This is part of Das Tor’s ongoing series, “Club Spotlight,” in which the leadership of different Thunderbird clubs describe their mission, goals, and why students should consider joining their group.
If you were to ask me when I first recognized my global mindset, I probably would say middle school. My Spanish teacher’s patience was wearing thin as I continued to say I was “pregnant” (embarazado) rather than “embarrassed” (avergonzado), my Geography teacher was teaching me goofy mnemonics to memorize capital cities (if you rip a fish’s fin off, then it sinks to Hell; therefore the capital of Finland is Helsinki), and the Winter Olympics had just ended in my hometown. As an adult, that global mindset deepened while volunteering in Miami, Florida, as I interacted with many newly arrived immigrants from across the world. Needless to say, the world caught my interest pretty young, so Thunderbird was the obvious next step for my educational goals.
Common to this uncommon place are similar stories and a passion for all things global. It has been my privilege to see that passion firsthand as President of the Thunderbird Campus Ambassadors for the past academic year. Campus Ambassadors are tasked with promoting and representing Thunderbird to alumni, employers, prospective students, and the general public. Commonly known as “CAs,” Campus Ambassadors contribute four hours a month to promoting the school to targeted audiences in hopes of further generating interest in the school. It is an outstanding opportunity for CAs to network and encourage further engagement with the school.
With responsibilities that put us less than six feet away from others, you can imagine the COVID-19 pandemic hit our group significantly. We typically promote Thunderbird at tabling events on ASU campuses, graduate school fairs, campus tours, community service opportunities, and guest speakers. Each of those events either moved virtual or disappeared. But true to Thunderbird spirit, we adapted quickly to the virtual nature of work and have found significant success in doing so.
We owe this success to the leadership of our Admissions and Recruiting office, the Campus Ambassador Leadership Team, and Campus Ambassadors. Our Virtual Premiere Days have seen some of their highest attendance in years, and the number of countries represented in our student body continues to grow. With the 75th anniversary of Thunderbird and the grand opening of our Global Headquarters later this year, it truly is “a good time to be a Thunderbird.” As Thunderbird continues to expand how it communicates its value to the public, that recognition only benefits current students and alumni. The future is very bright for us as we enter 2021.
As 2021 progresses, CAs will represent Thunderbird to a number of audiences in virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. We will be hands on in showcasing our new building to the public and will continue to be the external-facing team for Thunderbird.
With all of these exciting events, Campus Ambassadors welcome anyone interested in practicing the passion they feel for the school by applying to be a Campus Ambassador in Fall 2021. For those graduating soon, we are pleased to announce an expansion of the Campus Ambassador program is in the pilot stage. Global Alumni Ambassadors are expected to launch this year and will be open to alumni, whether they were previously Campus Ambassadors or not. Global Alumni Ambassadors will offer a valuable, different perspective to prospective students as they consider the next step in their educational goals.
A lot of time has passed since I was “embarazado” in middle school, but I have never been prouder to be a T-bird.