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ASU grad found a path in Greek life and international business

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.

ASU graduate Suzannah Whitlatch is finishing up her time at ASU with global ambitions. 

Whitlatch graduated this spring with her master’s degree in global management, through which she homed in on an interest in global equity through business development. Originally from Tucson, she was a member of Chi Omega as an undergraduate at the University of Denver and worked as a management intern for the Greek Leadership Village.

Whitlatch says she loved working in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life while in graduate school. 

“My experience in Greek Life at my undergraduate institution was so formative for me, so I loved giving back to Greek Life here at ASU.”

Whitlatch earned two Thunderbird Alumni Scholarships thanks to the support of alumni donations and also received support from the Phoenix Panhellenic Association.

“I’m really proud of myself and all of my classmates who worked hard to stay focused while taking classes virtually for the past year. In my program, second-year graduate students are paired with an international business student and serve as consultants for them,” she said. “Usually this involves travel and getting to experience new cultures, but this year it was all done over Zoom. It was not the experience that any of us signed up for, but we made it work!”

Whitlatch spoke with ASU News about her time at ASU, what she learned, what advice she’d give to current students, and what the future looks like for her. 

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? 

Answer: I spent much of my undergraduate time working for international nonprofits and government agencies wanting to make a difference in global human rights. After traveling, I realized that many international corporations have the resources and reach to do better and create equitable global development. That’s when I transitioned to the international business track to work with these businesses to rethink their strategies.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective? 

A: I learned about how many companies are trying to change their business strategies to have a more positive footprint on the world. Thunderbird’s Consulting Lab allowed me to work with a few of these companies. This gave me more hope for the future of business and international development.

Q: Why did you choose ASU? 

A: I chose Thunderbird because it is one of the best international business schools in the country and places a heavy focus on ethical, sustainable and equitable development. All of those aspects were really important to me when I was researching business schools.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU? 

A: Professor Rebeca Hwang taught me the importance of introspection when it comes to choosing a professional path. Take time to think about who you are at your roots and what impact you really want to have on the world. The rest will fall into place over time.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school? 

A: Soak in every opportunity. College is a great, safe environment to learn new things, try out wild hobbies and meet people from around the world. Say yes to as many things as you can.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life? 

A: I love laying out a blanket on the lawn outside of Old Main. It’s the perfect peaceful campus spot to focus on homework or to relax for a bit.

Q: What are your plans after graduation? 

A: I’m going on a three-month road trip across the United States to hit up national parks and visit friends and family! After that I will be moving to LA for my career.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: Supporting women and Indigenous-owned businesses worldwide. There are so many amazingly talented artisans in this world, and they just need the global platform and market reach to succeed.

Written by Austin Davis, ASU Student Life