TD Garden, where the students had the chance to walk through each membership space and learn more about the guest experience before seeing the new area they would be focusing on. From there, students were ready for the challenge of exploring the strategic marketing side of the SEEM industry.

“I’ve never had a hands-on project like this, where you get to dive into all the research behind a marketing campaign,” said Carlee Morgan '21. “It was so amazing to learn more about that side of the industry and have that experience. Our group worked really well together to build off each other’s research, learn new things and grow together.”

After several Skype calls with their TD Garden contacts to run through their work and ask questions, the students were ready to return to the arena and give their final presentation in front of six TD Garden executive employees at the Legends restaurant inside the Garden.

students presenting at Legends restaurant

JWU student making a presentation

Though the ride up to Boston was spent nervously going over final details, their butterflies quickly subsided once they began the presentation. With confidence and poise, they outlined their research, explained their campaign strategy and answered every question that came their way.

Professor Julie Viscardi-Smalley served as faculty advisor to the group throughout the project and was thrilled with their performance during the final presentation.

“The most rewarding part about leading this class is seeing students tackle complex directives, make meaningful relationships with TD Garden staff and really grow as professionals throughout the term,” said Viscardi-Smalley. “This is such a unique experience for JWU students and becomes a valuable exercise that will contribute to their own professional goals!”

Though the spring term’s DEE with TD Garden has been canceled due to COVID-19, students and faculty can look forward to the fall semester for the next project to begin.

group of students at TD Garden