As a Thunderbird, like almost any TBird, we all know that the school was created out of the foresight of Lieutenant General Barton Kyle Yount in 1946. His pragmatic approach was a solution to post WWII difficulties faced by Americans doing business overseas. Yount sought to offer a course of studies that would provide expertise in international management. From its inception, the school was focused on improving knowledge and understanding of global interests.
I attended and graduated in 1980 with my MIM in hand. Having enjoyed my experience at Thunderbird, I was pleased to have an international career and work with peoples of different cultures, business practices and mindsets. I have always been proud of my alma mater and its ongoing search for excellence.
In 2007, I elected to take early retirement from EDS and established my second venture in business consultancy. As part of that plan, I began on a new journey of writing a book about sustainability and quality management. After over three years of research and writing, the book was published in 2011.
I realized that if my consultancy was to focus on sustainability, I needed to aspire to a higher level and increase my credibility. I researched a variety of certification programs and they all seemed to be lacking depth and in some cases, a vision.
While reading an alumni newsletter, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Thunderbird had begun an offering of an executive certification in Global Corporate Social Responsibility. It was a match and timing could not have been better.
After completing the 8-week course, I can definitely recognize the knowledge gained. It was also a good validation tool what I acquired in my research. Looking back and I must acknowledge the content, thoughtfulness in course material, exposure to high-level sustainability principles, and participation in forum discussions based on case studies provided an excellent learning experience. I am definitely looking forward to the next course.
When asked to write about my course experience, I quickly agreed. I was curious what was Thunderbird’s current point of view. I went to their web site and discovered their mission and vision. They read:
Mission: We educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide
Vision: We will dramatically grow our positive impact in a world economy in dire need of the global leadership talent we were founded to provide
As a returning alum, I feel certain that Thunderbird continues to go down that untraveled global path and its guiding star is steering us to a new journey to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. That journey will be the new business model for transformation for the 21st century. From Thunderbird’s inception, the school was focused on improving knowledge and understanding of global interests. I think General Yount would be proud of its mission and vision for the future.
About the Author:
Ralph Jarvis is the author of “Any Questions?”, a primer for leadership to improve their current business organization through Sustainability that relies on Lean Six Sigma practices. He is a senior management consultant with more than 30 years of International Business and IT experience. His engagements include a variety of Fortune 500 companies; federal, state, and Indian Nation governments; public sector agencies; as well as, not-for-profit organizations. Ralph Jarvis graduated from Texas Tech University with his Bachelors in Business Management. He earned his Global MBA in International Finance at Thunderbird School of Global Management and received his second Master’s in Management Information Systems at the University of Dallas, where he graduated with Highest Honors. His company, Jarvis Business Solutions, is a certified Lean Six Sigma practice and is a Business Transformation consultancy.