About TEM Lab

About TEM Lab

TEM Lab is a six-week, full-time, on-location consulting engagement with a client in an emerging market.

The Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) is a capstone course at Thunderbird that engages a team of four-to-five MBA candidates with a client in an emerging market.  A team spends seven weeks working on each project: one week of preparation on campus, five weeks of full-time onsite work with their client and one final week of debrief on campus.  Projects are tailored to the business needs of the client and provide sophisticated data and market analysis, strategy recommendations and practical, effective plans for sustained growth.  

The goals of TEM Lab are two fold:

  • Create economic and/or social or environmental value for our client organizations
  • Create a unique experience for Thunderbird MBAs in which they can put their skills and experience to the test in a real-world, real-time, emerging market environment 

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

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