By: Alexander Davis, MBA’12
On Tuesday, the 4th December, five Thunderbird students added to the school’s legacy of being an influential institution at leading change in international business. As part of their project in Dr. Finney’s Consulting Practicum, Patrick Cole, Alex Davis, Stephen Sheldon, Megan Sievert and Luis Vidal presented to over 100 government and private sector constituents at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix about how to increase bilateral trade between Arizona and Mexico. The team was proud to take this outstanding project initiated by a group of Thunderbird consultants in Dr. Finney’s Consulting Practicum previously in spring 2012 to the second phase.
Garnering local and national news coverage, the presentation was both informational and instructional. The five consultants explained the business landscape of small and medium sized companies in Arizona and Mexico, what the near-shoring phenomenon means for Mexico and Arizona, the importance of family businesses in Mexico, and how Arizona companies should effectively build commercial relationships in Mexico. Beyond explaining these topics in detail, the consultants provided a road map for the Maricopa County Economic Development Commission, outlining their recommendations for strategic action in the near-term, medium-term and long-term.
The T-Bird consultants went beyond the scope of the project to make for a truly historic event. After their presentation, the consultants arranged for Maricopa County government officials to meet face to face with their counterparts from Sonora, Mexico, Arizona’s cross border neighbor in Mexico and largest trading partner, for the very first time. The consultants outlined topics of conversation for the two parties to discuss. With the understanding that Arizona and Sonora will become increasingly more dependent on one another over the years to come, it is necessary to hold conversations about strategic economic development right now.
The Consulting Practicum presentation at the Sheraton was an important event on many fronts. It provided new insights about how to lay the foundation for Arizona’s economic development with Mexico. The event also brought government leaders from both regions into the same room to begin establishing relationships with one another. Thunderbird consultants represented our global community and promoted Thunderbird as a beacon of change in international business today. Finally, the event offered five T-Birds the opportunity to proudly demonstrate their hard work under the limelight of a ballroom full of highly-interested professionals.
Not bad for school project. A classic example of why we should never be surprised at what is brewing in this quiet campus in Glendale.