2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Tom Kinast, Hult International Business School

Tom Kinast

Hult International Business School

“Passionately committed to spreading smiles, embracing authenticity, and igniting change with determination and compassion.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have been a professional Latin American dancer in the German National League for nine years and made the third place at the German Championship in 2019.

Hometown: Hamburg, Germany

High School: Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium Buchholz, Germany

Major: General Business

Minor: Marketing

Favorite Business Course: Design Thinking for Social Impact

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Hult Student Association | President (May 2023 – Present)

  • Led and managed the Hult Student Association of seven members to accurately represent and critically communicate the interests of 1,200 international students.
  • Navigated all communication with the Academic Board and the Deanery to report feedback and identify and articulate new strategic trajectories.
  • Fostered collaboration between different divisions and with clubs and societies while maintaining a motivating, collaborative, and dynamic work environment.
  • Organized events on- and off-campus and hosted ’HSA Office Hours’ to build a sense of community, allow for intercultural exchange and the collection of constructive feedback.

TEDxHultLondon | Vice President & Head of Speaker Relations (May 2022 – Present)

  • Organized four sold-out TEDx events under the official TED license in London with 150 international attendees, featuring speakers such as the Head of UN Women UK, Parliamentarians, and the former Global Head of Responsible Investment at HSBC.
  • Oversaw the Marketing, Speaker Relations, and Finance divisions to ensure a smooth collaboration and the achievement of set deadlines and objectives.
  • Supervised all the organization’s channels of communications and speaker inquiries as Head of Speaker Relations and spearheaded speaker recruitment and selection.

Hult Model United Nations Society | Head of Operations (May 2022 – April 2023)

  • Recipient of Diplomacy Award at London International Model United Nations 2022 and winner of Harvard World Model United Nations in Paris 2023 for exhibiting exceptional debating, public speaking, and negotiating skills.
  • Organized all logistics of traveling to MUN conferences in the UK and wider Europe.

AIESEC in King’s College London | Vice President of Talent Management & Team Leader of Incoming Global Talent (September 2021 – April 2023)

  • Managed the Human Resources of 31 members of AIESEC in King’s College London, implemented Member Education, and led weekly Local Committee Meetings.
  • Recruited potential members, appointed Team Leaders from different universities and boosted performance by doubling the number of members of the Local Committee.
  • Organized public speaking and presentation workshops to challenge all members.

Student Mentor & University Ambassador

  • Joined Virtual Open Houses and additional off-campus events to share my student experience in professional clubs with interested and newly accepted students.
  • Created engaging social media content for all socials of Hult Business School.
  • Mentored a Fresher in his personal and professional development in weekly meetings.

Hult Scholar | Full Tuition Fee Scholarship (September 2021 – May 2024)

  • Awarded Hult Business School’s most prestigious full tuition fee scholarship for high-achieving individuals that embody the ‘Hult DNA’ as dynamic thinkers and impactful leaders.

Academic Excellence Scholarship

6 x Dean’s List Student

Dolce & Gabbana | Live Client Challenge Winner (December 2022)

  • Applied Design Thinking to formulate a compelling business strategy for the successful entry of Dolce & Gabbana Beauty into the Chinese market, securing the first place.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts | Live Client Challenge Winner (April 2023)

  • Designed a Brand Audit for InterContinental Hotels and an implementation plan for an inclusion portfolio, securing the first place.

Regent & Senior Regent | International Student Leadership Institute (March 2023)

  • Invited to co-organize the 39th edition of the International Student Leadership Institute representing the country of Germany at a conference of 200 international students.
  • Hosted lectures on various leadership skills including Setting the Example, Perspective-Taking, and Gaining Legitimacy, and mentored the Board of 14 international Regents.

Voices of Hult Podcast (December 2023)

  • Invited as first guest of the London edition of the Podcast ‘Voices of Hult’, sharing advice on internship applications, career development and leading diverse teams.

Winner of National Political Journalism Competition | young leaders GmbH (August 2022)

  • Received the young leader’s scholarship after publishing an article featuring an interview with the ambassador of Taiwan about the independence of Taiwan.
  • Fully funded trip to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City to meet with German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, at the German Consulate.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Bloomberg | BCS Summer Intern | London (June 2023 – September 2023)

  • Navigated and resolved customer inquiries in the BCS team to boost Bloomberg Terminal adoption by liaising with Account Managers.
  • Developed and pitched an implementation strategy of AI and EX technology to enhance the customer journey, employee workflow and sales process and successfully completed Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC).

Education First (EF) | Part-time Enrolment Intern| London (September 2023 – Present)

  • Utilized Salesforce to recruit students for Hult International Business School as part of the German, European and North American Sales Team.
  • Completed school visits in Germany and numerous campus tours to attract new talent.

Where will you be working after graduation? I am currently completing my applications for graduate education in Paris, London, or Berlin in the fields of Management, International Relations, and Public Affairs, hoping to pursue a career in consulting after the completion of my master’s degree.

Who is your favorite business professor? Professor Liliana Caimacan.

During my academic journey at Hult, I’ve had the privilege of attending several classes taught by Professor Caimacan, including Design Thinking for Social Impact and Brand Management. Her genuine passion for business, marketing, and innovation, coupled with her dedication to delivering exceptional education, deeply impressed me. In each class, Professor Caimacan consistently went the extra mile. Whether it was securing live clients like Dolce & Gabbana or taking additional time to provide thorough feedback and explanations for misunderstandings, her commitment to her students was palpable. Her attention to detail, precision, and dedication to enhancing the student experience were evident in every aspect of her teaching.

Professor Caimacan has become more than just an inspiring professor to me; I am grateful to consider her my mentor. As I prepare to graduate, I aspire to approach my career with the same level of drive, curiosity, and passion that she embodies every day.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The greatest lesson I gained from studying business is that business is so much more than just the simple generation of revenue, to lead a team or manage a financial portfolio. Instead, today, in the 21st century, business can be the most effective tool to create real positive impact. This impact may span from empowering fellow colleagues and customers to creating a truly sustainable impact on society and the planet overall. Business is the essence of society and plays a fundamental role in shaping our everyday lives as consumers and individuals, but also social structures, economies, and political states. Hence, business is omnipresent and serves as the most impactful catalyst for meaningful transformation as it possesses the inherent capacity to drive substantial change – a change that I am eager to take part in.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business is remarkably multi-faceted, spanning a wide spectrum of potential areas of interest. Try to explore all these varied facets, even those that at first glance might not align with your chosen specialization. Always maintain a sense of curiosity, continuously challenge yourself, ask questions and embrace all opportunities given to you to try new things to gain a truly holistic understanding of the business landscape.

Thereby, above all, remember that your most valuable asset as a business professional is your network. Cultivating and nurturing a strong and diverse network is not just beneficial – it’s imperative. It has the power to unveil unforeseen opportunities, facilitate collaboration, and guide you along your career path. Hence, in today’s often fiercely competitive business environment, treat everyone you encounter during your educational journey with kindness and compassion as you never know how your paths may cross in the future.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Business is all about people. When embarking on my business education, I anticipated primarily delving into technical skills in finance, supply chain processes or technology. Instead, I soon discovered that the essence of a thriving company extends far beyond sustainable revenue streams or operational efficiency but revolves around people. Human needs are at the core of all business operations, from customers to employees and all stakeholders involved – humans are threaded throughout every single part of the business. Therefore, to excel as a businessperson, interpersonal skills of communication, cultivating lasting relationships and leading with compassion and mutual respect are far more essential than merely the theoretical and technical knowledge studied from textbooks.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I moved to London to attend private school on a full scholarship and as a first-generation student. At first, I sometimes grappled with self-doubt and questioned my own capabilities, especially when faced with peers who seemed to possess greater inherent privileges and opportunities. As a result, I consistently went the extra mile, determined to prove myself and to fight for my seat at the table. Over time, however, I came to realize that what I once viewed as a weakness was, in fact, my greatest strength.

Embracing my uniqueness and demonstrating unwavering dedication to pursuing my dreams became the driving force behind my motivation and passion. Today, I have learned that there is no prewritten blueprint for success in the business world, but the key lies in listening to one’s inner voice and believing wholeheartedly in one’s potential. Reflecting on my journey, if I could offer advice to my younger self, I would emphasize the importance of continuing to fight for my dreams, to persevere through adversity and to find strength in my unique personal background at all times.

Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am extremely proud to have been awarded a full tuition fee scholarship from my dream university, enabling me to pursue my studies in London as a first-generation college student – an experience that continues to feel like a dream come true. However, my proudest achievement during the journey of my undergraduate studies is when I was elected as President of Hult’s Student Association.

The trust and confidence my fellow classmates placed in me is a profound honor, one that humbles me to this day. Collaborating directly with the Deanery and the Academic Board, I had the privilege to contribute and give back to the community that made me the person I am today while consistently maintaining a spot on the Dean’s List with a GPA of 4.0. These memories will forever hold a special pace in my heart.

Which classmate do you most admire? Throughout my educational journey, I have been fortunate enough to encounter numerous brilliant and remarkable students from diverse backgrounds. Among them, one individual stands out: Lea Alwine Anna Feline Senner. Our paths first crossed on my first day after moving to London, and since then, we have collaborated on some of the most demanding projects together.

In my time alongside Lea, I have witnessed her exceptional dedication and determination firsthand. She approaches every task with unwavering commitment, always with a smile on her face and a helping hand for her classmates. Her efforts paid off as she completed her degree in just two years with a perfect GPA.

Lea continues to inspire me to strive for personal growth, to constantly push beyond my limits, and to embrace discomfort in the pursuit of becoming the best version of myself. Anyone fortunate enough to collaborate with Lea would undoubtedly be enriched by her contagious dedication.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Sometimes, it is the smallest encounters that have the greatest impacts. In high school, I had the privilege of being taught by Sabine Stolte-Duval, an English teacher renowned for her exceptional skills and strict demeanor. Initially intimidated, I quickly realized her brilliance in mastering both English and French languages and was inspired by her passion.

Mrs. Stolte-Duval became the catalyst for my passion for languages, expanding my horizons beyond the confines of my small German town to even consider studying abroad. To me, she exemplified the rewards of hard work and the joy of advancing in subjects close to one’s heart. Her steadfast passion fueled my determination to pursue my dreams. To this day, she is the best teacher I have ever had the privilege to be mentored by. I would not be the person I am today if it had not been for her remarkable teaching.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. To be featured in Forbes 30 Under 30
  2. To give a TED Talk

What made Tom such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“I’ve enjoyed being Tom’s instructor, teacher, and mentor during his BBA studies at Hult International Business School. I’ve been connecting with him as a professor on Design Thinking for Social Impact, Brand Management courses, and various extra-curricular activities at HULT, including mentoring him on specific projects and professional and personal development activities.

Through my teaching activity, I connect with various students across different disciplines, and it is not common to meet such an eminent student as Tom Kinast is. During their work in various classes, he demonstrates outstanding leadership skills, motivating and driving the team towards developing great solutions and proposals and achieving excellent results.

Tom’s natural curiosity for new ideas and his ability to motivate and engage within the team brought new and fresh thinking to the group. A great example is the work done on the live challenge for International Hotels Group, where Tom led his team in providing an outstanding and very creative solution to drive a high-level engagement with customers and employees. Another example of supporting his leadership capabilities and inspiring the team with his grand visions was the live client challenge with Dolce and Gabbana company, where Tom led the team to achieve the highest performance in class with a very innovative proposal to launch the brand in China.

Also, he proved to have accumulated deep and comprehensive knowledge in areas like business, economics, marketing, management, entrepreneurship, and business transformation. All these have been demonstrated in class and in extracurricular activities as President of the TEDx and Hult Students Association, Global Ambassador, and Faculty Fellow.

He continuously demonstrated a high level of creativity and intelligence, a willingness to develop his knowledge, skills, and capabilities to discover new and creative ways to solve problems, a strong bias for action, and an eagerness to learn continuously.

Tom proved all the above through the quality of the assignments and projects he delivered across various disciplines, which brought him high grades across the board and positioned him as one of the top 2% of Hult International Business School students.”

Liliana Caimacan
Professor of Marketing, Design Thinking & Innovation
Faculty Lead – Hult Founders Lab


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