MBA Student Consultants will Work with NGOs in Indonesia, Ghana
- Focus on strengthening and scaling up technologies to reach more women in the developing world
- Part of TEM Lab capstone honors course offering professional development experiences for students
- Result of ExxonMobil investment in innovations to create economic opportunities for women
Students from Thunderbird School of Global Management''s Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) have arrived in Indonesia and Ghana to consult with two nonprofit organizations working to improve women''s economic opportunities through technology.
TEM Lab is a capstone honors course offering students an opportunity to apply the full range of professional skills they have acquired during their studies. Teams of student consultants spend five to six weeks in the field working directly with a client organization in an emerging market to diagnose problems and identify opportunities for each organization to strengthen its capacity and reach. Now in its second year, TEM Lab teams have worked with businesses in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe.
"TEM Lab will add business expertise to the projects, increasing their ability to scale up and, in some cases, develop sustainable cash flows," said Thunderbird professor Dr. Michael Finney, who leads the TEM Lab program. "This means that, ultimately, more people will experience a higher quality of life because of the innovations that these visionaries are implementing. This partnership also allows TEM Lab to extend the reach of our students into emerging markets around the world and furthers the school''s mission to educate leaders committed to creating sustainable prosperity."
The Thunderbird MBA students in Cepu, Indonesia are working with Kopernik, a nonprofit that distributes new technology- such as water purifiers and clean-burning stoves- to meet the specific needs of individual communities in the developing world. "We are excited about this new partnership, which will help us provide Indonesian women with increased access to technologies that not only improve the health of their families, but provide new opportunities to make a living," said Ewa Wojkowska, a Kopernik co-founder. The student consultants will interview women who have received technology from the organization, conduct field tests and deliver an effectiveness report with recommendations on how to strengthen the program and expand it to reach more women. This is the first time that TEM Lab has sent a team of students to Indonesia.
The project is part of a $1 million commitment that ExxonMobil made at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in September 2010. "Technology is instrumental in improving women''s productivity, enabling them to sustain and expand their income generating activities," said Suzanne McCarron, general manager, public and government affairs, Exxon Mobil Corporation. "The TEM Lab students bring invaluable business expertise to organizations that focus on women''s empowerment by helping diagnose business problems and opportunities."
The students working in Donkorkrom, Ghana will create a business plan, conduct market analysis and develop a supply chain map for Productive Agriculture Linkages and Marketing Systems (P.A.L.M.S.), a project of Christian Volunteer Service International. The organization is seeking to start a venture to increase earnings and boost market access for female farmers who cultivate and harvest moringa, a native plant that can be used in biodiesel, cosmetics, or pharmaceuticals. This is the second TEM Lab team to work in Ghana.
Thunderbird is the world''s No. 1-ranked school of international business with more than 60 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world. Dedicated to preparing students to be global leaders and committed global citizens, Thunderbird was the first graduate business school to adopt an official Professional Oath of Honor. Thunderbird is sought out by graduate students, working professionals and companies worldwide seeking to gain the leadership skills they need to succeed in today''s global economy. For more about Thunderbird, please visit: www.thunderbird.edu.
Thunderbird offers a wide range of global management graduate degrees and certificate programs for full-time students, working professionals, distance learners and companies, including Full-time, Executive, Evening and Distance-learning MBAs, a Master of Science, a Master of Arts and a comprehensive suite of executive education programs. The school is also home of the Thunderbird Knowledge Network, the school''s hub of research and cutting-edge global business knowledge that includes six centers of excellence focused on cultures and languages, global mindset, ethics and corporate citizenship, global financial services, global private equity and global entrepreneurship.
In 2010, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $237 million in contributions worldwide. ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation have invested more than $47 million in programs to advance economic progress and opportunity for women around the world since 2005. Additional information on ExxonMobil''s community partnerships and contributions programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.
Thunderbird School of Global Management
Public Relations Specialist