By Kelly Swanson
We meet people everyday. Walking down the street, eating in a restaurant, and going on vacation. While not a vacation, an On-Demand RBE is a business venture that will pay dividends for the rest of our “on-demand” lives. As On-Demand MBA students, we are the misfits that venture out and take chances. While many people stay and talk about venturing out of their comfort zones, a t-bird travels first, and then advocates their adventures. We live to interact with the world. We don’t like to see people not living their dreams, but we would rather talk from experience so that we can influence opinion by proclaiming, “I did it and you can too!” This “can do” spirit is another cornerstone of the Thunderbird mystique and is embedded into each student that graduates from Thunderbird School of Global Management’s On –Demand program, and Full-Time program.
In Lima Peru, our goal as students is to embed the “social license” into our mindset so that we may be conscientious business executives that succeed at all levels of business from the bottom to the top of the social strata. We take the human element into every business decision we make. We met with many talented alumni that encouraged us by talking about their experiences in Peru and South America. We came away with plenty of contacts, business cards, and memories, but we also found that our expectations were being met. We all had that experience that Thunderbird is famous for. One example of this week’s experience was started with Carlos Neuhaus; a very dynamic alumnus that has started many businesses and social programs here in Peru, the largest by far being MegaPlaza Mall. If MegaPlaza had been Neuhaus’s only single success, that would have been an astounding achievement, but it wasn’t. Neuhaus spearheaded the effort to create the 100,000 Women Project in Peru partnering with MiBanco. MiBanco is a large financial organization based in Lima, Peru. Neuhaus’s project is called the El Gran Salto, dedicated to getting 100,000 women independent loans. This past few weeks, across the globe, RBE students in China were entertaining themselves and the world with their viral YouTube video the Hong Kong Shake and the newest TV star T-Birds in Lima Peru on Hola a Todas! TV show. Wherever our T-Birds go, it’s certain that we are going to take our talent there and show the world what we can do. We have plenty of pictures from the Lima RBE here and here. We also have some pictures of the Hong Kong RBE too. We met with many other alumni that I will showcase all this month.
I wanted to bring some attention to the fact that while we travel, we are experiencing a viewpoint that is rarely seen in the world of business. The actual human effects of good business usually are only seen in the balance sheets and statements of a business, but to go out and experience both sides of the economic picture is of unknown value. An RBE is a great experience to see those sides and how it can change a person, a country, and a continent. To see forthright efforts to better someone’s life through great business ethics is hard to explain in words. You have to experience it. Don’t hesitate to make a difference everyday. We have the power to change the world and Thunderbird is showing us how to do it better than anyone else. Next week I will continue with the RBE experience, and talk about the companies Thunderbird partners with. So long fellow t-birds, and remember the bird is the word!