Get to Know the Underbirds

By Alina Buzgar, Editor-in-Chief

Located just a mile east from Thunderbird Campus, the ASU West Campus  is where undergraduate T-birds started their Bachelor’s in Global Management (BGM) this August. I had the opportunity to meet the first BGM class a few weeks ago and I wasn’t at all surprised they are amazing young-bright-eyed-witty-youngsters eager to start their journey through college. They made it clear they are underbirds on their way to becoming thunderbirds. Meet Anastasiya and Askia.


Anastasiya Borunova

Anastasiya Borunova
Anastasiya Borunova

I am from Poltava, Ukraine. I moved to United States when I was 10 years old. My original plan was to go to Arizona State University, get a Bachelors of Arts in Global Leadership and then go to Thunderbird to get my Masters. One day I got a call from ASU and they said that I am now part of Thunderbird. That was the best news I have ever heard, because now I could do what I wanted to do plus much more. I was very exited about this because I knew that it will give me more opportunities and experiences. I knew about Thunderbird before, because since I was little I wanted to do Global Business, so when it was time to look I ran across Thunderbird and I heard many great things about the school fro people. Sadly it was a graduate school when I did my research, but now I get to be part of it.

I plan to do a lot of things during my four years of college. For now I am getting used to the atmosphere and all my classes. I am staying very focused on getting good grades and also getting involved in things. My friends and I already started our own organization at the West campus, it is called Different Minds Think Alike. My friends and I are all from different backgrounds, so we decided to create this organizations that is based on different cultures coming together and creating a cultural community here at the West campus. For the next three years I will continue to be focused on my education and also getting started on getting internships as early as possible. I am also learning Arabic language, so I spend my time trying to perfect it.

My biggest passion right now is getting involved in different types or events, organizations and just going places. I love going to the ASU football games and showing my spirit and I also love going to the Thunderbird events, like their cultural nights. Most of my days I spend time with my T-bird family here at ASU. We have movie nights, study sessions, and we even eat dinner together.

Photo courtesy Anastasiya Borunova
Photo courtesy Anastasiya Borunova

I think that my previous work prepared me a lot for the BGM program and also the real world. I worked for a multi million dollar company called The Gold Rush Store, here in Phoenix. There I learned the basics of running a business and also how to work with people that are from different countries. Some of my achievements that I am proud of is I finished high school with straight A’s and on Dean’s list. Also I participate in Miss Teen Phoenix/Tucson 2014 and made the top five. My most recent achievement is starting an organization with my friends in our first year of college.

I think that this program is absolutely amazing! I wouldn’t want to be a part of anything else. I love how the first year BGMers are so close and how much we help each other to succeed. Also, I really like meeting the graduates from Thunderbird and hearing their experiences, their background and why they choose Thunderbird. I think that it’s great how diverse Thunderbird is and how we can just all come together and be a family. This is why Thunderbird is number one.


Askia Stewart Jr

Askia Stewart Jr
Askia Stewart Jr

I was born in Glendale, Arizona and moved to Ahwatukee, Arizona – the worlds largest cul-de-sac – when I was in high school. I did not know about Thunderbird until I was given the opportunity to take BGM versus International Business with W.P. Carey. This choice has proven to be the better of the two thus far. What surprised me the most was how personable all the professors were. They made it very clear that they wanted us to succeed and were willing to do whatever it takes for us to be successful.

Going into college, I intentionally created a clean slate for myself. This included removing any goals I thought I had beforehand. I did this because I view college as a time when you develop your goals. It’s almost unfair to go into it with biased opinions. When I was a freshman in high school, I broke my leg (13 screws, a plate, and a rod).

What do you feel prepared you for BGM?

I thank my parents. BGM has been somewhat hard and I feel if I hadn’t gotten the proper education, I would be struggling a lot more. My parents would drive 45 minutes everyday in order to get me through one of the best education systems in the state of Arizona and for that, I am forever grateful.

Is there a message you would like to share with graduates at Thunderbird?

I created a video over this past summer about our generation: Millennials. The purpose of this video was to highlight our generation and flip the many different perceptions that older generations have towards us. I cannot explain how many times I have overheard someone judging how distant and too tech-involved our generation is. One of the main themes within the video was that these older generations don’t recognize the potential we millennials have. So if I were to say anything to a graduate at Thunderbird, it would be to please recognize the positive aspects of our generation. Put us in positions to make powerful moves and ultimately lead because teenagers are now better equipped to make a difference than ever before. The time for success is not in 25 years but rather NOW.


We hope that you enjoyed getting to know Anastasia and Askia. We will be featuring a few more underbirds in the next few weeks.

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First-year student Simon Roca describes his new business Kogo, which helps the environment and small-scale farmers in Panama by upcycling coffee cherries into a delicious new superfood product.

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