UMass Boston

New UMass Boston Program, Real Economic Impact

09/07/2023| College of Management

UMass Boston’s College of Management has officially completed their pilot for a new program named BEST (Business Engagement for Students) Boston. It gives students the ability to apply for 10-week paid consulting engagements to solve real-world problems with local small businesses. This impactful program is developing a pipeline of talented and diverse business professionals.

Dean Venky Venkatachalam and the participating College of Management students at the UMass Club for the BEST Boston Pilot Presentations.
Dean Venky Venkatachalam and the participating College of Management students at the UMass Club for the BEST Boston Pilot Presentations
Image By: Bob Durling Photography

The pilot wrapped up on August 23 at the UMass Club where each team of business students presented their results. In attendance were their faculty mentors, Dean Venky Venkatachalam, Provost Joseph Berger, the participating small businesses, and representatives from the governor’s office. 

“The presentations were inspirational as we watched how each student creatively developed real solutions,” said Dean Venkatachalam. “BEST Boston is a strategic priority for the College of Management, and we will continue to be committed to the economic development of the Boston region. With the goal of expanding to as many as 120 student participants and 80 businesses per academic year, BEST Boston aims to be a highly sought out and mutually beneficial venture for both the public and private sector.”

“I am thrilled that our talented students from the College of Management have this wonderful opportunity to learn, network and make impactful real-world contributions to small businesses,” said Provost Berger. “Simultaneously, these exceptional local businesses benefit by working with our incredible students and faculty. BEST Boston is truly a shining example of the ways in which UMass Boston meaningfully engages with our local businesses and communities.”

The participating small businesses in the pilot included the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, QUBIC Labs, The Castle Group, and Westnet. UMass Boston values perspectives from individuals of various backgrounds, cultures, and experiences preparing students to effectively navigate a global business world. Because of this, the college is dedicated to partnering with businesses and organizations who emulate these same values, the majority of which are minority- and women-owned.

“The Castle Group believes in inspiring the next generation to build their careers and pursue their passions, so we were thrilled to participate in this pilot program,” said Sandy Lish, principal and co-founder of The Castle Group. “Our students conducted crucial research and analysis on our services, and we will use their work to help inform our future goals. This program is a true benefit to the economic vitality of small businesses in Boston.”

"I am extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity to learn from and network with so many intelligent professionals in the Boston area,” said Kyle O., a participating student. “It has helped me get one step closer to reaching my career goals.”

Students are expected to dedicate 10 hours a week toward their project, working with their business’s designated project manager and a faculty mentor. The assistance is free to the participating businesses, and the students are provided a stipend. Interested in supporting BEST Boston? Learn more here.


As Boston's only public accredited business school, the College of Management is dedicated to educating the region’s next generation of business and community leaders. Recognized for its first-rate faculty and diverse, high-achieving student body, the college offers exceptional learning experiences in collaboration with local businesses. For more information, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn.