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Thunderbird applied learning courses enable students to actively apply course material to real-world, real-time organizational challenges. Thunderbird’s for-credit, applied learning courses are:
Offered in a variety of formats but typically involve real-world business consulting in team-based, client-facing projects.
Range from one to five weeks of full-time on-site work in another country to 13 weeks of campus-based work.
Our flagship Global Consulting Laboratories available to our Master of Global Management students are full-time, on-site consulting work in a dynamic economy.
Student consultants are culturally adaptive, smart and motivated. Through participation in our applied learning courses, students acquire real-world experience, learn to work in cross-cultural teams, gain insights into new functions and industries and get strong resume building experiences.
Thunderbird’s Global Challenge Lab is a six-credit, client-facing, project-based capstone course that involves a three-week immersion in an advanced or emerging market around the world. Projects are tailored to the business needs of the client and provide sophisticated data and market analysis, strategy recommendations and practical, effective plans for sustained growth.
Past GCL projects include:
Myanmar: Developed sourcing opportunities for glass and tableware products.
Romania: Created domestic and international marketing and sales strategies for metal fabricator.
Angola: Evaluated and made strategic recommendations for Esso Angola’s Rural Development Program.
Tunisia: Constructed incubator plan and sustainability strategy for community development organization.
Thunderbird’s Executive Challenge Lab is a client-facing, project-based capstone course that involves a one-week immersion in an emerging market. Projects are tailored to the business needs of the client and provide sophisticated data and market analysis, strategy recommendations and practical, effective plans for sustained growth.
Note: The Executive Challenge Lab is an elective course open to Thunderbird’s Executive Master of Global Management and Online Master of Applied Leadership & Management students. The Lab is a competitive, application-based program.
During an Executive Challenge Lab experience students will:
Past Executive GCL projects include:
Thailand: Conducted feasibility study for high pressure processing strategy for coconut water.
Portugal: Developed hydroponic marketing strategy for geographic growth and innovation.
Philippines: Determined business strategy for disease testing kits.
Colombia: Designed Commercialization strategy for “waste” by-products for fruit processing company.
The Global Organizational Consulting, a 3-credit, client-facing, semester-long course, gives students an overview of the consulting industry and the role of a management consultant. While working directly with a client organization, students simultaneously learn in the classroom and become familiar with the tools and techniques used during a consulting engagement, including project entry, problem definition, intervention planning, data collection, problem solving, alternative generation, feedback, project exit, client relations skills and project management.
Note: The Consulting Practicum is an elective course open to Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management and Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management students. The course is a competitive, application-based program.
Students in the Global Consulting Practicum will:
Past Consulting Practicum projects include:
Helped develop 3M’s omnichannel marketing strategy in the Andes region of South America.
Enhanced IBM’s global knowledge transfer across the company’s international sales teams.
Created a model for Esri’s strategic expansion into emerging markets.
Developed model to increase pipeline efficiency and access to capital for under-capitalized businesses.
Constructed a path to increased sustainability for the DNASU Sequencing Core Facility.
Through our Alumni Consulting Labs, Tbird alums have the opportunity to work with diverse companies throughout emerging markets. Click here to visit the Alumni Consulting Lab main page for alumni applicants.
Alumni Consultants experience their host country through unique interactions with Thunderbird faculty and other alumni, and by working through the SMEs’ growth challenges. Challenges may be related to subjects such as marketing & sales strategy, organizational structure, operations, or strategic initiatives. Consultants will be immersed in client organizations—focused on discovery, analysis and feedback around their clients’ defined business challenges—as well as the local business and cultural climate.
Here is an article wrapping up the inaugural Alumni Consulting Lab in Bogotá, Colombia written by the TEM Lab team and another written by one of the alumni participants.
Past Alumni Consulting Lab projects include:
Colombia: Worked on business strategy issues for four SMEs.