From Foundations to Graduation

By Richard Dennis ’14 & Vivek Khurana ’14

Courtesy: Thunderbird School of Global Management
Courtesy: Thunderbird School of Global Management

We find ourselves at the end of a defining adventure, full of friends we never expected to meet, and experiences we never thought we would have, but now will never forget. We won’t forget Foundations – our first steps at Thunderbird, that eye-opening day in GPE when we learned that Canada is in fact a country, or the craziness of Pub nights! But more important than the things we have learned are the friendships we have made.

We can all look back with gratitude for that specific professor that took time for us personally, or that faculty member that made it easier for us to reach our goals, or cohort leaders and cohort members that welcomed us home. We have all enjoyed that walk through the front doors of the commons during lunch hours, where you can’t help but run into smiling friends reliving the terrors of the most recent quiz, class assignment or final exam.

From GPE to TGE

For some, our international journey began with a Global Political exploration in LH 53, only to be followed by practical experience in nations abroad. For the majority that global experience was right here in North America, others found themselves in South Africa, East Asia or Western Europe; and everywhere in-between. For T-Birds, the map of the world is not a demarcation of countries, but a destination checklist; and even if we did not make it all the way north, or east, or south or west; our friends brought those regions to us with regional nights, regional food, regional dance, regional song, and regional hospitality.

We hear stories from the ‘module-abroaders’, of Prague being ‘funner’ than China, the Great Wall being a better ‘wonder’ than Machu Pichu, and that the ‘Glendale module’ rocked the most! All this friendly banter counted for nothing when everybody convened back at Thunderbird for the following trimester, and emotions ran wild. There, cultural, regional experiences were shared, gifts exchanged; but most importantly, everybody went Global+1, post their experiences.

Regional nights, Ethnic festivals

T-birds live together, eat together, and what more, they party together! Regional nights were occasions of cultural exchanges, nights to wear colors of different countries, and dance to tunes unheard, unknown, and incomprehensible, and yet have the time of our life. Splashing colors, spraying water, national delicacies, the urge to match what our friends were doing across the world, or do it better even– all added to the T-birdness! The cultural mash-up just doesn’t end there.

From the pool to the pub to the pitch, we all have cherished memories of campus. The most under-rated, yet the most frequented cross-cultural setting – the student kitchen – where the most experiments take place and eventually, ThunderRecipies are born! Birthday cakes at the fish, followed by midnight swims.. Late nights, or should we say early mornings, socializing with friends outside the pub.

Courtesy: Deepali Ramaiah
Courtesy: Deepali Ramaiah

An honorary mention to the ThunderRunner – Thunderbird’s publicly owned private car; without which early morning beer and late night coffees would not have been possible!

So now, on the verge of being prefixed by ‘ex-‘, to all our friends we say – Se gledame naskoro, Hasta luego, Ja matane, Xiazian, Até logo, phir milenge, matthe sigona, Ma elsalama, Dasvidaniya, see you later, Jer gun mai, Hop maili, Me Hun, hanggang sa muling pagkikta… for with T-birds you never know when, where or how you’ll meet, but you can be assured you will meet….so we do not say good-bye, only…. until we meet again…

This is just the beginning…!!

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