Behind the Brains of Foundations’12

By: Anirrban Mukherjii, Captain, Foundations team’12

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It really feels surreal to pen down my thoughts on the past two weeks. Foundations Fall 2012 was an attempt by a humble and hardworking team of students, faculty and support staff to provide the perfect orientation for 230-odd students who were entering the Thunderbird family.

A 7 day intensive orientation, this Foundations was aimed at providing a glimpse of life in a business school for the new students- full of group work, lectures, team activities and loads of fun. Kick starting the Foundations was the ‘Flag Ceremony’- where 33 countries were represented by their respective national ambassadors from the current batch of incoming students. Interim President Barbara Barrett graced the stage to welcome these students and their families while she was supported by Dr. Larry Penley and Dr. Kay Keck.

Senior members of the faculty provided power-packed sessions on Global Mindset Inventory, Cultural Orientation Navigator, StrengthsQuest, Global Briefings and many more such privileges that one enjoys only in a global business school of Thunderbird’s standard.

There were ample opportunities for the students to participate in groups and showcase their teamwork and management abilities- the G-5 simulation and CEO briefings were testament of the immense potential this new group of students have. The Foundations week ended with ThunderOlympics – a sporting event that is the ultimate test of teamwork, strategy and peer support.

For the first time in the history of Thunderbird, all 14 Foundation Leaders performed a flash mob right in the middle of the week to kick start Day 5! Grooving on a wildly popular and recent Korean song, the flash mob infused energy, fun and created stronger bonds between the incoming students and their cohort leaders.

At the end of the Foundations week, the new students were left feeling empowered, knowledgeable and aware of what to expect at Thunderbird. All this could not have been possible without the execution and relentless persistence of the entire Foundations Team- Anisha Vinny (Coordinator), Ed Snook (Coordinator), Amar Haware (Cohort Leader- Gophers), Arun Benny Thomas (Cohort Leader- Tarantulas), Connor Clark (Cohort Leaders- Cougars), Kevin Shah (Cohort Leader- Falcons), Leanne Olsgaard (Cohort Leader- Jack Rabbits), Nicolas Coates (Cohort Leader- Mustangs), Rachel Storey (Cohort Leader- Road Runners), Reid Drossos (Cohort Leader- Coyotes), Shreyas Gore (Cohort Leader- Wolves), Steven Arjonilla (Cohort Leader- Hawks) and Story Tweedie-Yates (Cohort Leader- Scorpions).

Leading this team through this beautiful experience were Dr. Kay Keck (Vice President- Full Time Programs), Joyce Rogers (Senior Director- Operations, Full Time Programs), Torrey Mann (TSG Office Manager) and Chelsea Oyen (Senior Director- Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Dean).

At the end, Foundations proved itself to be successful in welcoming these future global leaders into the Thunderbird family and into our culture where we don’t compete with each other but complement each other.

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