This month, Patrick McDermott has joined Thunderbird as the School’s Chief Engagement Officer, a position that is responsible for Thunderbird’s relationships with alumni, partners, donors, and friends. He joins Thunderbird’s executive leadership team, under the leadership of Dr. Allen Morrison.
News & Notes
T-birds travel and get involved wherever global business happens. But that is only half the story. Increasingly, current and future global leaders come to Arizona to study and learn at the world’s No. 1 school of international management. News & Notes captures the highlights.
Thunderbird School of Global Management:
Our Commitment to Alumni
Thunderbird alumni have played a critical role in the history of the School. They are central to the global prominence and strength of the Thunderbird brand. Alumni represent the reputation of the School on a daily basis through their accomplishments and the ‘Thunderbird mystique’ that they bring to their professional careers and personal leadership.
Attending this year’s Net Impact Conference in Seattle was an event I was looking forward to immensely. As a Thunderbird graduate student, I was particularly excited to be among roughly 2,500 like-minded individuals from different graduate schools, backgrounds, and countries. I enjoyed strolling though the vibrant streets of downtown Seattle despite the chilly fall weather. A beautiful vibrant city for an exuberant event that left me more energized and inspired.
The plight of the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Syria and other war-ravaged countries in the region – the majority of whom are seeking shelter across Europe – has captured the hearts and minds of many around the globe.
Among those struck by the extreme hardships confronting the refugees is a graduate student from Mobile, Ala., who had been traveling in Europe. Motivated to find a way to help, he used his background in information technology and software to help provide something in high demand but extremely scarce: information.
One of our initiatives this year has been to consolidate and reorganize the alumni engagement activity associated with Thunderbird. As you may know, we merged the TGC and the ACT into one entity and asked our alumni (and some notable friends of the School) to apply for membership into a newly formed entity, the Thunderbird Executive Leadership Council.
Inflation of currency is a concern for economic prosperity, however typically one does not see it putting a halt to all of life’s plans. Well, for Thunderbird student Carlos Melendez Moreno of Maracaibo, Venezuela, that nearly became the reality. The currency crisis in Venezuela nearly cut short his Thunderbird journey. Melendez came within days of losing his student visa and being forced to return home; and worse, to not finish his program within the Thunderbird teach-out would mean he would never complete his MS of Global Management, even if he came back to the U.S.
The Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) is happy to welcome back two consulting teams that spent an exciting summer in Myanmar and Colombia. TEM Lab is also preparing to send MBA and Executive MBA students to work on projects in countries like Senegal, Romania, Peru, Nepal and Thailand.
On Sept. 5, 2015, the Thunderbird Old Boys RFC, a rugby club of T-bird graduates, gathered in Miami to head to Havana, Cuba for the ‘Mojito Tour II’, the return to the island nation after 12 years. Our side ranged from the Class of ‘87 to ‘12,and numbered 22 players. In addition, we had 18 dedicated supporters along for the ride.
On a recent trip to Bangalore, I had the pleasure of spending an evening enjoying the company of T-bird alums, hearing their stories and sharing an update about events at the school.
When Griffith David ‘96 was living in the Bay area in California in 2007 working for and technology solutions company, about the only thing he knew about Subway sandwich shops was what his stomach told him when he was hungry. Griffith was an IT guy.
But he was a T-bird IT guy. And that makes a difference.
So, fast forward nearly a decade and it will surprise few in the Thunderbird alumni network that last month, Griffith David won the award for operating the highest volume Subway store worldwide.