On-Demand? Why would someone do that?

By Kelly Swanson


When I saw the staff of the Das Tor listed in the magazine I asked myself, “Where are the On-Demand folks?” I kept reading, and found a small article that mentioned the On-Demand program and how they were going on an RBE. Farther back in some other issues it was mentioned again. I thought to myself, “Wow! Thunderbird is missing a sector of the student body and I am going to change that.” So I wrote a letter, and sent a writing sample to the staff of the Das Tor. They were picking the new staff, and I lucked on to the gig, so here I am!

Being in the On-Demand program is an incredible challenge. After spending my initial first week on campus, I realized how both groups of students were uniquely fortunate.  All of the On-Demand students are either attending school and working, or choosing to stay at home with children, or taking care of some other obligation, some are even attending another university while earning a coveted Global MBA or Global Certification from Thunderbird. I will show you over the course of my time writing for Das Tor, an On-Demand student’s perspective of what we are all about.

In our first week on campus, our cohort became family. We found out the last evening of class, that Thunderbird somehow knew, from their selection process, that this group of individuals was going to rise to the occasion as a team.  We are the “über-Misfits.” Not only do we want to be Thunderbirds, we are going to do it on our own terms. We are not content to being on campus. We did that. We are out in the world now, leading by example, gathering experience while we master probability in Chapter 5, leading operations in Costa Rica for Wal-Mart, trading derivatives at Goldman Sachs, running our own family companies, running Pizza Hut franchises, working on top secret projects for the government, defending our country as Navy Seals, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corp officers, and even working with the International Space Station.

When we aren’t walking the halls of the United Nations, teaching children in Shanghai English, or managing projects for Hershey Corporation; we are setting an example of true determination and solving accounting problems on page 135 during our lunch hours. Are we going to complain? No. We love it, eat it, and crave it like a drug. If we are not going 24/7 with our smartphone in one hand, laptop balancing on the knee, on a conference call, while mixing a birthday cake, on a beach in Hawaii, then life would just be boring for us. We even multi-task when we sleep!

Anything is possible as a Thunderbird On-Demand student, so we live the impossible. So are you ready to learn about our adventures? Stay tuned! I will provide the ultimate insider look into the On-Demand program, the work, the study, the fun, and the parties. What poker game…? Till next time, the bird is the word!

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