Thunderbird grad honors his roots, dreams of giving back to his community

November 29, 2022

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

Esly Diaz and his family immigrated from Mexico to the United States when he was a child. The move brought to light the challenges immigrants face, including being an undocumented child, learning a new language and understanding a new culture. Now as a husband and father to two teenage boys, Diaz’s dedication and strength are what has kept him pursuing higher education.  Esly Diaz in Thunderbird's Haas Digital Global Forum Esly Diaz Download Full Image

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in design studies from Arizona State University, he later chose to pursue a Master of Arts in global affairs and management with a specialization in creative industries offered by Thunderbird School of Global Management at the ASU California Center. 

“In 2019, I began working at Thunderbird as a graphic designer. Honing in on my experience with graphics, branding, advertising, and adobe creative suite, and through my professional experiences at Thunderbird, I began to feel confident in my ability to lead the brand,” Diaz said. 

Currently, in his full-time role as art director at Thunderbird, he works to ensure the school’s brand is upheld and visual elements are always professional and consistent across Thunderbird units around the world. He also has been able to hone his skills in digital media and technology by working in Thunderbird’s new state-of-the-art global headquarters that just opened last fall.

“I work with the world’s leading technology daily, including 1,600 square feet of digital displays with over 20 million pixels of direct-view LED screens, helping showcase presentations and events from around the world,” Diaz said. “I also work with cutting-edge technology like our green-screen studio, a full XR production, and development studio, and a volumetric-capture studio that creates full three-dimensional renderings for faculty and student initiatives.” 

With a keen interest in leadership and management fundamentals and a digital global mindset, the Thunderbird program suited Diaz well. As a member of the inaugural cohort, he completed the program in 10 short months and finished earlier this year in June, and will participate in fall 2022 convocation ceremonies.

Diaz was working as Thunderbird's art director while simultaneously earning his master’s degree. As his knowledge and learning grew through his graduate education, he immediately implemented new tools and cutting-edge resources directly into his work at Thunderbird to continue to propel the School’s ambitious goals forward. 

“Regardless of how you started or what opportunities you have or don’t have, if you continue to pursue your dreams, work with excellence and do hard things, your dreams can come true,” Diaz said.

Diaz (far left) with Thunderbird Director General and Dean Sanjeev Khagram (middle) and MLM-GCI cohort.

Diaz (far left) with Thunderbird Director General and Dean Sanjeev Khagram (middle) and the MAGAM-CI cohort.

Question: What are your plans after graduation?

Answer: I hope to be a positive force that continues to grow in responsibility and creativity to meet every new milestone and continue advancing toward the next one. I also hope to encourage others in the Hispanic community to pursue higher education and let them know that their dreams can become reality. 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I believe that there are a lot of nonprofit organizations that have amazing programs that can change the world in a positive way. Sadly many of these organizations don’t have the knowledge or resources to build a strong brand or effective marketing infrastructure to grow. Therefore, they have a really challenging time growing or reaching their full potential. With $40 million, I would create a nonprofit and for-profit organization that would provide these resources to other organizations at no cost or really low cost. This organization would catapult other organizations’ success by empowering many other organizations to reach their full potential. 

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

A: During the MAGAM-CI program we had the opportunity to visit a lot of amazing places such as Fox Studios, Grammys, Lionsgate headquarters, and Anta Design Studio just to name a few. One of the things I learned was that you should always treat everyone with dignity and respect regardless of how successful you are. This reinforces the idea to stay strong to your values and not to take shortcuts. Keep dreaming big, but never forget your roots and honor who has helped you along the journey.


Diaz (left) with Thunderbird’s Office of Branding and Communications Executive Director Tomas Bilbao (right), and Thunderbird’s Business Development Director Mohamed Elsuhimi (middle).

Dasi Styles

Senior Media Relations Officer, Thunderbird School of Global Management


Business students win big at marketing and sales competition

November 29, 2022

When W. P. Carey School of Buisness seniors Cassie Bromley and Ludwig Saint Fleur entered the judging room at the State Farm Marketing and Sales Competition, it was 4 p.m., and the panel had already seen 11 presentations. Saint Fleur and Bromley pumped music over a speaker and got the judges out of their seats, clapping and dancing, before presenting a marketing campaign that leveraged State Farm’s associations with sports and Gen Z’s connection to gaming and social media.

The result of the fun and light-hearted presentation? A first-place win, a $5,000 check and the experience of a lifetime. Two ASU business students and an ASU faculty member smile and make a pitchfork symbol with their hands. (From left to right) Ludwig Saint Fleur, a senior marketing and business law major, Detra Montoya, a clinical professor of marketing at ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business, and Cassie Bromley, a senior marketing and sports business major, at the State Farm Marketing and Sales Competition. Photo courtesy W. P. Carey School of Business Download Full Image

“They knew they had to bring the energy, and they did,” said the team’s coach, Detra Montoya, clinical professor of marketing at the W. P. Carey School at Arizona State University. “Their idea was creative, and they delivered an exceptional presentation.”

Each year, State Farm invites 12 universities from across the country to participate in the competition at the University of Central Missouri. The competition held on Oct. 21 included two individual role-plays and a team presentation. For their presentation, Bromley and Saint Fleur developed an idea to target Gen Z customers, with a goal of creating brand awareness so customers would think of State Farm first when old enough to purchase insurance. 

Their presentation, called #ItsGameTime, allowed students from Southeastern Conference Football universities to win the ultimate tailgate party by playing a game on their phone and earning points for their school. Bromley and Saint Fleur featured pop-up events at each university to promote the tailgate and weekly clues about a major performer. The participants with the highest scores won the party, which included a performance by the musician Drake. The campaign drew heavily on the participants’ social media and gaming use. 

“We wanted something easy, something fast, but we also wanted something that created a network and connected the different students,” said Saint Fleur, a marketing and business law major. He explains that he and Bromley wanted the student participants, rather than marketing professionals, to promote State Farm’s product through connectivity and word of mouth.

“Gen Z is the most diverse and inclusive generation that modern marketers have ever had to engage,” Saint Fleur said. “The old days of market segmentation targeting different demographics are all getting bundled into just one, especially because people are so connected. You don't need to reach that many people anymore for the word to spread.”

The biggest highlights of the competition for Bromley, a marketing and sports business major, include connecting with the country’s top sales students and State Farm executives. “I was able to become confident when selling and learn to work under pressure," she said. "I had never participated in a sales competition before this semester, so I was able to learn so much about sales in the corporate world and develop my sales skills.” 

Both Bromley and Saint Fleur say Montoya’s coaching was instrumental to their win. For a month before the competition, she met twice weekly with the students, then daily for the week leading up to it. In addition, local State Farm representatives Don Hagberg and Kristine Dunn provided them with an overview of State Farm and its insurance products. 

Montoya says that previous competition participants have received internships and full-time positions as a result of networking. A big win, like that of Saint Fleur and Bromley, also reflects positively on W. P. Carey’s professional sales program, Department of Marketing and the five faculty coaches who travel with students throughout the year. Montoya has coached eight teams and said, “Coaching is a very rewarding experience, and it’s wonderful to see students like Cassie and Ludwig win big.”

Ellen Grady

Copy writer, W. P. Carey School of Business