A New Flock of Thunderbirds

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By Mackenzie Pedersen, Staff Writer

As the end of the first Fall semester approaches, students are cramming for finals and dreaming of the free time they will enjoy once December finally rolls around. Students have bonded over the stress of classes, the laughter over a beer at the Pub, and more. Through it all, they have found their home. Two more of this year’s newest members include: Zhuowen Chen (MAGAM ’19) and Binoy Vasavada (MGM ’18).

Courtesy of Zhuowen Chen

Zhuowen is currently a member of the Cougars cohort and working on getting her Masters to pursue her passion for business, which she gained after a lifetime of admiring her father and his business. Zhuowen’s response when asked why she chose to study at Thunderbird was:

“So, first, the basic reason is that it’s international. I typed ‘international’ and Thunderbird was the first thing that came up, and then I looked at the program. I am an international student, so I want to know all the things that are global and I came here to learn how Americans do business internationally, and how other countries come to the U.S to do business. I wanted to learn about other global affairs things.”

Her favorite thing about Thunderbird is “the cohort” since everyone started out in Foundations and had the opportunity to really get to know each other, really closely. She claims that this was a really good beginning to the program. While the courses are great, the challenging class work is a little overwhelming. Zhuowen really enjoyed doing the basic accounting class that the first year MAGAMs have.

“It seems like its going to be really useful for my future business opportunities,” she mentioned. The other classes allowed for the students to learn a lot of new, interesting concepts and become familiar with different countries and how they are doing business.

Courtesy of Binoy Vasavada

Binoy, on the other hand, is hoping that his Masters of Global Management degree will allot him the ability to “learn more than one way to solve any hurdles through developing a global mindset, leveraging cherished professors, enhancing my professional career to ace in my areas of interest.” He initially chose Thunderbird because it epitomizes a global mindset and is a school solely focused on developing that for its students. He has faith in the fact that Thunderbird has now merged with ASU which has created a sense of reliability, innovation, improved education, as well as quality. Since Binoy is part of the MGM program, this means that he has accelerated courses, which he says is one of his favorite things about Thunderbird. He loves that the courses can be fast-paced while being comprehensive and that the courses provide an excellent balance between learning the theories of the class subjects and the practical application of the learning.

One of the main influences for why Zhuowen is pursuing her Masters is because she’ll need it if she decides to go back home to China. She explains that in China, people look at the levels of obtained education. You might be seen as ordinary if you have a Bachelors degree, but if you have a Masters degree, more doors are open to you. When Zhuowen looks toward her future as a business owner, she knows that this is a step she needs to take. She explained where her aspirations stemmed from:

“My dad because he has been able to combine his interests with his business. He just does what he wants. Watching him do business, and after growing up and now learning business, I understand what he’s been doing all along. He’s his own boss, and he has had to make sacrifices, but it’s admirable.”

When Zhuowen finds a little bit of time to unwind between classes and school work, she relaxes in a couple of ways, the first of which is cooking. She loves to spend some solitary time in her kitchen creating tasty food and trying new things. The other way she relaxes is through playing video games, specifically Resident Evil. Even though the game is frightening, she loves the fact that she has to put all of her focus into it, otherwise she’ll die in the game. Gaming allows her to revert her focus and get lost in an alternate reality.

Binoy has decided to pursue his Masters degree based on the idea that ‘Knowledge is Power,’ and  he believes that the world is in need for more global managers to tackle scalable issues. This opportunity also fits with his passion for diversity that has impacted him the most to further his education. His biggest aspiration and what he hopes to achieve “is to improve business conditions and generate employment in any way across each and every country in the world.” Overall, he wants to promote global harmony through leadership and diplomacy. When Binoy has the opportunity to enjoy some downtime, he loves to feed his adventurous side through hiking and exploring new restaurants.

These are just a few of the incredible people on the campus who have made Thunderbird their new home!

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