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Thunderbird School welcomes record-breaking cohort of students

This year's Master of Global Management cohort hails from nearly 30 countries


Group of students pose for a photo at Thunderbird School of Global Management during Foundations, Thunderbird's new student orientation.

Students celebrate their first week at Thunderbird School of Global Management during Foundations, Thunderbird's new student orientation.

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August 26, 2022

This fall, the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University welcomes the next generation of future global leaders and managers and marks the start of the semester with a record-breaking cohort.

From Aug. 14–17, students in the Master of Global Management program, Thunderbird's flagship degree, arrived at the newly opened, state-of-the-art 110,000 square-foot F. Francis and Dionne Najafi Thunderbird Global Headquarters in downtown Phoenix.

Students participated in Thunderbird's new student orientation, Foundations, where they met faculty, staff and other students before classes started. This year's Master of Global Management cohort hails from nearly 30 countries, including India, China, Mexico, Taiwan, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia. 

Over the last few years, Thunderbird students have fostered a sense of community through Foundations, and are encouraged to network and collaborate throughout the week's events. Some of the more anticipated events and sessions included ThunderOlympics and learning about the Thunderbird Mystique, which are both part of Thunderbird's time-honored traditions.

Thunderbird's excellence and impact have also been accelerated by its increasingly diverse community of students, where varied experiences and perspectives help prepare students for successful careers in a globally-connected world. 

Tallin Speek, a Barrett, The Honors College student, is currently enrolled in Thunderbird’s accelerated master's program, earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical systems engineering from ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering while concurrently pursuing a Master of Global Management degree.

"I enrolled in Thunderbird's (Master of Global Management) program to gain the business and communication skills needed to operate internationally and, more importantly, expand my global perspective and network," he says. "Being immersed in a program with an international cohort and faculty offers me the invaluable skills to work globally and the social connections to travel anywhere in the world with colleagues I met from class."

Incoming students also participated in the Opening Flag Ceremony, Thunderbird's most unique and cherished tradition. Students, representing different countries from around the world, present their flags and provide a short statement about their country.

The fall 2022 Master of Global Management cohort is the most diverse and international cohort in Thunderbird's recent history, with 69% of the class coming from a country outside of the United States. Last year, the fall 2021 cohort consisted of 43% international, resulting in an increase in international enrollment by 26%. 

From fall 2018 — which was Director General and Dean Sanjeev Khagram's first semester at Thunderbird — to fall 2021, overall student enrollment at Thunderbird increased by 63%. Within the last year, overall enrollment has increased by an additional 32%.

"I am deeply humbled and proud of the incredible work of our faculty and staff in attracting and captivating the world's brightest minds, all while embracing our global mindset and delivering programs that prepare our students for successful careers around the world," Khagram says. "Our history and evolution over the last 75 years is nothing short of extraordinary. As we welcome our incoming and returning students, we have never been more excited and hopeful about where we will go, what we will do and whom we will impact for generations to come."

As one of the world's most diverse and truly global business and management schools, both incoming and current students are part of a very unique ecosystem, the Thunderbird Family, and are encouraged to find their niche and forge a path to enact positive change in their local and global communities.

A recent Master of Global Management graduate, Diana Salas Díaz, described the value of the diversity in Thunderbird's cohorts.

"I learned how to solve problems using different perspectives," Salas Díaz says. "This was powerful for me because when you come from a different background, you have some concepts and some theories that might not be the same on other continents. In our classes, we share and exchange ideas, which is the most important learning experience anyone can have." 

Thunderbird has over 45,000 alumni in 140-plus countries around the world and regional Centers of Excellence in 15 countries, including Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Japan, China, the U.K., the Netherlands and, most recently, Colombia.

"We are honored to welcome our students back for the start of another academic year," says Sophal Ear, senior associate dean of student success and an associate professor. "We look forward to witnessing first-hand the incredible success our students will achieve here at Thunderbird and long after graduating."

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