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California roots, global impact: Thunderbird at ASU grad's journey in global management

Kay shared a presentation on behalf of The Mars Society Student Chapter at Thunderbird Global Headquarters.

Kyle Kay shared a presentation on behalf of the Mars Society Student Chapter at Thunderbird Global Headquarters.

April 24, 2024

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2024 graduates.

Lake Forest, California, native Kyle Kay was attracted to Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University for its renowned reputation in international management and its hands-on learning approach.

"Thunderbird's curriculum emphasizes experiential, hands-on learning," Kay said. "It's the perfect environment to cultivate skills in global management."

Kay will graduate this spring with a Master of Global Management and as one of Thunderbird’s Spring 2024 Dean’s Circle honorees.

Reflecting on his time as a T-bird, Kay expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to immerse himself in diverse perspectives and build cross-cultural relationships.

"There's truly nothing like Thunderbird," Kay said. "The exposure to international business, coupled with a vast alumni network spanning 150 countries, is unparalleled."

Beyond his academic pursuits, Kay is deeply committed to making a positive impact on the world. When posed with the hypothetical scenario of receiving $40 million to address a global issue, Kay's passion for ocean conservation was apparent.

"I would allocate the funds towards ocean conservation efforts," Kay said. "The escalating challenges of pollution, overfishing and climate change demand urgent action. While $40 million may not solve the problem overnight, it can certainly contribute to meaningful change."

As he prepares to embark on the next chapter of his journey, Kay offers advice to incoming Thunderbird students: "Get involved early and take advantage of all that Thunderbird has to offer. The two years fly by faster than you expect.”

Kyle Kay
Kyle Kay

Question: If you could offer one piece of guidance to a student starting at Thunderbird, what would it be?

Answer: As you prepare for your Global Challenge Lab, make sure you keep all of your medical insurance documentation on standby. I thought it would be fun to break my arm one week into the trip and spend 12 hours learning all about the Colombia health care system. Quite an adventure — I would not recommend it.

Question: What is your favorite memory from your time at Thunderbird?

Answer: My favorite memory by far was Thunderbird’s Global Challenge Lab. I worked as the team lead for an applied AI company in Bogotá, Colombia, and our consulting engagement focused on a U.S. go-to-market strategy for their two flagship products.

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

Answer: My incredible family.

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