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Thunderbird's admissions & recruitment team assists prospective students and applicants with a customer-focused recruitment approach, providing information on upcoming events, connections to students, alumni, and faculty, and advice to aid in program selection.
Enrollment Advisor MaryAnne Riodique ‘16 shares her experience and expertise to guide you through the admissions process. She shares some insight with us here!
Q: What is your role as an enrollment advisor at Thunderbird?
MaryAnne: Primarily I’m responsible for relationship management with prospective students as they conduct research on Thunderbird, connect them with resources and various stakeholders off/on campus so they can come to an informed decision. I then work with them throughout the application/admissions process and continue to act as a resource as they complete their education at Thunderbird. I’m also part of a steering committee tasked with veteran recruitment and veteran student engagement. I spend a good portion of my time attending events to represent the school in the community and travel extensively to recruit students worldwide as well.
Q: What is the ideal profile of a Thunderbird candidate?
MaryAnne: We look for students who have a global mindset – or those who have a strong interest in acquiring one through their Thunderbird degree/experience: Students with an open-mind, a natural curiosity of the world, other cultures, and are interested in global business training as a means to create solutions, create value and make a global impact in whatever industry or sector they happen to pursue.
Q: What “insider tips” do you have for anyone applying to Thunderbird?
MaryAnne: Keep an open line of communication with the Admissions office and your recruiter, and make sure you’re communicating frequently – this is the best way to minimize any confusion about deadlines, requirements for documentation, learning about scholarships options which may not be advertised, or valuable alumni connections.
Further – do some cursory career research up front, have an idea what type of companies you’d like to target, identify your strengths. If you’re offered admission and start the program with a general direction, you’re already ahead of the curve. You can then identify student clubs to get involved in, summer internships, and can pitch to a corporate recruiter what you’re looking for/what value you can bring to their organization.
Q: What kind of scholarships are available at Thunderbird?
MaryAnne: We offer merit-based scholarships upon admission – students can fill out a scholarship application as part of the admissions application process, so our office knows you’re interested in scholarships. We then consider several elements of your profile to determine how to award the merit-based “Global Excellence Scholarship.” Review is based on CGPA, test scores, the amount of work experience, etc.
We also have a great military scholarship – the Hinrich Veterans Scholarship – which was established to help bridge any gap in financing for veteran students attending our full-time, campus programs. There’s also the SHARE Fellowship, another alumni-funded program to attract high-caliber candidates from developing countries. Both of these scholarship programs require a separate application, interview, and vetting process, and typically a referral of some type from the admissions office. This is another reason why it’s important to partner closely with your recruiter.
Q: Can you give an example of something a student has done that really impressed you during the interview process?
MaryAnne: In general, I’m always impressed with students who go to great lengths to come Thunderbird – for example, students who travel to the next state or country just to get a GMAT or TOEFL exam, because the test dates are booked in their city for months on end; or those who fly to our Glendale campus from the other side of the world just to interview in person. I think it’s impressive when any student travels outside of their home country for the first time to pursue an education and a career. It demonstrates grit, determination, and a sense of adventure – all attributes we love to see in T-bird students.