Get to Know the Underbirds

By Alina Buzgar, Editor-in-Chief

Located just a mile east from Thunderbird Campus, the Arizona State University (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 Chen and Marissa.

Chen Chen

Chen 2
Chen Chen in American Football Uniform (photo courtesy Chen Chen)

I came from China, my hometown is called Taiyuan and is a 40 minutes flight from Beijing. There are almost 200 kinds of noodles in my hometown. Also, they say Taiyuan is the Dragon city, because there were many emperors connected with my hometown and emperors’ symbol is the dragon.

I heard about Thunderbird before coming here through the internet. There was a list of international business colleges, I saw Thunderbird on that list and close to the top. Because my dad is doing business globally, I wanted to do the same so that I can be of help in the future.

I am taking Spanish classes. It is kind of hard for me because this is my third language and I learn it using English and the pronunciation is difficult. I am trying my best to learn it and I have confidence I will get it soon. I was thinking to do an interview with other Chinese students on campus and see how are they doing during these first months and see how this program is going and doing my best to help it get better. The peers are so friendly and treat me as a family, I never expect that before. And it is easy to build relationships with others. And we have so much passions and make great progress.

I want to travel around the U.S., and learn more during my travels than I can learn from school. I think that is the best way to learn the culture and learn what is different between various parts of the U.S. I am a big fan of sports. I am practicing a lot of sports but I am also interested in the sport market and if I have chance I will take a double major. I was the first Asian basketball player in my high-school basketball team in the school history.

I think for our class, the most important thing is to communicate and exchange the different ideas. Because we are an international group. I hope we can get closer and work as a team, so that we can be unstoppable.

Marissa Milia

Marissa (right) Photo courtesy Marissa

I am from Corning, in upstate New York. During last spring break my dad and I took a road trip to Phoenix, and one of the stops was his Alma Mater, Thunderbird. While there, we went to the alumni office and a representative told me that they were starting an undergrad program at ASU.

I am taking Mandarin right now, and hopefully I can study other languages as well during my years at ASU. I plan on being a part of the culture club that our class started on West Campus. And I want to study abroad as much as I possibly can because I love to travel, see new places and meet new people. After school I plan on traveling, working, maybe going to Thunderbird; but nothing is solid yet. I just got here after all.

Right now I spend my time with the friends that I made here. Most of my friends here are from China, so I get to practice my Mandarin a lot. My passion is to learn languages, so I’m pretty happy where I am right now.

I think my previous year at college prepared me for BGM. I spent a year at a university in Texas and I didn’t spend my time wisely. I learned the hard way about what not to do in school and life. After that year I knew that I didn’t want to be at that school because it didn’t offer what I wanted. So I left. When I got the acceptance letter to ASU into the BGM program, I was so ecstatic and I knew that I would do well this time and really try – especially since this program is everything that I’ve ever wanted out of college.

I would like to say: never give up hope, always go after the things you want, and believe in yourself. All cliché things, but they are cliché because they are true. I want the graduates to know that the undergrads have all become a family. Families accept one another and embrace the differences. I think that is what we have done here, and I would love to see that at Thunderbird as well. If they want to join our little family they are more than welcome to.

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