The Final Fortnight

By Adam Nilsen

Courtesy: Alison Jian
Courtesy: Alison Jian

As I look back at my schedule for the last two weeks, I can see “class, meeting, class, meeting, class…” I have a to-do list that tracks each trimester and as each day dawns, it gets smaller and smaller. Case write-ups for Global Strategy – check. Interviews for Business Intelligence – check. Surveys for Consumer Insight – check. Things are coming to a head. My groups this trimester have been the best yet: members are cohesive and we seem to flow. Sure, you have the occasional rouge, but that’s every group and that’s the real world. I’ve learned at school that I’m better at leading teams than I am at crunching numbers. Odd since I have 8 years of finance. I will take a lot of good things from Thunderbird. Beyond the normal MBA stuff, I’ve learned some very valuable things:

  • The ability to collaborate in groups and use healthy influence to get things done.
  • I can go into almost any global business discussion and not be an idiot. Thank you Professors Goddard (GPE), Babarinde (RBE), and Dash (High Performance Economies).
  • I’ve learned a tremendous amount about my friends’ traditions, origins, and customs.
  • I feel like I can be culturally competent in many parts of the world. I may be a ‘gringo’, but I won’t necessarily be a gringo ‘estupido’.
Courtesy: Deepali Ramaiah
Courtesy: Deepali Ramaiah

In the Commons today, I walked by Monica Zhou. I saw her and thought of our cohort, and I missed her already. In my brief 12 months at Thunderbird, I’ve grown close to many people and I think we can all relate to that on campus. It’s like being caught in a Catch-22: I’m sad about leaving my Thunder friends but am excited about new opportunities that await. If I can only make it through three more papers, three more presentations, say goodbye to people I love, pack up my home, get rid of my couches, get my car fixed, and wrap it all up in the next 10 days. My ‘to do’ list is quit long – but I did not come to Thunderbird ‘to do’ things. I came here ‘to become’. And I am becoming what I had hoped to – more capable, a better leader, a better provider for my family, and a better person with a wider understanding of God’s creation.

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