Question: What are your plans after graduation?

Answer: As a current accelerated master’s student, after graduating, I will still have an additional year remaining for my master’s degree. This upcoming summer, I will be participating in Thunderbird’s Global Challenge Lab and will be traveling to San Salvador, El Salvador, to work with the Ministry of Economy. This experiential learning experience aligns entirely with my future career goals; I am thankful to Thunderbird for finding this opportunity and excited about how it will help me set my foot in the right direction for my future career.

Q: What advice would you give to a student just starting a program at Thunderbird?

A: Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way while at Thunderbird, and cherish and enjoy every moment because time flies by fast. I still can’t believe it has already been almost four years since my first Thunderbird class. Although I learned a lot and did multiple things during my time here, now that it is coming to an end, I wish I had done many more. Sometimes I felt scared to try new things and get out of my comfort zone, but now I wish I had because I probably passed on opportunities that will not come to me again.

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

A: Everything. I am lucky enough to have a supportive family, who motivates me and is always there for me even though we are far apart, and that always reminds me of where I come from and why I am here. I am also extremely grateful for the opportunity I received to live in the U.S. and study at Thunderbird, because it has been a dream and one of the best experiences in my life. I am grateful for my friends, because they allow me to be myself and have fun, and because we always help and support each other. I am grateful for my professors because I have learned so much from them.

Q: What has your experience at Thunderbird been like?

A: My whole experience as a Thunderbird student has been meaningful and valuable. Being a T-bird has opened my eyes to the importance of culture and diversity in education, in the workplace, and simply in life. Every day, when I am in class listening to my professors and classmates share their stories, experiences and knowledge, I feel inspired and motivated. I meet people who share a global mindset and who also came to the United States for a better future, and it is incredible to connect with someone who has had a similar journey to what I have but from a completely different country.

Mary Hess

Digital Communications Manager, Thunderbird School of Global Management