Grad's global mindset influenced enrollment in Thunderbird program
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.
Korean by birth and American by citizenship, Jai Choi has always looked at the world from multiple perspectives. The Master of Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University appealed to him for that exact reason.
“The global mindset that Thunderbird aspires for, drew me to the program and its people,” said Choi, a recipient of both the Thunderbird Alumni Scholarship and Dave Fisher and Mitch Kanai Scholarship.
“I wanted to learn from others who had success in creating economic engines in different global contexts and challenges. I wanted to be a part of where Thunderbird was going.”
Now, as Choi graduates this spring, he has some advice for students just beginning their education at Thunderbird. His recommendation? Don’t take anything for granted.
“Take the time at Thunderbird as a precious gift," he said. "It is an opportunity for relationships, paradigm shifts and amassing fundamental skills for our dynamic world.
"Consume the knowledge as life-giving nutrients and learn to digest the content thoughtfully and sift for insights towards problems you see around you. Read all the assignments that professors have thoughtfully curated for their content. And finally, enjoy the pub.”
Question: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at Thunderbird?
Answer: This is a difficult question because I have learned fundamentally important things from every professor and class that I have taken. I appreciated the welcome and open doors that each professor demonstrated to students. They each opened new worlds of mindset and possibilities for us. They taught us to ask good questions and think. We learned practical skills to navigate the cultures and personalities. They encouraged us to start and create rather than follow. Yet, they also taught us to learn to be good followers and to respect the ecosystem of leadership necessary in any worthwhile endeavors.
Q: What has your experience at Thunderbird been like?
A: As a mid-career person, I was probably the oldest student in my class. Yet, I only experienced inclusion and friendship from my peers. I appreciated the learning mindset of everyone and was grateful to be in a community with future leaders who will impact and influence globally. I look forward to continuing to be in a network of alumni and sharing the trajectory as lifelong learners together.
Q: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
A: I am grateful for the opportunity to be a learner. I have had the opportunity to learn at Thunderbird from some of the finest practitioners and thinkers in the world of international commerce, whose mission is to make the world a better place for everyone. I only wish that more people in the world have had the opportunities that I have had. It grieves me to realize the majority of the world population has yet to realize their full potential simply because of a lack of opportunities. I hope to be part of the solution to change this problem of unequally distributed opportunities.