By: Sangeetha Nagaratnam MBA’12
I don’t remember the exact string of words in our first conversation. Maybe because it was effortless and happened over doughnuts: Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts in pretty pink and white boxes sitting on the pantry table. It was the third day of my summer internship and I was purposely lingering around the office pantry eager to be noticed and to break some ice being the new intern. She was staring down at the sugary treats and chatting casually with a colleague about the sinful breakfast she was about to indulge in. Subtly, I moved closer and stood in the circle to join in the conversation. Her smiling eyes instantly looked up at me as I said, “These look too good to resist, just one won’t hurt” and reached out to pinch a chocolate munchkin out of the box. Within a few minutes, I was thrilled to learn that Katherine Zuga was a T-bird herself and holds a senior position in the communications department. The exuberance of her personality and her zest for knowledge of my experience worked wonders in absorbing the loneliness shadowing me for the past few days. A comforting moment – a perfectly inexplicable bond dominated the situation in which I found myself.
Over the next few weeks, Katherine found coffee time amidst her ridiculously busy schedule and work travels preparing for a big conference happening in a month or so. We strolled over to Starbucks occasionally and sat in her office to chat about how I was progressing through my internship. She even offered to rope me into her area of work although I was in a completely different department. It was then that I realized why Thunderbirds were so special. We genuinely care; care enough to trust, to be humble and to take responsibility over the success of a fellow T-bird.
What is your Thunderbird moment? That single moment that made you first realize what a powerful and meaningful network is behind this small business school situated in the quiet deserts of Arizona. We will be thrilled to hear your stories.