About TEM Lab
Letter from Professor Michael Finney
I have been teaching at Thunderbird School of Global Management for the past several years. Before that, I was an independent organizational consultant to a wide variety of corporate and not-for-profit organizations for 25 years. My time at Thunderbird has been as personally and professionally rewarding as the entirety of my previous 25 years in the profession. While I don’t mean to diminish what was an excellent consulting career; I would like to say that working with Thunderbird students has been a peak career experience. I made the move into academia intending to download a couple of decades of in-the-field business consulting experience into the minds of the next generation of global managers and leaders. While I have and continue to meet that objective, I have also been amazed at what our students have uploaded to me. I have grown as a person and a professional as a result of having the pleasure of teaching and learning from one of the most diverse, intellectually curious, and value-driven student bodies in the world. I have further had the pleasure of participating in the development of what I believe is the ultimate expression of Thunderbird’s mission: the Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab). Our mission as a graduate school of global business is to develop global leaders committed to contributing towards sustainable prosperity worldwide. TEM Lab is a consulting capstone experience that allows our MBA Candidates to work directly towards this aim while still completing their academic requirements. It provides the Candidates with a five-to-six week full cultural immersion experience that broadens their horizons and deepens their understanding of what it means to be a global citizen in a connected global community. It also allows them, under the guidance of faculty and other professionals, to apply what they have learned under circumstances that provide nearly immediate feedback regarding the efficacy and outcomes of their consulting efforts. In addition to the above, TEM Lab provides our client organizations with the cumulative knowledge, business acumen, commitment and creativity of a team of top-notch MBA Candidates. A TEM Lab team is a serious value add proposition that should be of interest to any client organization desiring to create sustainable capacity in emerging markets. With warm regard,
Michael Finney, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor of Management
Thunderbird School of Global Management | Read more about Dr. Finney
What and Why TEM Lab
The Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) is a six-week, full-time class guided by Thunderbird faculty. Teams of Thunderbird student consultants work with clients on-location to solve a specific business problem. During the engagement, consulting teams deliver on objectives defined in a contract between themselves and the client. Teams are also responsible for the academic expectations of Thunderbird. The goals of TEM Lab are:
- Create a learning laboratory for Thunderbird students in a real-world, emerging market context
- Create value for the client organization
- Transfer knowledge and skills that will build social and economic infrastructure in the host country
TEM Lab targets areas with high growth potential in the emerging markets of Latin America, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia because they account for 80 percent of the world’s population and are experiencing significant social and economic infrastructure changes. Growth in these areas is very dynamic. This is where talented executives will be in demand in the foreseeable future and employers will need people who are already experienced in the milieu. Also, the learning curve for both students and host organizations is steeper in growing foreign markets than in more stable, developed markets where Thunderbird students are already familiar with the culture and business practices. Student development and project evaluation will be based on an action plan developed by each student team and their host organization, in close consultation with the faculty, as part of the project preparation process. These action plans will illustrate measurable goals specifically tailored to the project, host organization, and larger societal characteristics within the area of their service. The comprehensive nature of these methods of evaluation will ensure that the program is responsive to student development, the needs of host organizations, and the overall goals of Thunderbird as an institution of graduate global management education.
Thunderbird School of Global Management