SOURCE: Thunderbird School of Global Management


November 01, 2013 12:05 ET

Alumni Return to Seek Thunderbird Talent During Professional Development Week

GLENDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - November 01, 2013) - Alumni representing some of the world's most global brands converged onto Thunderbird School of Global Management's campus near Phoenix, Arizona, last week to recruit students for jobs and internships. Nearly 68 percent of the companies that attended the school's Professional Development Week were represented by Thunderbird alumni. And, alumni made up more than one-third of the individual recruiters present. ExxonMobil alone sent seven alumni recruiters to campus and Delphi sent four.

To celebrate alumni returning to campus, the school hosted a reception at Thunderbird's old Pub, built at the site of an original World War II airport hangar. Alumni were excited to be back and recruiting fresh Thunderbird talent for their employers.

"I think there are currently 32 T-birds at Hilti, and we've been coming here to the Career Fair now for 12 years," said alumnus Aaron Heilbrun, who has worked for Hilti for the past decade. "As alumni, it's fun to come back. It's fun to be on the other side." He said there was a point in his career in which somebody gave him a chance, and he likes the idea of giving the next generation of T-birds a chance in return. "Our company hires based on fit, so what we look for is potential," he said.

Alumni reputation is also the reason why many companies keep coming back to campus year after year with an appreciation for the value of a Thunderbird graduate. Kelly Metzger, Talent Acquisition Specialist for Amway, said the truly global mindset of a Thunderbird graduate stands out.

"The talent that we've acquired out of Thunderbird has been exceptional," she said. "They are really equipped with the knowledge to work on a global team, which doesn't necessarily come naturally to everyone. They are learning that in school and it's translating back into our business. They walk in the door and already have that leg up because of the education they have received."

Every company is looking for talent, but they come to Thunderbird for global talent, said Thunderbird's Associate Vice President of Career Management and Professional Development Guy Groff. "When they say 'global' they don't just mean people who like to travel. They mean people who understand a global society, who can go in and analyze a market in a new country and who can speak languages."

Recruiters present at this year's Career Fair represented diverse companies including Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Kohler and Henkel. "We are always looking for people who know how to work with other cultures because we are a global company," said Sean Johnson, a Thunderbird graduate and brand manager at Henkel. "In my role I have to speak with people from Germany and Asia every other week. Coming back to Thunderbird, we know that we get quality students."

Thunderbird's annual Professional Development Week is the school's most concentrated career-search effort. This year, more than 200 interviews took place between students and employers during the five-day event and additional interviews are scheduled for later dates.

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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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