SOURCE: Thunderbird School of Global Management


December 17, 2013 12:51 ET

10 Thunderbird Highlights From 2013

GLENDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - December 17, 2013) - Thunderbird School of Global Management operates its main campus near Phoenix, Arizona, but the school's impact spanned continents in 2013. During the past 12 months, Thunderbird welcomed its most international MBA class in history, earned a No. 1 ranking in international business for the 18th consecutive year, and delivered free training to thousands of women entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Here's a look at 10 Thunderbird highlights from 2013 as the school gets set to leap into the New Year.

Thunderbird's incoming MBA class sets record for international enrollment rate -- The full-time MBA class that arrived at Thunderbird in fall 2013 boasted a record 72 percent international enrollment rate. The school's previous high for non-U.S. citizenship among incoming MBA students was 67 percent in fall 2001. Click here to find out which countries were most represented.

U.S. News & World Report again ranks Thunderbird No. 1 for international business -- Thunderbird was again ranked the No. 1 school for International Business by U.S. News & World Report in March. This is the 18th consecutive year Thunderbird has earned this distinction. Thunderbird also held its position among the Top 10 providers of executive education worldwide in the 2013 Financial Times rankings.

New MBA curriculum introduced -- Thunderbird launched a modernized MBA curriculum in fall 2013 that infuses an innovative format, cutting-edge delivery and more affordable pricing into its long-standing global offering. Click here to read more.

Thunderbird honored for work benefiting women worldwide -- Thunderbird's social initiative, Thunderbird for Good, was recognized in March at the 2013 International Women of Courage (IWOC) Celebration Dinner for the work it does to educate women worldwide. The honor came in a year that Thunderbird for Good also partnered to launch a free business training program for women entrepreneurs in Chile and Peru, hosted a group of Afghan women for a two-week business training program in Arizona, and announced plans to launch a free online business training program for women in the United States through an alliance with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Students put business lessons to work -- In just one year, Thunderbird students completed more than 11,000 consulting hours in emerging markets through the Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory. Students also consulted for companies in developed markets, including locally in Arizona. Classroom lessons were likewise applied in competitions throughout the year, which won students prizes in the areas of human resources, marketing and finance.

Student "Regional Nights" celebrate world cultures -- Thunderbird students hosted seven Regional Nights in 2013, sharing food, drink, fashion and entertainment from nearly every corner of the world. These cultural celebrations are among the highlights of the Thunderbird student experience. See a picture from the Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Night here.

Thunderbird makes plans for global growth -- Thunderbird announced plans for global expansion this year as part of a planned strategic alliance with Laureate Education that will allow the school to remain an independent, nonprofit institution, while empowering it to further its mission. The historic Arizona campus will remain the hub for all Thunderbird programs, but the alliance will allow the school to open permanent outposts in Brazil, Chile, France and Spain. Thunderbird also will launch an undergraduate program as part of the alliance, which will take effect following approval from Thunderbird's accreditation body, the Higher Learning Commission. Read more.

Guest speakers offer big ideas -- In 2013 Thunderbird welcomed many speakers and visitors from all over the world and from diverse avenues of business. Students received leadership lessons from the CEO of US Airways Doug Parker and former CIA director and defense secretary Robert Gates. Students also met with the former first lady of Ghana and got marketing tips from Intel Corporation's vice president of advertising and digital marketing Kevin Sellers. December graduates had their commencement address delivered by former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, who has been recognized by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

First Global Mindset handbook is published -- After years of measuring the skills and aptitudes that managers need to thrive in unfamiliar markets, the Najafi Global Mindset Institute (NGMI) at Thunderbird has provided a way to improve those increasingly important abilities with a new book titled "Developing Your Global Mindset: The Handbook for Successful Global Leaders." For more faculty accomplishments, check out the faculty section of the 2013 Thunderbird Global Impact Report.

President Penley reaches one year in office -- Nov. 1 marked the one-year anniversary of Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D., as Thunderbird president. Phoenix Business Journal selected Dr. Penley as one of the Valley's Most Admired Leaders in May. He was also a highlighted speaker in several conferences this year, including The Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations International State of the State Luncheon, where he spoke about Arizona's keys to growth. Read his insights here.

About Thunderbird School of Global Management  

Thunderbird is the world's No.1-ranked school of international business with nearly 70 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world.

Dedicated to preparing students to be global leaders and committed global citizens, Thunderbird was the first graduate business school to adopt a Professional Oath of Honor. Thunderbird's global network of alumni numbers 40,000 graduates in 148 nations worldwide. The school is sought out by graduate students, working professionals and companies seeking to gain the skills necessary for success in today's global economy. For more about Thunderbird, visit

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