Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Re-live Your AIESEC Days While Receiving a World-Class Education at Thunderbird

By Michelle Gansle, who currently works in Rotterdam for Mars Foods Europe, the Center of Expertise for Innovation. Michelle's AIESEC years include AIESEC Austin '94-98; Ireland MC '98-99; U.S. MC '99-00.

For all of you recovering AIESEC alumni looking to re-invigorate your life or re-direct your career path through a graduate school option, I highly recommend considering Thunderbird, the Graduate School of International Management (a.k.a. a second chance at reliving the glory days of AIESEC.) Remember that buzz of excitement that used to come from being at a conference with 40 different nationalities? You can experience that every day in class! No drinking games during class, but there is always the Thunderbird Pub afterwards. Alright, I digress...

Michelle Gansle photo

I joined AIESEC my sophomore year in college at the University of Texas in 1994 and stayed active in AIESEC through 2001, working in most positions at the local level, after graduating, I joined the Irish National team in 1998, then eventually came back to work for AIESEC US in 2000. A few years after leaving AIESEC, I decided it was time to go back to school and get my MBA. In my search for schools, I knew cultural diversity and an internationally focused education was important. I assessed several schools in addition to Thunderbird. After speaking with several alumni from various schools and attending events, it quickly became clear to me that while all were satisfied with their education, it seemed Thunderbirds were the only one who loved their time at school. I actually had more than one person say to me, “it was the best two years of my life”. And now I can say that as well.

Why Thunderbird? Most importantly - because it is ranked #1 in the world for international business. Enough said, right? Let me give you some more facts, in case you aren’t convinced. At least 50% of the student body comes from outside the US, ensuring a global presence and the faculty are either international or have international experience. Therefore, every class is taught from an international perspective, versus having one class focus on intrernational business, while the rest are US focussed. If you are serious about wanting a global mindset, there is no comparable alternative.

It must also be noted that another unique aspect of Thunderbird is its strong connection to doing good in the world. The President, Angel Cabrera is often recognized for his work on CSR (corporate social responsibility). One reflection of this is the creation of Thunderbird for Good. The efforts of Thunderbird for Good help to fight poverty, secure peace and improve living conditions in communities throughout the world through education. As a student, you can participate in activities related to events focused on CSR and international development.

Going back to Thunderbird has been one of the most invaluable choices I have made in my life. Thunderbird enabled me to acquire my dream job after graduating and has helped me to open doors to allow me to work in Europe, even during an economic recession. I cannot recommend Thunderbird highly enough as the perfect complement in an AIESECers educational journey.

Thunderbird logo

Thunderbird offers an array of different degrees both for full time students and working professionals with or without prior work experience. For more information about Thunderbird's program offerings, and to find out about opportunities to visit the Thunderbird campus, meet one of Thunderbird's representatives in your city, or connect with an alumnus, please go here.

Application Deadlines for Spring 2010

First Round - June 30, 2009
Second Round - August 30, 2009
Third Round - October 30, 2009 (recommended deadline for international students)
Final Round - November 30, 2009

Application Deadlines for Fall 2010

Early Decision - November 30, 2009
First Round - December 30, 2009
Second Round - February 28, 2010
Third Round - April 30, 2010 (recommended deadline for international students)
Final Round - June 10, 2009