The Thunderbird SHARE Fellowship is an original and proven scholarship/mentorship program and supportive community for exceptional Thunderbird students from developing countries.
The goal of the program is to give promising talent the opportunity to take control of their future – and the future of their home regions – with an education from Thunderbird. At the same time, they bring their insight, cultural experiences and broad worldview to the school, enriching the student experience and the Thunderbird community through their unique perspectives.
In 2007 alumnus Marshall Parke ’77 began developing a plan to provide scholarships for students from developing countries who might otherwise not have the resources to attend Thunderbird. Parke's experience working in developing countries taught him that a degree is only half the battle. These students needed access to strong networks and professional mentoring as well. The idea was simple but compelling: to provide the same sort of support one would provide a family member, but to focus that attention on exceptional students from developing countries.
In response to these needs he founded the Thunderbird SHARE Fellowship an alumni-funded scholarship/mentorship program for students from emerging and developing countries. Since awarding its first scholarships in 2008, the program has attracted over forty alumni contributors and countless mentoring volunteers.
SHARE’s Scholarship Component
Funded by alumni and friends of Thunderbird, SHARE ensures full tuition and expense money so its Fellows can participate fully in campus life, take advantage of unpaid internships, and attend optional academic programs. It truly levels the playing field - Fellows collaborate and compete on equal footing with economically privileged classmates.
SHARE’s Impact on the Alumni Community
Dozens of alumni have supported SHARE. There are many ways to participate: Donating financially, mentoring, referring candidates, offering jobs or internships. A typical SHARE Fellow interacts with at least 10 alumni, and graduates as a fully integrated and connected member of the alumni community. SHARE graduates stay in touch, and give back immediately to the school by mentoring others and eventually contributing financially.
Our SHARE Fellows
Since inception, the SHARE Fellowship Program has funded 59 scholarships for students from over 30 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. These recipients come from a wide range of professional backgrounds including technology, the nonprofit world, engineering, banking, agriculture, accounting, government, marketing, and academia. Seven recipients have been Fulbright scholars, and all have had outstanding academic records and a history of community involvement.
The program’s success depends on professionals who volunteer their personal time to guide individual SHARE Fellows. Mentors choose their own commitment level, providing multiple opportunities for alumni engagement, such as a 20-minute chat about an industry or company, a resume review, or administering a mock interview.
SHARE’s Unique Mentoring Model
SHARE Fellows receive full-tuition scholarships to study at Thunderbird, but the program is about more than money. Fellows also receive access to coaching and a global network of mentors, who work one-on-one with the Fellows to help them obtain internships and full-time employment upon graduation.
SHARE is unlike traditional mentor programs. SHARE's unique offerings include individualized training, goal setting, tutoring, mentoring and high-level introductions from multiple experts and senior executives. Unlike traditional mentorship programs, Fellows are taught business communication skills and networking techniques, then are given introductions so they can build their professional networks and develop their own mentoring relationships – skills which last a lifetime. SHARE Fellows graduate with developed networks of executive mentors in their industries or geographies.
SHARE Executive Committee:
Marshall Parke '77 • David Young '91 • Kathryn Lindquist '84 • Kim Wiehl '80 • Susan Stevens '73 • Maria Houle '87 (Program Director)
"It has been fantastic to watch the students’ careers as they have gone back out and taken on new roles all over the world. They are doing exactly what we hoped they would do.
Marshall Parke ’77
Thunderbird Trustee and SHARE Fellowship founder