The Toolbox of Knowledge

By Kelly Swanson

2141239On Demand means just that, it’s on-demand. Your attention is on demand and your time is on demand. Nowhere was that apparent than at our Regional Business Experiences (RBE). I am writing a lot about the RBE’s because until you experience one you can only use your imagination to fill in the blanks from what you have heard. I think so far I have given you a pretty good example of how “on the go” they are.  I heard the China RBE was rigorous as was the Peru RBE. I can only assume the other RBE’s are the same. It’s an opportunity to escape the confines of college and jump into the business world to test the waters. Many of us have been in the business world, but not necessarily in those countries. Those that have fill us with additional information we would not have otherwise known to even ask. This multi-factor integration of students, alumni, experience, education, and location fuels the experience to the highest-level of saturation. Like being embalmed with business knowledge.

So far, you have heard about the food experience, the nightlife, the people, did I mentioned the food? What I want to mention this week is the location based curriculum. Everyday we learned not just about Peru, but also about South America and its history. Likewise China’s RBE learned about the other countries that interact with China and we were no different. An old saying says “you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from.” We learned about Venezuela and how their former leader Hugo Chavez took over, was a charismatic leader, but was very much a dictator, and he made a point to tell the world he was in charge of his country. Ironically, once we got back from the RBE he died from his long battle with cancer. In Peru, we learned about Fujimori another charismatic leader who during his time almost took his leadership to the brink of being a full-blown dictator for the sake of his country. It’s a leadership experience that must be journeyed because sometimes you see no other choice, but to make the hardest decisions for your life, and for the future lives of those you are entrusted with.  Fujimori currently is unable to speak due to tongue cancer and is on suicide watch. Leaders come and go. While Fujimori is remembered for stabilizing the economy of Peru, he is also remembered more so for his corruption, brutality and constitutional changes.

In contrast, the leaders that Thunderbird creates are those that generate economic viability and stability. We learn from many leaders’ mistakes, and take away the positive items to collect in our toolbox of knowledge. From this toolbox we can provide corporations, governments, and ourselves the use of those tools to make them better than they were before. The RBE is one such toolbox of tools that we haul away with us. This past week Thunderbird was awarded 1st place in International Business by U.S. News and World Reports again beating Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford. I know our student body is proud of that achievement, but we are always striving to maintain our leadership in the field of international business keeping our toolbox full of great ideas, and capabilities.

These past few weeks have been great. I am looking forward to the next RBE and I invite anyone to email me there thoughts, insights, and adventures that they experienced at their RBEs. I will take the best and include them here in the future. As always, be proud of your hard work and achievements. Check back next week to fill your tool box of knowledge and don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and give us a “Like” if you want to hear more. Also tell us what you think in our new Survey!! So long for now and remember… The bird is the word!!

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