How to Pay for an MBA | The Thunderbird SHARE Scholarship

image: SwanDiamondRose

by: Grayson Leverenz

Pellagia Muliba shares a story on her Thunderbird profile about her mother bringing a few used sewing machines into their Zimbabwe village. She hired a seamstress, and bought patterns and material with the help of a micro-loan. Her mom taught her sister to sew, and her sister taught her children. Pellagia’s aunt and cousins operate a successful family sewing business to this day.    

Pellagia witnessed how business can positively impact individuals, families, and communities. The Thunderbird SHARE scholarship gave her the opportunity to immerse herself in the study of business and gain the necessary skills to fulfill her dreams, which as you’ll see in the video below, are big.    

Thunderbird graduate, Marshall Parke, created the SHARE scholarship (originally called the Thunderbird Alumni Scholars) with the help of other graduates excited about cultivating global leadership in developing nations. The creators deepened their commitment by providing not only full-tuition benefits, but also mentoring to “help graduates make a difference back home one day.”   

After reading about the SHARE scholarship in BusinessWeek, I knew I wanted to share it with MBA in the USA® readers. Jay Bryant, Thunderbird Director of Admissions and Recruiting, responded very enthusiastically to my interview request, and I had the pleasure of spending about half an hour discussing the program with him. Jay has a lot of passion for Thunderbird and the SHARE scholarship. Here are three big takeaways from our discussion.

An Ideal SHARE Candidate

Thunderbird looks at three equally important aspects of every applicant:

1. Academics (GMAT and Undergrad scores)
2. Employability (Will your past work experience + an MBA = achieving your goals?)
3. Fit with Thunderbird (e.g. Do you possess a global mindset? Do you value global citizenship like ethics & giving back? How much international exposure have you had? How many languages do you speak?)

An ideal SHARE candidate possesses all of the qualities above plus the desire to make a difference in their home country using the skills they can gain at Thunderbird. They want to learn about global business, return to their home country, and make it a better place. 

The SHARE Application Process

In addition to the standard Thunderbird application, SHARE candidates submit an essay for program consideration. The essay describes how you plan to help your home country and how a degree from Thunderbird will help you achieve your goals.

If a candidate appears eligible for the program, but doesn’t know about it, the Admissions Committee proactively tells you about SHARE.   

Words of Advice

Jay recommends speaking from the heart in your application. He wants to find people that are “passionate about making change in their home country” as well as people that are “driven to help their country globalize and help progress the people of their nation.”

I absolutely love it that business has the power to make that happen.

To learn more about Thunderbird, click here. To learn more about the SHARE scholarship, search for the Thunderbird Alumni Scholars; they’re in the process of updating their website.  

Many thanks to Jay Bryant for the interview!  

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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