Summer brings global travel for 159 Thunderbird students
Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Panama, Dubai, Sweden, Hungary, Slovenia and the United Kingdom were the backdrops for two- to three-week learning experiences that took 159 Thunderbird School of Global Management students around the globe as part of the school’s recent Summerim experiences.
When Bryan Lowenberg first began the 10-day Financial Services Summerim in London, he wasn’t completely sure which area of finance he might choose for his profession. But that all changed by the end of his May 5-14 trip.
“This experience helped me pinpoint what it is I want to do post-graduation and furthermore helped me identify what it is that I do not want to do,” says Lowenberg, who also interviewed with Goldman Sachs in London for an associate summer internship program while there. He’s now confident that investment banking in London or San Francisco is his targeted employment area.
Lowenberg was just one of nearly 160 full-time students who participated in Thunderbird’s two- to three-week intensive courses – known as Summerims – held in worldwide locations during the month of May. Similar Winterim experiences are also offered in January.
“Students learn what is actually happening in financial institutions and markets globally,” says Professor John Mathis, Ph.d, who led 20 students on the trip. “They learn the latest developments in all areas of financial markets and about the latest financial products and transactions.”
In fact, as part of one hands-on experience with Fidelity Investments, students calculated and forecasted stock performances then selected stocks based upon quantitative support.
“It’s difficult to identify one specific experience that was most valuable,” says Lowenberg. “We were able to engage in real-life case studies and collaborate outcomes with some of the world’s leading financial services institutions.”
As part of the Summerim, students met with 60 speakers – many of whom were Thunderbird alumni – from institutions including Lexington Partners, AIG, Dresdner Kleinwort, HSBC, JPMorgan, the Berne Union and Merrill Lynch.
Thunderbird’s Summerim courses give students the opportunity to interact with local business and government leaders, network with alumni and business professionals, visit corporations and participate in cultural learning experiences. This year, students chose from among a variety of business disciplines in various countries:
• Challenges in Emerging Mid-East Economic Centers – Dubai
• Managing in the New Europe: Sweden/Estonia
• Doing Business in Panama
• Summerim in Chile and Argentina
• Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies: Hungary and Slovenia
• International Business Development: Paraguay
• Global Pricing for Profits: Phoenix, USA
Designed to expose students to global business settings and cultures, Summerims often provide clarity, as they did for Lowenberg, Jill Morrison and Jacqueline Aliotti.
“I didn’t realize entrepreneurship was a real career possibility until this trip,” says Morrison, who attended the Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies Summerim. “We were exposed to everything from American companies that had subsidiaries in Central Europe to successful start-ups in Hungary or Slovenia.”
For Aliotti, a native of France, the Entrepreneurship trip cemented her desire to follow in her parents’ footsteps. “I worked with my parents who owned their own restaurant businesses,” she says. “I plan to create my own online businesses shortly.”
Aliotti, like Morrison, gained a new perspective on entrepreneurship from Summerim Professor Robert Hisrich, Ph.d. She said she learned that entrepreneurs don’t have to focus on just one business their entire career. If entrepreneurs are successful, he says, they can be bought-out then work on a new venture every few years.
“The key,” says Morrison, “is to understand business in general. There is a lot of opportunity for those willing to take the risk of beginning a business in a completely new environment.”