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Thunderbird graduate utilizes technology to connect cultures around the world

Portrait of ASU student Ashley Hernandez.
May 02, 2022

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.

Ashley Hernandez grew up in San Luis, Arizona, and Mexicali, Mexico. She chose to attend Arizona State University because of the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“Thunderbird uses technology to make business and management more accessible than ever, especially on an international scale, and I want to take full advantage of this opportunity,” said the recipient of both the Obama Scholarship and Education Forward Arizona. “My bicultural upbringing made me an individual who is eager for knowledge. This is why I decided to come to Thunderbird; I wanted to learn more about other cultures and business through a global lens.”

Ashley’s interest in learning about different countries and cultures contributed to her pursuit of a Bachelor of Global Management (BGM) degree from Thunderbird.

Hernandez said that she always knew she wanted to go to college. Both her parents have degrees, but while she was in high school, she learned she had to contribute to household bills and help with the responsibilities at home, like caregiving, cooking and cleaning, while her parents also worked. Hernandez appreciated having had significant experiences and responsibilities early on.

“My mom and dad got their degrees later in life while raising my sister and me," said Hernandez. “I would constantly see them working hard to be good parents without compromising their goals. Life is hard, and my parents have always been there to guide and support me no matter the path I choose.”

“A special shout out to all parents and guardians who are helping guide their kids through a university setting! Thanks for being a shoulder to lean on,” she said.

Question: What do you love about being a T-bird?

Answer: I LOVE being a part of a community that can be found across the world. No matter where you are, you will always seem to find another fellow Tbird. Whether it be at a coffee shop in Phoenix, the airport or even in a small town in Mexico, Thunderbirds are all over the world.

Q: What's something you learned while at Thunderbird — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: During my time at Thunderbird, I learned about the value of teamwork and how working in a team can create a greater impact than working alone. All my Thunderbird classes required us to work with one another, whether it be through a project or a simple class discussion. I truly enjoyed getting to know all my classmates and learning from them.

Q: What motivates or inspires you?

A: My parents will always be the people I look up to. They have taught me the importance of following your dreams and self improvement.

Q: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

A: It is impossible only to pick one aspect of my life that I am most grateful for. Since it is graduation season, I will mention one that is fitting for this occasion: I am most grateful for the opportunity to study at the Thunderbird School of Global Management without any financial burdens. Thanks to ASU and Education Forward Arizona, I was given scholarships that helped pay for my education.