Santa Claus is a Thunderbird Alum

Image by Daisy Jasmine.

By Daisy Jasmine, Staff Writer

You’ve probably heard of him. A famously well-traveled individual, and the founder and present CEO of one of the longest-running global nonprofit operations in the world. He’s got a mystique that rivals that of this very school. He goes by many names, but you might know him as the man, the myth, the legend:

Santa Claus.

Countless schools, nations, and industries have claimed to be the true home where that charismatic chimney-hopper got his start, but this reporter has found indisputable evidence that Santa Claus attended none other but the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Don’t believe me? Read on.

No one on earth takes the concept of a business trip quite as seriously as Mr. Claus. Like clockwork, he visits every country on the planet each year.

Even when he’s not racking up frequent-flyer points, however, Claus demonstrates the resiliency and adaptability of an archetypal Thunderbird. The headquarters of his operations is based in an emerging market—or, rather, a thawing market. The frozen arctic tundra of the North Pole, averaging −31 °C during the winter’s day-long nights, could only be described as “comfortable” by a polar bear, yet Claus—in true T-bird fashion—has made a cozy home for himself in the center of that unforgiving landscape.

Additionally, Claus’s illustrious and well-rounded career demonstrates a level of business acumen and savvy that’s hard to come by outside of a Thunderbird education. Most notably, Claus is a major name in supply chain management. His long-running business in the toys-and-games industry is heavily vertically integrated, claiming influence all the way from the design process and manufacturing down to distribution and sales.

Claus in a Coca Cola ad. Image courtesy of Attic Paper.

Claus himself adheres strongly to his core values focused on bringing joy to his target demographic, and somehow finds the time between double-checking paperwork and completing deliverables to appear in countless advertisements and other media to hammer home his already-solid brand awareness. He has maintained wildly successful partnerships with major international companies such as Coca-Cola for decades.

Far too often, however, does the layperson overlook Claus’s major contributions to engineering. Claus is, in addition to being a beloved household personality and astute businessman, a leading innovator and inventor for the world’s security and travel industries, influencing the development of a number of game-changing, sophisticated military and government technologies. While the methods behind Claus’s faster-than-light shipping process remain a classified trade secret, his top-of-the-line surveillance tech is well-known, even being released for civilian use through a joint venture with the North American Aerospace Defense Command .

A recovered image of the original prototype for the “Rudolph” beacon plane. Photographer unknown.

Furthermore, in 1949, socially responsible Claus—also ahead of the game in CSR through his ethical treatment of working reindeer and his focus on hiring and providing career-growth opportunities for little people—was the pioneer of new low-visibility flight safety standards, which remain in use to this day. This involvement in improvements to aeronautics is no coincidence to anyone aware of Thunderbird’s Air Force origins.

The big guy’s typical routine during the busy season also shows his experience with adapting to new cultures and adjusting his mannerisms to fit a new context—a vital element of that coveted Global Mindset.

Claus’s COI results. Image by Daisy Jasmine.

For example, as his COI (Claus Orientation Indicator) shows, he is a highly private individual with a preference for indirect communication. However, every year in shopping centers around the world, Claus makes an exception to his own rules in order to establish trust and communicate directly with his target demographic, collecting valuable marketing data at the same time.

Additionally, as the biopic Miracle on 34th Street shows, during his time as a consultant for a major department store, Claus made an impression by demonstrating his conversational fluency in multiple languages, adjusting when necessary in order to form positive and lasting client relationships.

All of these factors—his status as a polyglot and ambassador, his global mindset and love for travel, his broad range of professional skills and prioritization of customer needs and corporate social responsibility, and his many successes in international operations—combine to form one real and abiding truth.

Yes, Virginia, Santa Claus is a Thunderbird.

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