Thunderbird alum connects student with their passion for global marketing
Julie Schuldt is a true global citizen. Throughout her life, she has lived in different parts of the United States, as well as Asia, specifically Japan and South Korea, and has experienced a variety of cultures, traditions and global perspectives. This international exposure, combined with her parents both having a Thunderbird education, inspired her to pursue a Master of Global Management (MGM) degree at Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, which she plans to complete in spring 2023.
Currently, Schuldt is a marketing intern at ATMA Global, a company that provides global learning solutions to corporate, government, education and travel markets. Working closely with CEO and Founder Sanjyot Dunung, who is also a Thunderbird alum, Schuldt helps deliver effective business and learning solutions that integrate cultures, countries, global affairs, education and technology.
Dunung and Schuldt's relationship began during Thunderbird’s Grand Opening and 75th Anniversary Global Reunion, where Schuldt utilized her networking skills to approach Dunung and proactively reached out to her on LinkedIn. Following Thunderbird’s Career Management Center's advice, Schuldt remained in touch with Dunung throughout the summer and fall of 2022. By December 2022, Dunung had offered Schuldt an internship opportunity.
“I’m always happy to connect with T-birds and hope that everyone is receptive to alums and students — that’s what helps to strengthen our global network," Dunung said.
Dunung and Schuldt's backgrounds are both diverse, with Dunung being born in Mumbai, India, raised in Liverpool, England, and Des Plaines, Illinois, and later graduating from Thunderbird. She has since based herself in New York City, where she founded ATMA Global. Recognizing Julie's good intuitive understanding of working across cultures, combined with solid marketing skills, Dunung offered Schuldt the internship position.
“I appreciated that she stayed engaged, was enthusiastic, attentive to work and a self-starter. While business skills are always essential, we also review for personality fits to ensure that someone will fit into our team culture," said Dunung.
Since joining ATMA Global, Schuldt has demonstrated enthusiasm and interest in the company's products and services, particularly their recently released award-winning online platform, Atma Insights. Judges have called it a "Netflix-style" learning solution for professionals, educators and students. Julie's role involves researching and identifying new marketing channels, and she has been able to apply both her skills and experiences to propose interesting new marketing ideas that are still in the research and analysis phases.
Thunderbird's emphasis on understanding the importance of global markets to businesses has been instrumental in preparing students like Schuldt for careers in the global economy and strengthening the institution's global network. As Schuldt pursues her MGM degree at Thunderbird, she is constantly reminded of the importance of a global perspective in business, learning and technology — core elements of her current work at ATMA Global. Working closely with Dunung has been an incredibly positive experience for Schuldt, who has become her mentee.
"Sanjyot is a great communicator and active listener. She truly cares about her team members and is passionate about her business. It has been a pleasure working with her," Schuldt said.
Sanjyot Dunung posing with a longtime friend and Thunderbird classmate, with “Be a Part of History” medallions they donated to Thunderbird. To be a part of T-bird history and the Pub, you can also donate at thunderbird.asu.edu/75/tbirdpubPhoto courtesy Sanjyot Dunung
Julie Schuldt enjoying regional cuisine during Thunderbird’s Global Challenge Lab in Mexico City, Mexico.Photo courtesy Julie Schuldt
Sanjyot Dunung at Thunderbird’s graduation in 1987 (left to right: Dana Van Reeth, Sanjyot Dunung and Ursula Crabtree).Photo courtesy Sanjyot Dunung
Julie Schuldt dancing the Cuban Rueda during Latin American Regional Night in fall 2021.Photo courtesy Julie Schuldt
Question: Does ATMA Global provide paid internships?
Sanjyot Dunung: We periodically offer paid internships based on our needs and availability of skills. Over the years, our approach to internships has evolved. Rather than just hire an intern without clear objectives, we tend to focus on identifying tasks internally — that our teams have identified a need for. This enables us to more efficiently and effectively align intern skills with our teams’ needs, ensuring that interns have productive and enriching experiences.
Q: What’s something you learned while at Thunderbird — in the classroom or otherwise — that has helped you excel in your internship?
Julie Schuldt: My marketing class with Professor Ettenson has been a great asset in helping me excel in my internship. In Professor Ettenson’s class, I learned invaluable frameworks to help me quickly understand and synthesize all the information I gather through my market research.
Q: If your company was hiring, what do they look for in candidates? Does a bachelor’s or master’s degree make a difference?
Dunung: The degree is secondary to the skill sets. For more advanced skills needs, a master’s is helpful but not required. We expect to train new team members on our products, services and processes. We expect new team members to be able to start applying their skill sets and experiences to add value relatively soon after joining our team.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who has just graduated from Thunderbird and is looking to start their career?
Schuldt: Exploring your passions will inevitably lead you down a beautiful rabbit hole that will open you up to a world of opportunities and possibilities you would have never seen otherwise. While exploring your passions, make sure to explore the Thunderbird network. I am continuously impressed with how willing Thunderbird alumni are to chat with, support and mentor current students or recent alumni.
Q: What’s your favorite story from your time at Thunderbird?
Dunung: I had the pleasure of attending Thunderbird at the Glendale campus, which provided a wonderful and unique experience. While I lived across the street in Sagewood, we all often hung out at the pool on campus, meeting new friends usually at the start of a semester before the workload preoccupied us. I spent many a Thursday evening playing pool at the Pub, where I had no skill but frequent beginner’s luck. With a fellow T-bird I taught ballroom dance, meeting new people and learning new skills. I’ll always remember the close bonds forged through Japanese classes with Kumayama-sensei and the case-study-focused FORAD class! I’m sure every T-bird remembers their more intense classes.
Q: What’s your favorite story from your time at Thunderbird?
Schuldt: It is so difficult to pick one because I have so many! By far the most impactful thing about my Thunderbird experience is the incredible friendships I have. One of my favorite memories from Thunderbird is performing on Latin American Regional Night. We performed a traditional Cuban Rueda dance.