New cohort of Thunderbird Executive MBA program begins

October 19, 2010

Thunderbird’s second cohort of its Executive MBA-Europe program in Geneva began this week at Villa Barton, in collaboration with The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Participants represent over a dozen nationalities, and while several cohort members are based in Geneva, a majority of the managers commute for each module—some from as far as Abu Dhabi, Almaty and Sao Paulo. They will pursue a series of 1-week modules delivered primarily in Geneva, with field seminar options in BRIC countries and a final module in the United States.

The program’s location in Geneva and partnership with The Graduate Institute are key to the philosophy of the program and its global curriculum. “In addition to traditional business acumen, we believe that success in a globally-connected world requires an in-depth understanding of international politics and economics,” says Dr. Anne Stringfellow, Thunderbird’s Academic Director of the program, which awards graduates the school’s globally acclaimed MBA in Global Management. “Global Political Economy was one of the new cohort’s first classes, delivered by the Institute faculty, and the program will also include course work and case studies highlighting the local trends and cultural nuances for future leaders who conduct business in Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas”.

Designed for working professionals with more than eight years of professional experience, this program runs concurrently with Thunderbird’s Arizona-based Executive MBA-United States program, giving students in both cohorts six cross-cohort learning engagements and global networking opportunities. “The global learning community is a key aspect of our program design,” explains the program’s Geneva-based director, Will McDonald. “Our professors are as global as our curriculum. Just last week in Geneva, the students worked with faculty members from France, Switzerland, South Africa and the United States.”

“Some students say they learn as much from one another as from the professors,” says Stringfellow. “It’s not surprising if you consider the 200-plus years of work experience across countries and industries that’s present in a typical classroom. Thunderbird’s collaborative environment and interactive teaching style no doubt aid in this process.” Students participating in the program come from fields as diverse as private banking and financial services to the energy sector, chemicals and pharmaceuticals to transport and logistics, and government sectors.

Thunderbird’s collaboration with The Graduate Institute provides a cross-pollination of expertise from the public and private sectors. Institute faculty bring their expertise for key courses in the program, hosting some of the Thunderbird modules at its Geneva campus. Thunderbird’s management professors deliver the majority of the instruction, and the MBA degree awarded is from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Thunderbird’s Executive MBA program has an international reputation for excellence. Last month The Wall Street Journal ranked Thunderbird as the No. 3 provider of Executive MBA programs worldwide in its bi-annual survey, a position the program also held in the previous report in 2008. In the new report, Thunderbird landed the No. 1 spots in both “management skills” and “alumni” scores.