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Thunderbird at ASU welcomes most diverse cohort of students

This year's Master of Global Management cohort hails from nearly 40 countries


Patricia Baez presenting the flag of Ecuador in front of a large blue and white sign reading "Welcome to Thunderbird"

Incoming student Patricia Baez presented the flag of Ecuador at the Opening Flag Ceremony during Foundations, Thunderbird's new student orientation, at the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

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August 21, 2023

The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University welcomes a new era of future global leaders and managers, and marks the start of the fall 2023 semester with a record-breaking cohort. 

The fall 2023 Master of Global Management (MGM) and accelerated MGM cohort is the most diverse in Thunderbird's recent history, with more than 84% of the class coming from a country outside of the United States. Incoming Thunderbird students will also be joining more than 15,000 international students at ASU at large. 

With the fall 2023 cohort, Thunderbird experienced more than 80% enrollment growth (compared with fall 2022), the highest of any unit at ASU. Through a variety of new degree programs and a unique student experience, Thunderbird attracted more than 400 new students this fall. 

“On behalf of the faculty, staff and student community, I am thrilled to extend a warm and enthusiastic welcome as you embark on this exciting new chapter in your academic journey,” said Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird. ”You are about to become part of a dynamic community dedicated to shaping future global leaders who will drive positive change in our interconnected world and make a lasting mark on a global scale.” 

The inaugural cohort of Thunderbird’s newest degree offering, the online Doctorate of Professional Practice in global leadership and management, also started classes this fall. With nearly 30 students enrolled, this first-of-its-kind, professional doctorate program is poised to make an impact in the global business and leadership sectors. After completing the 60-credit program (45 credits from DPP courses and 15 transfer credits obtained through a master’s degree), graduates will emerge with a greater understanding of leading and managing global organizations, systems change, digital transformation in a global economy and more.

Originally from Nigeria, Aisha Ndahi, an incoming MGM student, shared her motivations for choosing Thunderbird over other graduate schools. 

“I was drawn to Thunderbird for three reasons. Firstly, to improve my global managerial skills. Secondly, to understand more opportunities that the Fourth Industrial Revolution offers, particularly in terms of creating safer living conditions within developing countries. Lastly, but most importantly, I came to Thunderbird because of its diversity.”

Likewise, Andrew Kalthoff, an incoming Master of Global Management student from the United States, credits Thunderbird’s global and diverse community as a major reason he enrolled in the program.

“I knew Thunderbird would give me the opportunity and tools to work within a global industry where many colleagues have unique perspectives and cultures,” he said. “The school has a historical reputation for creating the most capable leaders to handle the world's most challenging problems. Thunderbird has given me access to global-minded colleagues that will continue to challenge how I view the world.”

The cohort represents nearly 40 countries, including India, Taiwan, China, Zimbabwe, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. This diverse assembly of scholars embodies Thunderbird's commitment to fostering a global community, where cross-cultural interactions and collaborative efforts are nurtured throughout a week of events at Thunderbird's new student orientation, Foundations. The innovative orientation week is designed for students to forge connections with the Thunderbird community before embarking on their academic journeys.

The fall 2023 Foundations event took place Aug. 9–11 at the F. Francis and Dionne Najafi Thunderbird Global Headquarters on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. During Foundations, staff, faculty, alumni, student leaders and volunteers welcomed new Master of Global Management and accelerated MGM students beginning their academic careers, and shared valuable insights and tips on how to be a successful T-bird. Highlights of Foundations included the ThunderOlympics, where teams of students compete in various athletic contests, and the Opening Flag Ceremony, both cherished Thunderbird traditions.

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