Update 01/31

Courtesy: Rebecca Henriksen
Courtesy: Rebecca Henriksen

Dear T-birds,

Let me start this week’s update by wishing you a HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!

It’s been quite a week! It’s great to see our wonderful returning students on campus – you are going to enjoy your new classmates.

I know there has been a good deal of conversation and concern amongst our student body over the publicity flurry that occurred over the past few days, specifically the neighborhood flier I wrote to you about on Wednesday, and recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Arizona Republic. I know there was also disappointment over Thunderbird’s absence on the Financial Times top 100 list. While I won’t go into great detail about each issue in this update, I did want to provide a few thoughts about each:

  • Neighborhood flier – I won’t say much here since I addressed this earlier, but I want to assure you that Thunderbird has a great relationship with the City of Glendale and is in regular communication with city leaders. They are supportive of our growth plans and excited about the positive impact our continued and increased success will have on the entire community. In response to my note earlier this week, a few students suggested that we organize a community event/outreach and I think that is a great idea. I will discuss how to make this happen with your TSG leaders and get back to you soon!
  • WSJ and AZ Republic articles – I have learned that when you have a world-class reputation, the press is interested in you – especially if the story involves controversy. Many of you have asked why Thunderbird doesn’t respond with positive articles about Thunderbird. I assure you that we have pitched interesting, balanced stories but we cannot control what publications choose to print. We have engaged well-known, experienced experts to consult with us and guide us and will keep trying to get our positive story of innovation and growth out there. I’ve also learned that Thunderbird alumni are the most passionate, engaged alumni group in the world. Many Thunderbird alumni support the Laureate alliance because they understand the long-term benefits of the partnership, but another group of passionate, vocal alumni will continue to work to stop the alliance until all approvals are received and the transaction closes. Both groups love the school but clearly have very different ideas on the right path forward. The bottom line will be the actual results. When the real benefits of the alliance are realized, Thunderbird will be stronger than ever.
  • FT Top 100 Ranking – This was indeed a disappointment but not one that was completely unexpected. Thunderbird lost its place in the FT listing last year, primarily due to salary data which makes up 40% of the weighting for this particular publication. Comparing Thunderbird to more traditional MBA programs is somewhat like comparing apples to oranges in that the internationalism of our students tends to impact both our employment rates and our average salaries.  While most Thunderbird graduates receive salaries comparable to other top MBA programs, a good number of our graduates choose non-traditional employment paths, sometimes in countries where the average salary is very different than a U.S. salary, and sometimes in roles where success is measured in ways beyond salary.  All this being said, we understand the importance of this ranking and have a strategy underway that will allow us to regain our place in the top 100 and #1 in the international specialty ranking. Under Guy Groff’s leadership, we’ve seen a 16% improvement in MBA employment at 90-days (61.4% in 2013 compared to 45.5% in 2012). This is a huge step in the right direction with more positive trends on the horizon.

Okay, enough of that. There is a lot of important information, including some looming deadlines, in this week’s update, so please take time to read it carefully. Here is what you’ll find in this week’s update:

1. First Friday Student Feedback Session: Rebecca Henriksen and other members of Thunderbird administration will host monthly Student Feedback sessions, usually on the first Friday of the month. This is an opportunity for students to share their ideas and concerns with administration, and a way to keep the lines of communication open. All students are invited and a box lunch is served. You are invited to our first feedback session of the spring trimester on Friday, February 7th from 11:45am – 1:00pm in the Herberger HC 123. We realize this is a busy day with the TSG meeting at 1:00pm followed by Club Day at the TEC, but we hope you can join us. Please RSVP to Michelle Olesen, michelle.olesen@thunderbird.edu, no later than this coming Sunday, February 2nd so we can order your lunch!

2. Apply to be Thunderbird Student Government First and Second Trimester Representative: Do you want to be part of Thunderbird’s amazing events but are not sure how? Or maybe you want to help tailor the academic curriculum to better fit the students’ needs? Perhaps, you want to work closer with the career aspect and help the communication between the student and the CMC? Whatever your passion is, the Thunderbird Student Government can help it develop into a key differentiator for you. In addition, the Thunderbird Student Government can definitely benefit from your particular skills. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please apply for the Thunderbird Student Government First and Second Trimester Representative positions. The application is attached and the deadline is February 3rd at 11:59 p.m. Click this link to learn more! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4pfTGw-iNE. We look forward to working with you!!

3. Global Connect – Arizona Trade Finance Seminar, February 21st: Mark your calendars for: Global Connect – Arizona Trade Finance Seminar, a must attend event for Arizona small and medium-sized businesses, especially Hispanic-owned, that are interested in entering, growing, and succeeding in global markets. This full day of sessions will also provide great networking opportunities for our students. Discounted rate (includes lunch) $45.00. Must use THUNDER at time of registration. The event is on Friday, Feb. 21 from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. in the Yount Auditorium. For more information see attachment or visit: http://fcibglobal.com/events/event-calendar/details/210-arizona-trade-finance-seminar.html

4. Super Bowl Party at the Thunderbird Pub:

Sunday, February 2nd
Pub Opens at 3:30pm & Closes 1 Hour After the Big Game
Drink Specials & Food Specials
Bring ID 21 & Over

5. Campus Ambassadors Program – Deadline to apply is Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:59pm: Are you passionate about Thunderbird’s history and Thunderbird’s global community? Does it excite you to meet other like-minded potential T-Birds and encourage them to attend Thunderbird? Apply to the Campus Ambassadors program to engage in shaping the next generation of global T-Birds. You will have the opportunity to advise and speak with prospective and admitted students, join them at Campus Preview Weekends, facilitate class visits, and lead campus tours. Apply now at MTB> Sitemap> Campus Ambassadors> Spring 2014 Application. Applications will only be accepted until Sunday, February 2, 2014, 11:59pm and interviews will be held February 3, 2014-February 7, 2014.

6. Thunderbird Honor Council Membership Application is open – Deadline to apply is Monday, February 3, at 11:59 p.m: It is time to be part of Thunderbird Honor Council. The spring trimester application is up on the Honor Council MTB page or you can apply online through http://goo.gl/OmrkeA . Deadline: Monday, February 3, 11:59 PM. All current Thunderbird students in good standing are welcome to apply to the Honor Council. Our members represent the leadership, professionalism, diversity and integrity of the Thunderbird community. It is a unique place to gain experience, show your talents, and build a professional network!

7. ThunderCares is Scheduled for Saturday, April 5: Dear Thunderbird Community, I know I am a little late but I would like to welcome you to a new school year, as well as a new year to mark a difference in the community around us. This year, ThunderCares will be happening on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Please mark it on your calendars. I am currently working on finding amazing projects for our community to be a part of. If you have any questions or suggestions please contact me, Alejandra Fenandez (alefdzlynch@global.t-bird.edu). I would love to hear your input!

8. AD WARS VI: The Thunderbird Marketing Association proudly presents AD WARS VI with Professor Baer!

The TMA & Prof. Baer are back by popular demand with AD WARS VI!! Understand and compete on what makes ads effective to win a prize! AD WARS is your chance to learn about what makes advertising effective – using the ads from this weekend’s Super Bowl. (https://www.facebook.com/events/663909080323206/)

When: 1 pm on Wednesday, 5th February
Where: Yount 100
The TMA will provide complimentary snacks and drinks.
See you there!

9. Pre-Graduation Information Packet for Spring 2014: Attached is a copy of the Pre-Graduation Information Packet for spring 2014. In this document, you will find useful information on dates and times of the Graduation Fair (purchase caps, gowns, etc.), date and time of graduating class photo, information sessions for your transition from student to alumni and exit sessions Financial Aid (attendance is mandatory), when you need to be at the graduation, how to be a flag bearer, etc. Please read through this packet thoroughly. If you have any questions, please contact Torrey Mann at torrey.mann@thunderbird.edu.

10. Africa Business Club presents the weekly Brown Bag Lunch series beginning Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 with Professor Roe C. Goddard:

Global Political economy & Africa Development
Trade Relationship Between Africa & Asia
Location: Tower Conference Room
Date: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Time: 1-2:30 pm
RSVP: None- Seating on first come, first serve basis.
For more information, contact Peter Mayangi (peter.mayangi@global.t-bird.edu)

11. Professional Development Week, the week of March 17th: Just a reminder – Professional Development Week is an important, fruitful, necessary week for students who are serious about their career search. While it is tempting to look at this week as “spring break,” it is not spring break. The information and programming that will be presented is extremely relevant and something you have paid for through your tuition. Please plan to participate. Please contact your Career Coach with questions.

I want to end by assuring you that the future is very bright for Thunderbird. This is a time of transition for our beloved institution — and meaningful transition is never pain-free. Like any living, breathing organization, we will continue to face challenges as we move forward, but we have an exciting future to look forward to. Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm.  Our students are the best in the world.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me with questions or ideas.
All the best,

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